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The start of the wireless games controller's revolution ................
Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
Member Name: Randal
Nintendo Wii Controller (Wii)
Advantages: Takes gaming to a whole new level
You only have to look around the web and the various electronics stores to see that many games console manufacturers are now moving towards the wireless remote controller as the latest 'must have' for the ultimate gaming experience. Indeed, the new Kinect for the Xbox 360 does away with the controller all together, where you yourself become the 'wireless' controller. But wind back a few years and right at the very start of that ultimate gaming experience 'must have' was the Wii Remote Controller, and it was this strange little wireless gadget that started the revolution into the wireless games controllers that we see today.
But what was so special about this little white plastic box? Well for a start, you were no longer restricted by the length of the controller cable, because with the Wii Remote, you could play the game from the other side of the room whilst standing up and jumping around. The internal movement sensors would sense where the controller was in 3 dimensions, so that you actually became part of the game. You physically swung your arm whilst holding the controller to replicate your on screen character playing a tennis shot, boxing a boxer, bowling a ball or chopping wood, and in turn the controller had a feedback vibration system in it to simulate the hit of the ball or the boxing punch of your character connecting with your opponent. Each movement was detected in terms of direction and speed, where the whole concept took gaming to a whole new level by making you become more involved with the game, and it proved to be such a success that many of the other games console designers are now following this wireless concept.
When you buy the Wii games console, you only get the one Wii remote, but you can have up to 3 others linked into the console for plenty of 4 player action. In the early days, many users 'apparently' experienced accidents and breakages through their over enthusiastic usage of the controller, which had 'apparently' slipped out of their hand and went through the closed patio door window, or smashed that 'priceless' Ming vase that they kept on the fireplace. Hence, the first thing you do with this controller is to attach it to your wrist using the special cord that is attached to the bottom of the controller, and slide the little plastic lock down the cord to ensure that the cord is a snug fit on your wrist.
You'll then find that this light weight controller sits nicely in your hand, and is equally at home in either the left or the right. The finish is excellent with the shiny white plastic casing and smoothed off edges, where the controller feels like it is balanced, well designed and built.
The number of buttons on it is minimal because the movement and direction are all sensed by the internal onboard movement sensors. At the top of the top face is the discrete power on/off button, below which is the 'plus' pad button for use with some selections. Next comes one of the main gaming buttons (marked A) which you often operate with your thumb. Coming down further you have the 'Home' button flanked either side by a + and a - button, all 3 of which tend to be used outside of the game. Below these is the tiny speaker that, along with the vibration that I described earlier, completes the feedback loop to the gamer. The top face finally drops down to 2 vertical buttons marked 1 and 2, used to assist menu selections, before finishing with 4 little blue lights which light up to indicate which controller and character you are if there is more than one player. On the back of the remote you have the other main gaming button/trigger (marked B) which you tend to control with your forefinger. Simple controls to ensure that anyone of any age can operate the Wii Remote.
In use, it becomes a natural extension of yourself and your movements. It matches what you do and translates that to your on screen character's movements. It recognises your tennis swing, your jumping movement, or the turning movement for a steering wheel. I've always found that translation of movement to always be fluid and precise enough for the variety of games that we play as a family, much like moving a mouse across a computer screen.
Pricewise they are expensive at around £27 each, and with only one remote supplied with the console, if you plan to use the console's full potential with 4 players, it is going to cost you a small fortune. But once you have taken that costly decision, this Wii remote opens up a whole new level of gaming to you and your family and friends, where new Wii games and concepts are continuing to be released to expand the unlimited boundaries of this remote.
The games console wireless controller revolution has begun, and whilst the other manufacturers are playing catch-up, to me, this Wii Remote wireless controller that started that revolution is still the best of the bunch.
Summary: The one that started the revolution
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