Jim Merrick Talks New Controller & Add on Classic-Style Expansion Controller

Understanding-the-revolution-controller-20050916041026412-000

Speaking with Ellie Gibson from Eurogamer.net, Jim Merrick senior director of marketing Nintendo Europe talks about new controller and the add on classic-style expansion controller, based on traditional designs like the Gamecube controller + much more. You can find part of this Interview below.

Question:

So we’ve seen what the controller looks like, and some of the different ways in which you can use it… But can you describe what it feels like to play with?

Jim Merrick: Well, first of all, one of our goals was to create a controller that wasn’t intimidating – that was as familiar and easy to use as a TV remote. So when you pick it up and point it at the screen, it’s just like picking up and aiming a laser pointer, say.

It’s designed to make you feel like moving around is very easy and natural. For years we’ve been moving backwards and forwards with our thumbs, but now all that’s going to change.

To use an analogy, it’s as natural as putting your hand out of the car window when you’re a kid and moving it through the air like a plane. Well, now you might have a flying game where instead of using your thumbs, you’re actually tilting the controller to fly the plane.

Then there’s what we’re calling the nunchuk-style additional controller, so in an FPS game you’re holding the remote in your right hand and shooting with your left, using the analog control to strafe from side to side and crouch and so on. It’s the ultimate controller for first person shooters.

We’ve talked a lot about expanding the population and breaking down barriers, and the new freehand-style controller, as we’re calling it, is very much a part of that. This controller is just so intuitive – I hate using that term, but it really is!

Question:

So how long has the controller been in development?

Jim Merrick: It’s a difficult thing to pin down. I mean, two years ago, Iwata was talking about making a fundamental change in the marketplace and reaching new audiences. And of course, the minute we finished work on the Gamecube, we were thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’

I really started seeing references maybe a year ago – the developers started to get information, and then prototypes, and now they’re working with what you saw today.

Question:

Is what we saw today the finished product, then?

Jim Merrick: It’s very nearly finished. We’ve got time to make a few refinements, but fundamentally it’s complete.

Question:

How come you didn’t show off any games today?

Jim Merrick: We went to great pains not to show the software today because we didn’t want to detract from what we are trying to show. We’re talking about a fundamental change to how we see games and how we play games, and we didn’t want to get hung up on polygon counts and so on.

Our official launch date is still 2006, and before we show the software, we want to make sure it’s at a stage where you can understand exactly how it’s going to work with the freehand-style controller – by actually playing the games.

Question:

How is the controller going to work with games that aren’t designed specifically for the Revolution – multi-platform titles and so on?

Jim Merrick: We’re producing a classic-style expansion controller, based on traditional designs like the Gamecube controller. It’s like a shell with a hole in the top into which you slot the freehand-style controller, and then you can play third-party ported games, and retro Nintendo games you’ve downloaded.

So there’s that option – but even while it’s inserted into the classic-style shell, the freehand controller will still be able to sense positioning and so on, so there are more options too.

It’s something that’s just as true for the DS – not every game uses the DS’s unique features. But some multi-platform titles do, like The Sims 2 for example. We hope other developers will do the same and look at ways their multi-platform titles can make use of the Revolution’s features.

Read the full interview [here].

Understanding-the-revolution-controller-20050916041026412-000

Speaking with Ellie Gibson from Eurogamer.net, Jim Merrick senior director of marketing Nintendo Europe talks about new controller and the add on classic-style expansion controller, based on traditional designs like the Gamecube controller + much more. You can find part of this Interview below.

Question:

So we’ve seen what the controller looks like, and some of the different ways in which you can use it… But can you describe what it feels like to play with?

Jim Merrick: Well, first of all, one of our goals was to create a controller that wasn’t intimidating – that was as familiar and easy to use as a TV remote. So when you pick it up and point it at the screen, it’s just like picking up and aiming a laser pointer, say.

It’s designed to make you feel like moving around is very easy and natural. For years we’ve been moving backwards and forwards with our thumbs, but now all that’s going to change.

To use an analogy, it’s as natural as putting your hand out of the car window when you’re a kid and moving it through the air like a plane. Well, now you might have a flying game where instead of using your thumbs, you’re actually tilting the controller to fly the plane.

Then there’s what we’re calling the nunchuk-style additional controller, so in an FPS game you’re holding the remote in your right hand and shooting with your left, using the analog control to strafe from side to side and crouch and so on. It’s the ultimate controller for first person shooters.

We’ve talked a lot about expanding the population and breaking down barriers, and the new freehand-style controller, as we’re calling it, is very much a part of that. This controller is just so intuitive – I hate using that term, but it really is!

Question:

So how long has the controller been in development?

Jim Merrick: It’s a difficult thing to pin down. I mean, two years ago, Iwata was talking about making a fundamental change in the marketplace and reaching new audiences. And of course, the minute we finished work on the Gamecube, we were thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’

I really started seeing references maybe a year ago – the developers started to get information, and then prototypes, and now they’re working with what you saw today.

Question:

Is what we saw today the finished product, then?

Jim Merrick: It’s very nearly finished. We’ve got time to make a few refinements, but fundamentally it’s complete.

Question:

How come you didn’t show off any games today?

Jim Merrick: We went to great pains not to show the software today because we didn’t want to detract from what we are trying to show. We’re talking about a fundamental change to how we see games and how we play games, and we didn’t want to get hung up on polygon counts and so on.

Our official launch date is still 2006, and before we show the software, we want to make sure it’s at a stage where you can understand exactly how it’s going to work with the freehand-style controller – by actually playing the games.

Question:

How is the controller going to work with games that aren’t designed specifically for the Revolution – multi-platform titles and so on?

Jim Merrick: We’re producing a classic-style expansion controller, based on traditional designs like the Gamecube controller. It’s like a shell with a hole in the top into which you slot the freehand-style controller, and then you can play third-party ported games, and retro Nintendo games you’ve downloaded.

So there’s that option – but even while it’s inserted into the classic-style shell, the freehand controller will still be able to sense positioning and so on, so there are more options too.

It’s something that’s just as true for the DS – not every game uses the DS’s unique features. But some multi-platform titles do, like The Sims 2 for example. We hope other developers will do the same and look at ways their multi-platform titles can make use of the Revolution’s features.

Read the full interview [here].

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