It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Friday, September 16, 2005

New Nintendo Revolution Controller

(I know, I know, I owe like three book reports and a final write-up on the latest furniture project, but but but…)

The Nintendo Revolution controller has been demoed.

One thing about Nintendo — they give Shigeru Miyamoto the space he needs to break new ground in video gaming. Who is Miyamoto? Just some industrial designer that happened to create Donkey Kong, the Mario franchise, the Zelda franchise, and Pimkin.

So why the big fuss? Doesn’t every new console have a new controller?

Well, yes, but the Revolution controller is a one-handed device. It’s closer to the remote controls the average non-gaming person is used to using to navigate menus on everything from TVs to DVRs and a big step away from the button-fest that is the X-Box controller.

Go back and read that again — a one-handed device that looks like a remote control. Pretty much every game controller since the Wico Command joystick or Pong has required you to use both hands. Some controllers assume the off-hand is a stabilizing device, others require you to grip with each hand while using fingers on each hand to manipulate the controller. The Revolution lets you play games with one hand with an optional second controller for more complex games like Metroid Prime.

Miyamoto is going for a bigger audience here. It’s not the cutting-edge gamers looking for the next thing that will make Bungie cry like little girls, but your average person that might like to play a video game if it were fun and not too difficult to deal with. I can imagine using this new controller with everything from a bridge or poker simulator to Jingle Cats or a modified version of a Katamari game. Something like Space Channel 5 or Rez would be trivial to reimplement with this sort of controller. On the other hand, Soul Calibur * would be impossible, but it’s also impossible with a regular controller unless you’re a 15 year old twitch fiend.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the direction controllers are headed, and I was not thinking this in the slightest. Like so many others in so many ages, I’ve been tricked into fighting the last battle instead of planning to win the next battle with a new and innovative strategy.

Miyamoto is no longer one of my heroes. He is now a final boss that I can only defeat with my superior design skills.

Update: Gizmodo has a round-up of news articles on the Revolution controller.

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posted by jet at 00:33  

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and What YOU Can Do

Last weekend I was almost ready to finish my furniture project and write it up here, then Katrina crossed over into the Gulf. By Sunday morning, I couldn’t think of much else — I have family in New Orleans and in western Louisiana.

Judging by my coworkers’ reactions, there are a huge number of people who just don’t get how bad this is.

There are at least a million people homeless and jobless for the next 2-3 months. The dead aren’t even being counted, that’s just how awful this is.

Right now, put everything you can in your car and drive several hundred miles away. Now, live for 1-3 months on whatever is in your bank account and your car. If you’re extremely lucky, you were able to drive to a relative’s house that won’t charge you rent and will let you sleep on the floor. The rest of you, well, how long can you live in hotels when your employer stops paying you in a couple of weeks because they’ve gone out of business? Your house and all your stuff? Maybe flooded, maybe blown away, maybe burned, maybe looted. You have nada. If you were smart, you remembered things that people demand to see before they will hire you — birth certificate, passport, that sort of thing. If you were lucky, you were able to bring a photo album or your pets along with you when you evacuated.

If you can read this, you’re probably doing ok. So get out your checkbook or credit card and
donate cash to the Red Cross. If you can spare the time off work, donate that as well. Call your local Red Cross office and find out how you can be quickly trained to help in the Gulf.

If all the danger and medical stuff scares you, if you’re a lard-ass computer geek that gets winded going to the mailbox to get the latest Gamefly disk, there’s still things you can do to help now and in the future. Instead of trying to get Bloodrayne to do something kinky, put your brain to work thinking about what you can do to help. Hell, get your Amateur Radio ticket and work communications — you get to be geeky and do volunteer work all at the same time.

My brother and his family got out in time. They pretty much have what they could stuff in their car and nothing else. Take that and multiply it by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of families who had to evacuate, and you’ll begin to understand just how bad this is.

Technorati Tags: katrina | hurricane | radio | volunteer

posted by jet at 01:20  

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