Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Wii Legacy?

I wouldn't be so silly as to say that Nintendo started the trend of focusing on novel external interface devices with the Wii-mote, but it would seem to me not only anecdotal that 3-D computer mouses had a strong showing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas (no, that is not where the IPhone debuted- that was the MacWorld Conference and Expo).

CBC reports that the three different computer mouses, meant to enhance play in 3D environments, have three entirely different approaches to carrying out their goal.
Novint's Falcon stands out just because of its odd appearance. This 'mouse' is shaped like a globe attached by three arms to "what looks like a lunar module resting on its side". The three arms allow 3D movement, and the controller is posited to allow the feeling of force effects during play. Sandio's Game O' mouse does not sound too innovative as it is described as akin to a standard mouse except that buttons on the side of the mouse slide both sideways and up and down. Cylo's 3style mouse sounds the most tactile-intuitive. It is a round wireless mouse that is controlled by how gamers spin it.

I think the development of external interface tools is an interesting method for exploring and improving gameplay (graphics and processor speed are a tired route). The Wii-mote has been a success in console gaming, so what can we do for computer gaming? I am not sure huge, chunky devices will take off. Of course, only play will tell, but do you think these are all simply gimmicks?


Photendoist said...

Wiimote = Small, cute, easy to use for the first timer, and universally supported (so far) by all Wii games.

Large Clunky devices at CES and Macworld = large (in some cases bigger than the laptop they're showcasing it with), ugly, and lacking in direct support from game producers.

Guess who FTW

Hardy said...

Novint's Falcon made me raise my brow with interest in that the force feed back is supposedly sooooo sensitive that you're supposed to be able to feel fine textures and stuff from it... supposedly, of course.

Until they can get a "mouse" that is linked to our nervous systems, the Wii controller is an AFFORDABLE, force feedback, 3D intermediary between a Computer Unit and a Human Factor. (^-^ )