The Revolution controller has been unveiled at last during Nintendo's address to the gaming public at the Tokyo Game Show. We're sure glad it's not April 1, as the design of the controller is hard to swallow at first glance. However, the more you allow it to sink in, your brain will begin to engage in a battle of wits between what you know and what you fear. "Could this controller, which looks like a DVD remote, really be the way of the future?" your mind will ask. At this point, it's anyone's guess as to whether Nintendo's R & D Department is playing the role of futuristic gaming visionary or crazy old inventor who lost his grip on reality a looooooong time ago. Since seeing the screenshots of it a few minutes ago, I've flipped back and forth like a strobe light between "It's brilliant!" and "They're doomed!". That's quite possibly because I haven't had any hands on time with the unit as I'm currently not in Japan for the TGS and consequently I'm not paying $11 for a Coke. Yes!
Nintendo has went on record saying that this controller is an attempt to thwart the alienation that non-gamers feel when approaching videogames. Since everyone has picked up a remote control, Nintendo decided that this would appeal to the average, everyday housewife who is afraid of gaming, seemingly due to the controller. "Housewife" certainly is a demographic that is ignored in target audiences, but if Nintendo manages to actually suck these homemakers into playing games all day, what, dear reader, will happen to those other wonderful inventions called "breakfast, lunch and dinner?" I shudder at the thought.
The controller can be held in one hand with your hand having access to the D-Pad and a large A button. Under the controller you'll locate the B button which can be used like a regular trigger button. The bottom portion of the controller houses another A and B button and you'll find the Select, Home and Start buttons directly in the middle. If you turn the controller sideways you'll notice that it could easily function as an old school NES or SNES controller, albeit with less buttons. A small transmitter inside the controller tells the system exactly where you're pointing it, so movement such as up, down, left, right etc. can be achieved simply by moving the controller in that direction.
If you're wondering where the analog stick is, hold onto your hats. Nintendo has thought of everything. The analog stick actually plugs into the bottom of the controller itself. Nintendo reps likened it to a nunchuka. While your left hand (or right hand - this setup would easily lend itself to either) manages the analog stick complete with trigger buttons on it as well, the remote can be used to move you around simply by sensing your movement. Nintendo demonstrated this unique controller configuration with Metroid Prime 2.
Nintendo demonstrated a variety of elementary applications to demonstrate the various ways in which players would utlize the controller, but nothing was mentioned about playing third party games that are intended for all three next gen systems (Revolution, PS3 and X360). Given the uniqueness of the device, it's not clear whether another controller would be available that was more conventional or if Nintendo just flipped the bird to third party publishers, which would be by far even crazier than the remote control you're currently looking at.
We'll give Nintendo their due. They've said they were going to something revolutionary and so far, they seem to be barking up the right tree. There are many unanswered questions though and I assume when Nintendo thinks the time is right, they'll start answering some of them.
Controller will transmit movement - up, down, right, left, tilt
Up to 4 controllers can be used with one system
Controller features A, B, a, b, Select, Home, Start and D-Pad
Analog controller (with triggers on back) connects to remote
Click here to check out our pictures of the controller.