Nintendo Talks about Revolution-ary Controller

NintendoOur friends over at Next Generation recently caught up with Nintendo’s senior director of PR, Beth Llewelyn to talk about Revolution’s controller, third party support and Brain Training.

Here’s the interview :

NG: We didn’t hear all that much about Revolution from Satoru Iwata…
Beth: E3 will be the big coming out party for Revolution. The big thing is to get everyone to experience it. It’s about the nature of the gameplay, the controller and the movement. People need to experience it for real and E3 will allow them to do that.
But GDC has been important because we’ve been able to sit down and talk to developers about how and why we are doing things a certain way. That was the main goal of our presence here.

NG: The controller’s main selling point is its simplicity and yet it looks pretty complex…
Beth: [Laughs.] That also comes down to the fact that you haven’t played it. The single controller is extremely intuitive. You pick it up and maybe you press a button and maybe you just move it around and things happen on screen. That is very non-intimidating. I don’t play games that often, but I love DS because I love the easy interface so this is very familiar to me.
I think the nunchuck seems a little strange to many people but once you get it in your hand it feels completely natural.

NG: Have you tested it on the public?
Beth: Not to my knowledge. We’re keeping everything very close right now. But we’ve had a very positive response from people who have played it within Nintendo or from third parties. I think we’ll get some positive feedback at E3. The reaction we’ve got so far has all been very good. That’s just with demos so when we show actual games it should be very rewarding.

NG: Tell us about the decision to extend the library of games for the Virtual Console.
Beth: It’s an exciting way to build up the library. We certainly have a great library of legacy games and it adds excitement to add Sega’s in as well.

NG: Where will it end. Commodore 64 games?
Beth: Everyone is asking that! Who knows. There are discussions going on all the time behind closed doors.

NG: How important are new games going to be for this concept?
Beth: Mr. Iwata touched on that, talking about offering developers the tools to create new games. The idea is that there is an opportunity there for new games. Discussions have also been going on with publishers. We’ve shown that we are willing to disrupt the norm and go out on a limb and be successful with games like Brain Training and that shows third parties what can be done. Developers don’t always have to go with massive budgets and two-year development schedules.

NG: Let’s talk about Brain Training. What are the marketing plans for this title?
Beth: It’s not a game you take down a traditional marketing path. We really want to branch out and reach a mainstream audience, using channels we might not usually use, really thinking in a much broader scope and tapping into a lot of publications we don’t normally talk to. People like Readers Digest for example.. they might not do a game review but it’s something that will interest their readers.
The media are really interested and that shows that we are getting out to people who don’t normally play games and the media recognises that. It’s a ripple effect.

The Revolution Controller mystery is increasing by the day. Nintendo wants us to believe that their controller will be the next best thing since sliced bread. Its generating more hype by the day, making everyone restless. Will it be great ? Or will be be a dud ? Only time will tell.

NintendoOur friends over at Next Generation recently caught up with Nintendo’s senior director of PR, Beth Llewelyn to talk about Revolution’s controller, third party support and Brain Training.

Here’s the interview :

NG: We didn’t hear all that much about Revolution from Satoru Iwata…
Beth: E3 will be the big coming out party for Revolution. The big thing is to get everyone to experience it. It’s about the nature of the gameplay, the controller and the movement. People need to experience it for real and E3 will allow them to do that.
But GDC has been important because we’ve been able to sit down and talk to developers about how and why we are doing things a certain way. That was the main goal of our presence here.

NG: The controller’s main selling point is its simplicity and yet it looks pretty complex…
Beth: [Laughs.] That also comes down to the fact that you haven’t played it. The single controller is extremely intuitive. You pick it up and maybe you press a button and maybe you just move it around and things happen on screen. That is very non-intimidating. I don’t play games that often, but I love DS because I love the easy interface so this is very familiar to me.
I think the nunchuck seems a little strange to many people but once you get it in your hand it feels completely natural.

NG: Have you tested it on the public?
Beth: Not to my knowledge. We’re keeping everything very close right now. But we’ve had a very positive response from people who have played it within Nintendo or from third parties. I think we’ll get some positive feedback at E3. The reaction we’ve got so far has all been very good. That’s just with demos so when we show actual games it should be very rewarding.

NG: Tell us about the decision to extend the library of games for the Virtual Console.
Beth: It’s an exciting way to build up the library. We certainly have a great library of legacy games and it adds excitement to add Sega’s in as well.

NG: Where will it end. Commodore 64 games?
Beth: Everyone is asking that! Who knows. There are discussions going on all the time behind closed doors.

NG: How important are new games going to be for this concept?
Beth: Mr. Iwata touched on that, talking about offering developers the tools to create new games. The idea is that there is an opportunity there for new games. Discussions have also been going on with publishers. We’ve shown that we are willing to disrupt the norm and go out on a limb and be successful with games like Brain Training and that shows third parties what can be done. Developers don’t always have to go with massive budgets and two-year development schedules.

NG: Let’s talk about Brain Training. What are the marketing plans for this title?
Beth: It’s not a game you take down a traditional marketing path. We really want to branch out and reach a mainstream audience, using channels we might not usually use, really thinking in a much broader scope and tapping into a lot of publications we don’t normally talk to. People like Readers Digest for example.. they might not do a game review but it’s something that will interest their readers.
The media are really interested and that shows that we are getting out to people who don’t normally play games and the media recognises that. It’s a ripple effect.

The Revolution Controller mystery is increasing by the day. Nintendo wants us to believe that their controller will be the next best thing since sliced bread. Its generating more hype by the day, making everyone restless. Will it be great ? Or will be be a dud ? Only time will tell.

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