Nintendo patent profers wacky Wii add-ons
Scatter-gun peripheral design protection?
A European patent application filed by Nintendo has reveals a raft of ways the console giant could extend the use of the Wii Remote, ranging from the strange to the downright ridiculous.
Nintendo's Wii Remote patent: buy one, or the teddy gets it
Each of the designs detailed in the application focuses on fitting the Remote into or onto another, everyday object. For example, one sketch shows how the Remote could be strapped onto the topside of your wrist, which could be useful for fighting games, whilst another describes how the Remote slides into a wired gun that’s not too dissimilar from the one used in Duck Hunt on the NES console.
A fishing rod accessory that accommodates the Wii’s Remote in its reel housing is another concept that seems fairly sensible. However, most of Nintendo’s other designs are verging on the ridiculous.
Remote-enabled headwear is a consistent theme
You could opt for a pair of space-age goggles that allow the Remote to be clipped onto them at various points. A motorbike-esque helmet takes much the same theme as the goggles and could be a nice addition to Nintendo’s other suggestion: a futuristic bicycle that accepts the Remote into one of its pedals.
The Wii's Remote could help you get more exercise
The company’s also building on its established sports games theme by suggesting a skateboard with an empty wheel for the remote to sit in and a golf club that secretes a Wii Remote into its handle.
What’s the point of all these weird and wonderful designs? Will gamers find any of these remade in plastic and offered as accessories?
That’s hard to say. But, as Nintendo looks for new ways to ensure the Wii’s continued success worldwide, its controller patents may just be a way of ensuring that, if its market research concludes gamers want teddy bear controllers and helmets with Remotes on, then Nintendo’s always one step ahead of third-party peripheral designers.
Oh man operation wolf on the spectrum aahhhhh was there anything more freaky! why the hell did you end up with a massive white strobe line on the screen when you fired the gun! and the grenades looked like chicken legs, oh that was the best black and yellow game ever.
Rookie with the target shoot was the best although I did quite like that robot attack as well.
European patent application? I think not
Only the JP priority application and a US convention application available on espacenet, and not a sign of the equivalent EP, on espacenet or on the European Register (which would be there in both cases if a European patent application was sought).
The JP priority application (JP20060129732) was filed on 09 May 2006, this appears to be one of the original patent applications(s) for the Wiimote itself, and not a 'new/recent European patent application' for yet 'more housings for the Wiimote'.
This US (for it is a US convention) was only recently published (January 2008, 18 months from the 2006 priority date or thereabouts), which is probably why it's only raised some interest now.
Less sensationalism, more facts please.
Any kind of board controller (skate, snow, whatever) is utterly useless.
With no momentum to hold you up in the turns, it is a complete hindrance to the gameplay and no immersion results.
The headtracking one has LOADS of mileage though. I have TrackIR for my PC and it utterly rocks. However I feel the wii solution is more body tracking that head tracking - This is only 3 degrees of freedom (Translation), but for console games that would probably be OK. 6 degrees of freedom (Translation and rotation) on 1st person FPS and Flight or driving sims has to be experienced to be believed how much immersion it gives.
For 6DOF you need at least 3 LEDs though, so the wii sensor bar with only 2 can only do 3DOF.
However, it would be trivially easy for nintendo to release a hat with 3 IR sources on it and a holder for the wiimote (to put where you usually put the sensor bar). The easiest way to do this would probably be to imitate the basic TIR package and have an IR transmitter to put pointing at you (say as part of the holder for the wiimote) and a cap with 3 reflectors on it. An active hat with LEDs is another option (which is what I do with my PC), but you would not want that for a wii as you need to be able to jump around, and I think a hat with a battery attached would not work.
I think head / body tracking will see a massive increase in popularity soon, and it should be simple to add to existing consoles (eg like the eye toy for the PS)
Tom, it looks very similar to the one I remember. Perhaps they will make a new version of Operation Wolf? I'd buy it...
Is it just me, or is that gun the old spectrum lightgun from Operation Wolf?