Feeds

Sensitive Wii maker snubs developers

Nintendo keeps development kit to itself

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nintendo may have announced a new enhancement to the Wii controller, but don't expect many titles to take advantage of the new accuracy.

Many in the development community only found out about the Wii MotionPlus yesterday - the same time as the rest of us.

Developers normally expect to get early access to peripherals, so they can quickly create new games to take advantage of the new hardware, but this time Nintendo seems to have kept the details to themselves, leaving at least some games developers wondering if success may be leading to a little arrogance from the Japanese giant.

The Wii MotionPlus improves the accuracy of location tracking in the Wii controller which, while revolutionary, has long been a source of annoyance to developers who quickly discovered the restrictions they would be required to work around.

The Wii knows the location of the controllers thanks to the twin IR receivers in the bar mounted above the TV, but when there's no line of sight - such as when the controller is behind the player, or just pointed the wrong way - then games are dependent on the accelerometer mounted in the top of the controller. This is superbly sensitive, enough to register a heart beat, but that sensitivity means a lot of noise - and it can only register 3Gs of acceleration.

The latter limit can be triggered by the flick of the hand, such as the flick to the right at the start of a forehand swing to the left, leaving the console with notification of a 3G acceleration in each direction and no idea where the controller is, unless it happens to pass in front of the sensor bar.

This can be solved with the addition of a second accelerometer, ideally at the other end of the remote, and that is what the MotionPlus appears to be. With less sensitivity, but no 3G limit, it becomes possible to track the location of the remote with much greater accuracy, as reported by those who've had a chance to play with the sensor.

But failing to inform developers isn't the only change in policy from Kyoto. It has always been the case that games developers were not permitted to require a specific controller for a specific game, even if playing would make little sense without it: Punters who don't want to buy the WiiFit will be able to play surfing games by balancing the usual controller on a hand, however unsatisfying the experience would be. But it seems that MotionPlus will change that, with developers able to demand their users buy the peripheral, or just don't play.

Much of this could be oversight by Nintendo. The company hasn't got back to us yet to let us know either way, but changing the rules without consultation does risk annoying the very developers on which any games console relies. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.