News Article

Reggie: The Future Is Now

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo's American boss finds Microsoft and Sony's new tech 'ironic'

In a recent interview with Kotaku president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime passed a few choice comments on some of E3's big developments, most notably Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's 'Wand' controller:

We have been very familiar with that technology. have personally seen a lot of iterations of similar technology. Our first reaction is that it is ironic that, three or four years ago, the prevailing industry opinion was that prettier pictures or more horsepower were the waves of the future. And now it's clear from both of our competitors that physical activity in gaming is the wave of the future. It's also ironic that, for Nintendo, the future is here. The future is now.

Reggie was also asked if Nintendo was exploring similar 'controller-less' technology like Project Natal:

We've looked at similar technology and will continue to look at other technology for the future. What's different, I think, for us, is that the experience is what drives us down a particular path, not simply how nifty the technology is… When we looked at this technology and other technology, we decided that the best way to drive immersion and precision as well as creating an environment for publishers to flourish was the Wii remote coupled with the nunchuck.

Clearly Microsoft's new interface is worth keeping an eye on, but Reggie has a point; some of the tech demos of Natal have displayed worrying glitches and as cool as it might be to control a game without using any kind of physical controller, if little inconsistencies keep appearing then your enjoyment is likely to vanish too.


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User Comments (35)



Stuffgamer1 said:

What's ironic is that the other guys have the theoretical (though unlikely due to lack of quality games using the tech, imo) chance of being MORE the future than Nintendo due to having HD tech AND motion control! Nintendo does still lack the former, after all...



pixelman said:

I'm slightly annoyed that Sony and Microsoft are ripping off Nintendo, but rather pleased that once again Nintendo is the first to do something and everyone else is following in their footsteps.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Great response from Reggie. He's right; it's the experience, not the technology. Personally I can't imagine having to rely on some dumb camera to detect pixel-perfect moves from me, across the room, in various lighting conditions, while the cat runs between me and the television and the postman rings the doorbell. It's better to have a physical controller because you're in CONTROL (that's the root word for a reason) over what happens.

So a camera can detect your whole body and respond to your movements. Wonderful. You sneeze and the plane crashes. You scratch your butt and your character falls headlong into an open sewer. You trade places with someone on the couch and suddenly the camera starts picking up your friend's movements instead of yours. This all sounds so FUN!



KDR_11k said:

Sony and MS have the advantage because their stuff is just speculation at this point and imagination will always produce greater results than reality.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Sony using controllers of some kind definitely gives them more credibility than Microsoft in this matter, IMO. Chicken Brutus touched on most reasons for this, but left out the one where you can't even really play certain types of games due to lack of a decent way to control character movements!



SwerdMurd said:

THAT PICTURE IS EPIC! It's like someone took a normal person, and DSi-face-fatted them.

Seriously. Mental image of RF-A = that pic, permanently.



shogunhitokiri said:

I don't think people are going to wait for Sony and Microsoft to announce release dates and price points when Motion Plus is already on the shelves and bundled with games. Iwata-san expected Sony and Microsoft to announce their new controllers last year which is why Nintendo announced Motion Plus last year. It is too late for MS and Sony considering Motion Plus is likely to get a year or two lead before MS and Sony even have a chance to enter the market. You can't join the trends, you have to start them.



CorusFace said:

My problem with Natal is that, without something tangible to hang on to while you play (like a remote and nunchuck, for example), the enjoyment seems limited. How stupid will it feel to have your fingers out like a gun all the time? And moving your arms like you're walking to move the character on screen. It's awesome that this kind of technology exists, but I think it was thrown out there before anyone truly knows what it is or isn't capable of.



Chunky_Droid said:

@CorusFace: Exactly. This is the point I've been making that seems to point to Natal failing miserably except for possibly mini-game compilations and possibly racing games. You won't be able to play Halo or Banjo Kazooie with the friggin' thing I'm sure of that.

Sony's solution also sounds more expensive than Nintendo's controllers, as Iwata said, they didn't go with that tech as it's expensive.

The next Wii should be HD too, so they should have the best console of the next gen too (crossing fingers)



super-nintendo said:

Sony's is worth checking out, they were first with the EYE TOY. I thought their motion controller was 1:1 at E3. Sony's games are excellent too. NATAL seems like a pain to use. But, Reggie is right: Future is now with Wii. But PS3 graphics wouldn't hurt.

and off topic: Metroid:Other M and Sin and Punishment 2 look very awesome.



metakirbyknight said:

You people must understand... Ever played WarioWare Snapped! You hate trying to get it to work, right? Imagine doing that with your TV and your console. The PS3 wandish thing is 1:1 motion, where have I heard that before... hm... hm... oh! MotionPlus! Sony and Microsoft no fool is going to wait for the same technology at a higher price! You are an idiotic fool if you think you impressed anybody!



jbrodack said:

i liked eyetoy but it had problems with lighting making it hard to use for anything but very basic games. I imagine the situation would be similar for natal even if it works better. nintendo is definitely far ahead in motion control.



Sean_Aaron said:

Well, wasn't Nintendo first with the Game Boy camera? That didn't live up to its full potential, but still.



bbb7002004 said:

The main reason why Nintendo will continue to hold the motion control market is because they released a motion "controller". Sony and MS are releasing motion "peripherals", which tend to recieve little support from 3rd parties. I mean, Wii barely gets good third party support for motion controls even with the system being based entirely around the concept, how many games do you think Valve, etc. are really going to make for the small portion of buyers for Natal, when they can easily make money with the regular controller?



SmaMan said:

I, too see a lot of problems with using your body as a controller. I wouldn't want a "wha-BAM" ( ) to happen to me while in the middle of a difficult section of a game. This will probably go the way of the Eye Toy and only get like 5 games, then get forgotten



MarkyVigoroth said:

I agree with Reggie; innovation is not higher output, but actual changes to gameplay. (In fact, did not a TIME Magazine article talk about Microsoft's and Sony's attempt at innovation being better hardware, yet Nintendo's being actual changes to gameplay?)




Nintendo has managed to build a casual gaming brand with the Wii. They managed to convince non-gamers that theirs is the console to try because there are games for them to play too. The inclusion of cameras and wands won't do anything to turn the tide. Nintendo just needs to catch up with the HD trend and add more processing power for the rest of us in their next console.



Kid_A said:

Natal is a pretty amazing little piece of technology--but it has pretty severe limitations. Nintendo's WiiMotionPlus is the way to go right now, as far as motion controls go. I'm glad I've stuck with the Wii all these years. The library is already pretty good, and 2009 has really exploded with awsomeness. It's a good time to be a Wii owner



SmaMan said:

I, too, have stuck with the Wii "all these years" yep, all 2 1/2 of them. lol



Mr_M said:

I love the Wii but personally, with the Natal and the Sony motion controller on the horizon, i think that Microsoft and Sony will have enough firepower to destroy the Wii. The Sony motion controller may look like a bingo dabber, but it is much more technically advanced than the Wii remote (even with motion plus), and with the Natal, the xbox 360 could have Natel exclusive fitness games, and both the Natel technology and Natel exclusive fitness games will make the Wii balance board irrelevant.



Hardy83 said:

Too bad Nintendo is stuck about 15 years in the past when it comes to online abilities.



odd69 said:

wow everyone has a good point here and i couldn't agree more regarding wii HD. i doubt that sony would ever come close to the feel of the wiimotes.



Chunky_Droid said:

@Mr. M: The problem with Natal, is that they'd bring out their fitness game, eyetoy style games, skateboard game and what have you. But Sony/Nintendo will be able to control all types of games with theirs, assuming you can plug in something akin to the nunchuk with Sony's.

Also Wii Fit is continuing to rampage in sales, so by then I doubt any Natal Fitness game will be picked up by anyone that has Wii Fit unless they already have a 360.



GN0LAUM said:


You were able to play Mario Kart Wii online with zero lag on high speed internet wireless service in 1994? Are you a wizard, or some sort of magician?



Dace said:

What you guys have to remember is that its easy to outdo the competitions Video and CPU power 2 1/2 years later. in PC terms they are talking about DX11. My PC with a mid range graphics card can already run Mirrors Edge with more detail than was possible on the console release.

Increasing horsepower is fairly simple when you can wait for the hardware to power up naturally. I not saying its easy bringing out a powerful console, because for it to be powerful enough to make a splash it has to be slighly ahead of current tech. But to upgrade the wii to full HD output now or in a couple of year should be pretty easy.

Getting a motion control system to work however is an entirely new market. And there are no established trends to follow except for what nintendo has done. I think they made 100% the right choice with direction. Both the Xbox and PS3 both beat most serious 1080p TV's to the marker where I live, and Im sure they beet serious market penetration of 1080p elsewhere in the world. Wii held back a bit so by the time they release a HD version it will be everybodies experience. Not just the early adopter.



Varoennauraa said:

Both cameras are Eyetoys. Without buttons and controller they are going to stick in that minigame level, that they showed. And THAT'S irony. Natal is 3d, but it doesn't even have pointer, so theres no point. Sony isn't 3d at all, so it doesn't really count at all.

Main argument is that they are both expensive accessories coming out some day. They don't get the kind of game support, that people are expecting...but with buttons, controllers, rumble and speaker only Wii has potential for HC-games anyway.

Camera games are going to be very interesting some day. Remember those Total Immersion's tech demos back then, when Wii was coming? Those are seriously awesome. But they are future and these Eytoys are there for casuals(hmm Natal could pehaps do something like that). Developers are strugling in HD-games anyway. Veterans like Factor 5 and Free Radical died immediately after releasing a PS3 game. How seducing for developers are those market dividing accessories going to be. Wii continues to be king of motion control hill, for Wiimote is no accessory and is supported in every game, which accelerates its evolution.



LittleIrves said:

@SmaMan: No, I wouldn't want a "wha-BAM" to happen to you, either. Or to me. Ha. I watched the MS conference, but never really saw what the avatar was doing exactly at that point.... funny funny stuff.
And I agree with most that Natal is some freaking awesome tech. But technology can't play games. Also, as Reggie says, the future is now. Or, at least the Wii is here now, and Natal and Sony's "motion controller" (great name, guys) won't be for some time. I'm very curious how this next motion-battle plays out... with all this competition, it's a good time to be a gamer, period.



Objection said:

Its almost funny how much Nintendo is dominating this generation. I can remember people who thought that the GCN's 3rd place status would eventually finish Ninty off, which of course, it wasn't that bad. (I love my cube!) It's hard to tell if it'll last but I hope it does.



Machu said:

Nintendo must be laughing. They were surprised that S&M didn't unveil motion-control at last years E3, and must have wondered what else it was that they were upto. A year later, when they eventually realize that Nintendo might be onto something, they demonstrate a dodgy prototype each, with no software. Beautiful!
With Sony suggesting a 10yr cycle, and Microsoft hoping for a further 5yrs, should Nintendo get in there first? Go for 2012 release, get ahead of the rest, and release a HD Wii, with a big HDD, integrated motion plus & backwards compatibility. I bet they could release that as cheap as they did the Wii, and pwn the market once more, whilst the others are still perfecting waggle.
I can dream eh.



SmaMan said:

I agree Machu, the next Ninty console should have all that and GOOD ONLINE MULTIPLAYER! No more friend codes! I think a system like on Steam/XBOX 360 would be good for the Wii, where you know what your friends are playing and just have maybe ONE friend code (if absolutely necessary) to add friends. Not one for each and every game!



jhuhn said:

Maybe Reggie should get serious and get more Virtual Console arcade games from some of the most popular arcades played in the 1980s.



James said:

But "The Future Is Now" is SNK's slogan!!! They should sue Nintendo and get enough money to make a NeoGeo Pocket 2!!!!! Then we'd see who's laughing, Reggie!

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