the nintendo wii u (metro befor its on the self)
Though this product is not out on the market just yet, there is lots to talk about, and a few metro ideas that come with it.
The Nintendo company has bin making games, and their devices for years.
Since 1985 in fact. That’s when they gave the world the NES, or Nintendo entertainment center. Which despite its name only played video games. Its also how Nintendo gave the world names like
Mario, Zelda, Metroid, donkey Kong, Yoshi, Kirby, and so much more. (photos in order as read)
And in a fashion you could set your watch to Nintendo has made a new hardware system every 5 years to play those games.
Likewise they have always had a handheld gaming system as well. But ill get into those another time. Right now is for talking about their home systems.
The evolution of the systems has changed little from just a hardware box that dues all the work to make your games appear nice on your TV.
But the controllers, that’s ware the system gets its fun, that’s how you control all the visuals on the screen.
Nintendo has always sort of had a lead in making controllers new and exciting in every new 5 year generation.
So as such its no surprise they have started it. Last time they used motion controls to join their buttons.
And then found other systems were making their own motion controls.
Lets take a walk though first on the controller evolution.
evolution of the Nintendo controller
As I explained in the windows 8 consumer preview blog I talked about what a UI was (user interface) its what u use to control your computer its how things look.
But in a video game we have to versions of a UI, the first is the visual in a video games its called a hud.
It only takes up part of the screen and tries to show you’re your game information without taking away from the action.
The second is the controller. But it has to work so well that you can control the game but you wont have to keep looking at the controller.
So you well find that no matter the gaming system by any company their well be some characteristics that tend to be the same.
the first is the NES, also known as the Nintendo very simple. a cross pad, for movement, select and start for bringing up menus, and A and B button for game controls.
in the game Mario this allowed for moving, running and jumping.and you could pause the game with start.
next is the SNES, or super Nintendo entertainment system, also known as the super Nintendo,
also simple but it added 2 more buttons the Y and X. as well as 2 shoulder buttons. in the game Mario this allowed for different kinds of jumps,
and the shoulder buttons allowed for slamming down once in air.
then the N64, wile the competition from Sony not only went with joysticks but also had 2 of them
one for movement, another for moving the camera.
but Nintendo dues not like to fallow the crowd, so they added 4 yellow buttons, this would allow 4 new buttons
but could also move the camera in cardinal directions if chosen.
the select button was gone as most video game developers did not know what to do with a button called select.
then added a trigger button on the back called Z, and one joy stick. the shape of the thing allowed for 2 kinds of hand positions.
next was the game cube, as the NES, turned into the SNES, you can see the N64 turn into the game cube.
the yellow C buttons turned into a second joy stick but had areas for clicking incase the button style was still needed.
the 2 shoulder buttons became more curved for a shooting game. the A,B,X,Y were back but in weird ergonomic shapes.
the z button was then moved next to the right trigger. the controller was Nintendo’s first to have dedicated rumble feedback.
then came the Wii remote style controller.
inspired by the rumble feedback of the game cube, Nintendo looked into bringing a player more into the game
also they looked into bringing none gamers into the consumer base.
the controller did away with a joy stick, but added a attachment that has the c button (with a motion control to change view when holding the c button)
and also housed the z button.
the A button was big and center, the cross pad at the top, X and y were now 1 and 2. the B button turned into a trigger button on the back of the remote.
select was back but now called –, and start became +.
their was a power button to turn on the controller and system like a TV remote.
it also had a home button to bring up a desktop (also a first)
the desk top could house downloaded games and apps.
and joining rumble in the feedback area of things was now a speaker built in the controller
this could give sound the players character could hear, (like the sound of pulling back a bow and arrow)
the BIG thing was the idea that a game might not need buttons at all. or buttons just were not right for some tasks.
so their was now motion controls. you could swing, flick, tilt, shake, or rotate, the controller to preform new kinds of tasks.
it also had a slot for adding in other devices like the nunchuck
next is the Wii u. the name might be changing as Nintendo feels it might be confusing.
the new controller you can see ware the Wii became the Wii u. just as the NES became the SNES, and the N64,became the game cube.
the new tablet style controller has new circle pads instead of joy sticks. the come from Nintendo’s new 3DS system. the Wii u has improved versions of them.
to join rumble and sound feedback there is now a touch screen in the center of the controller. the idea is to move the hud, and other information like maps,
and inventory to the controller to free up the tv. it kept the power, –, + and home buttons. added stereo speakers. a microphone.
a stylus for the touch screen, and a front facing camera. the shoulder buttons also …well it dues not have trigger, but there are pads.
the tablet still has motion controls.
but you ask your self, why is this metro?
well ill tell you
why evolve the controller
first off its about evolution and knowing how a person communicates with their technology to tell their technology how to do things.
it also opens up to new ideas about how you can do things if you just have the right tool.
this might be the first time Nintendo well be making something that seams like what the rest of the world is doing.
I think that is because the rest of the world is catching
up to Nintendo’s ideas, at least in electronics.
one might ask why have 2 screens? but really with their hand held system the DS, and their new system the 3DS,
which already have sold millions and have 2 screens (one with touch, one without)
its really easy to know that games can be made, and that people play those games.
what’s new in Wii u
with the Wii u how ever there are some new concepts in gaming.
the first is the second screen, even though they have had to hand held devices there is still only 2 systems with 2 screens.
and those are hand held. this is a home system. and wile we can image easily what 2 screens could do. with a TV its different.
1) you can have 4 Wii controllers working with the TV and have one tablet
2) you could have many tablets and a TV.
3) you could turn off the TV and play a game that just needs the tablet screen.
4) you could have many tablets and no TV, this same thing could happen online.
what we know works with Wii u now
and any combination of those.
wile on the DS, and 3DS we have buttons on the bottom screen, you have touch maps, and touch huds.
the grate thing about having maps, menus, huds, and inventory on the second screen allows for less distractions when playing the game,
and a easy way to go through a menu with out having to pause the game or bring up a menu.
this is a very metro concept if you think about it. its having every thing you need, right ware you need it. it provides ease of use. it allows
for you to cut time down. this is very exciting.
also to add to the system is new software like being able to use apps like Netflix and hulu.
again supporting a all you need device. at least for something attached to your TV
simple is good, simple is faster, simple has more time for details
that’s that hard ware part that’s metro. the next part is the software, normally a game developer has to takes the SDK from the system maker. (sdk software development kit)
and uses that for all the formatting. a company would then have to figure out most of the programing and game making them self’s.
but with smart phones wanting all the games and apps it can
SDK’s have begun to get more and more elaborate. and easer for people to use, and do more then simply format.
these days you start to see SDK’s getting more metro by having every thing you need to format, render and model in 3d, program, create game physics and rules, sound, AI, and more.
and Nintendo well be leading that pack this time around. I suspect that Microsoft after doing what it did for the windows 8/windows phone SDK well have much the same for its 3rd Xbox.
any ways, most BIG game studios have made their own “engines” that create graphics, physics and AI. so when you turn on a game like “gears of war”
for the Xbox you can see its built on the
unreal engine. you well also notice games built with unreal tend to have some things in common. that’s because of what that engine dues compared to others.
BIG studios lets the little guys rent out their engines to make their own games and they tend to do this for some fee. some let them use it for free but dues not always come out the same.
well Nintendo this time has found 2 of the best engines Autodesk and havoc. and has already picked up the fee for the developer.
that way when some one goes to pick up the SDK for the Wii u and make games for it
they well have all they need to start making REALY grate games.
the grate thing about a engine is that once you have it the way you want it, you can really move game production along at a fast pace.
every thing is already set so you just drop it in and that part is over with. this gives developers longer time to focus on. game play, story, graphics, and just making the game richer.
with auto desk developers well have the tools they need to build menus and huds in games, create AI for characters, and animations. as well they can default things to pre sets, or save their own presets so things become more easy to do later on. with havoc you can build a games physics.
all platforms want as many games for their system as possible and for a company that preapproves every piece of software closely before it can be on a system they need more games to come.
i f they turn one down they want to have 3 others on the way. so they want to make the proses more easy.
so with these tools which have build thousands of games well be grate for any developer even better for those BIG developers that still don’t use their own engine.
it well be grate for small company’s or start up developers that need those grate tools to make games that compete with BIG developers.
again its about having every thing you need in one spot.
this is what we basically know of the metro aspects in the Wii u. but I well again make a update when it goes on sale some time holiday season of 2012.