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Hands-on With the Wii MotionPlus

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the high-fidelity-waggling dept.

Input Devices 153

Parz writes "In June, Nintendo will be releasing a peripheral called MotionPlus. This small device attaches to the bottom of the Wii-mote and acts as a more sophisticated motion-sensor to the controller as it currently stands. Its goal is to bring greater parity between a user's movements and the animations that they bring to life on-screen. Gameplayer got some hands-on time with the device, and they are extremely impressed." The MotionPlus will only affect new games; Nintendo has said they have no plans to add support for older titles. Virtua Tennis 2009 will be the first game to support it, and Eurogamer has a look at the game both with and without the MotionPlus.

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Swordfighting (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642533)

Hasn't that been everybody's dream game for the Wii?

Re:Swordfighting (3, Informative)

dzafez (897002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642541)

Actually, you could go further and really teach Iaido, or Battu-Jutsu on Wii, including many Kata.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

HonIsCool (720634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642991)

Ummm, yeah...or, just drop the "teach"-part and just make a kendou or iaidou party game and leave the teaching in the doujou where it belongs.

Re:Swordfighting (2, Interesting)

Bwerf (106435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643019)

I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but I'm pretty sure that the wiimote isn't even close to being balanced like any real sword (possibly a lightsaber ^^).

To have a control scheme that let's you do "real" sword-fighting (or sword-drawing for that matter) is probably not a good idea. What you can do is get closer than with a gamepad, which doesn't really say much, but it would still be a game kind of control scheme.

Re:Swordfighting (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643151)

I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but I'm pretty sure that the wiimote isn't even close to being balanced like any real sword

So stick the wii remote into an attachment that is correctly balanced.

You could probably set something up for most swords where the wii remotes is just in front hand/gaurd, and then add weight appropriately. As a fencer, I'm confident you could get the balance right for a foil, epee, and sabre. And these are all much lighter and more delicate than a japanese sword (e.g. Katana) so it should be even easier to create something with the correct balance for those.

I'm not sure how well sword fighting itself would work, because of course their is no resistance. However, I think you could still effectively teach or at least practice the forms. And you could probably put together a sword fighting game, that while not entirely realistic, would at least be fun. A little vibration as you execute a beat attack lets you know you've knocked the blade out of line and you extend fully... a double vibration means you've beat and he has counter beat and you need to execute a parry riposte or be touched... it would have to be lenient on which parry... it would have to be simplified... but it could still be fun.

I don't really know much about Asian sword fighting, but what I've seen of Kendo is that like Sabre its mostly strike-hit. Occasionally strike-block/counterattack-hit. Very occasionally strick-block/counterattack-counterblock-strike-hit. And rarely does it go further than that. So if a game even just gave you one opportunity to block/counterblock it would be fairly realistic in that sense.

And in fencing at least blocks aren't 'feats of strength vs your opponent where you stand there blades crossed for 10 seconds grunting at each other'. They are generally brief deflections of the blade that require little strength, and simply knock the incoming blade off 'line', and the moment your opponent is off line, you riposte so its not like you are sitting their holding his blade... its just a quick 'tick' and then your counterattack.

The former feat of strength couldn't really be captured by a bit of audio and vibration feedback, but the latter probably could be, and reality (of fencing) is most the latter.

Re:Swordfighting (5, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644007)

As another fencer, I would have to disagree. There's still too many things that can't be measured with just a wiimote. Wrist angle is the most important, as the wiimote would have no way to verify the wrist was absolutely straight. Body lean, distance between the elbow and body, and foot position are also very important. Simply attempting to teach, or even practice, fencing with a wiimote could lead to poor habits that will be difficult to correct later on. The problems you would create would outweigh any benefit.

I agree with the earlier comment, leave the learning on the piste. Use the wiimote for what it is, a game. A Kendo or fencing game would be great, but a training tool is out of the question.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644555)

reminds me a bit of the Guitar Hero debate, should it be made into a teaching tool? does pressing a bunch of colored buttons on a guitar-like toy build bad habits for when you pickup a real guitar? arguably, buttons are different than strings, and the guitar is shaped and weighted differently. but the fact that you hold it the same way and associate it with music might screw with your head if you can't separate the game from the real thing, or if you simply build muscle memory from playing it so much. or do people who play Wii Tennis becoming bad tennis players in real life? or vice versa, do good tennis players in real life become good Wii Tennis players? if you can't separate the game from holding a real sword (i.e. for fencing), you will probably build bad habits, despite it being weighted and shaped differently. on the other hand, if you can go the other direction and transfer the knowledge of real fencing and swordplay into the game (developers should take this into account and not just assume they know what it's like) and if the game is good enough to reward you for that, then maybe we have something here, even if the game is not 100% accurate to real life. in this case, the game is only helpful to those who have a background in the real thing. i do see potential for having a game help build upon fundamentals, but definitely not a replacement for actual instruction. unfortunately, it really is overwhelmingly quite easy to learn incorrectly due to the limitations of the sensor-technology. imo, for those with zilch experience, there's too much chance for error.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644785)

As another fencer, I would have to disagree. There's still too many things that can't be measured with just a wiimote. Wrist angle is the most important, as the wiimote would have no way to verify the wrist was absolutely straight. Body lean, distance between the elbow and body, and foot position are also very important. Simply attempting to teach, or even practice, fencing with a wiimote could lead to poor habits that will be difficult to correct later on. The problems you would create would outweigh any benefit.

I agree with the earlier comment, leave the learning on the piste. Use the wiimote for what it is, a game. A Kendo or fencing game would be great, but a training tool is out of the question.

I completely agree with this.
What's worse is learning how to strike. In japanese fencing arts (perhaps it's the same in western fencing), you don't use the same muscles that people normally use. When it's done well, you can strike a thousand times without being tired, and it's basically the only way to strike effectively with a katana. None of this could be learned with a wiimote, especially not Iaido.

Not because the Wiimote is not precise enough, it sure is, but its form factor is not made for this.
Also, I'm not sure that's what people would consider fun to do, if they're not dedicated to it.
Finally, these martial arts require all kind of attitude that will determine your posture, and they also require an opponent. There's a huge difference with an opponent : you could swing your sword right when no force is opposed to you, but actually do it wrong, which is revealed as soon as an opponent force is applied to you. The Wiimote can never make that happen.

Re:Swordfighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645171)

The Wii Remote would allow you to see exactly what you were doing, so that could be of some kind of help when training, but it's probably not something you would want to use extensively.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643035)

Wouldn't you need one Wiimote in each hand and one on each foot?

I am interested in using motion sensors such as the Wiimote as a learning aid for katas, and I wonder if any work has been done on this.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644027)

There is a program going on at my university to teach Taiji using the balance board and wii removes. Friend was working with them, hacking the Max-MSP code to read from the balance board. Dunno how much further it's gone, but I know she had a deal with the instructor to record Taiji jian form once the motion plus was released.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645263)

You would be much better off doing it yourself. The accelerometers themselves are about the size of two short grains of rice for two axes and you read them by pulse width or something like that. You can get the radio module they used in the Cybiko pretty cheaply (and it's easy to implement) or you could use a PDA with USB hosting and a gadget board or similar for maximum ease of implementation. The WiiMotes are gigantic. There IS a wireless nunchuk from Nyko called the Kama, I have one and it is fantastic for what it is. Nyko is about the only company I'll buy gaming peripherals from, I'm a true-blue controller guy. Speaking of which, anyone have any M$ Big Dukes NIB?

Re:Swordfighting (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642599)

I personally was looking forward to (and was dissapointed by a lack of) first person shooting control schemes.

With the swordfighting, one major problem is that if your on screen sword hits another sword, there's no force feedback to stop your wiimote. You'd swing through, your sword on screen would stop.

I suppose they could make it realistic and have both swords break, but people want movie sword-fighting, not real sword fighting. There are workarounds you can think of, but until nindendo comes out with a wii-motion-stops-your-hand-in-midair attachment, it's never going to feel quite right.

The FPS control scheme I don't know why it's not being used much. Lack of imagination? they don't think there's much of a market for FPS on the wii?

Re:Swordfighting (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642611)

FPS is a hard core genre. That's not the Wii's core demographic.

With the swordfighting, one major problem is that if your on screen sword hits another sword, there's no force feedback to stop your wiimote. You'd swing through, your sword on screen would stop.

Just make the controller buzz.. oh yeah, there's buzz patents.. no can do. The whole value of the Wii system is that it's arbitrated reality. The player wants to believe in the fiction, so they ignore the differences between reality and the alternate reality displayed on the screen.

Re:Swordfighting (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642731)

FPS is a hard core genre. That's not the Wii's core demographic.

That's just a bunch of marketing buzzwords. A game can ONLY target a "core demographic?" I don't think so. Reguardless of the average wii owner, there's still a huge number of wii owners who play games besides wii fit. I've never been exactly clear as to what "hard core" mean when referring to gamer types, it seems to just be people who play a lot of games. I don't see why you have to play a lot of games to enjoy FPS, especially not if the controls are right.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642791)

Hard Core... as in Blood & Gore... not petting kittens and riding ponies, the Wii is generally (if not always?) targeted at whole-family orientated stuff, killing Nazi/Gargoyles/Aliens doesn't really fit in.

Big difference between "hard-core genre, and hard-core gamer

Re:Swordfighting (2, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643233)

the Wii is generally (if not always?) targeted at whole-family orientated stuff,

no. Not always.

Manhunt 2
House of the Dead: Overkill
Tenchu: Shadow Assassins
Alone in the Dark
Brothers in Arms: Double Time
Madworld
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
No More Heroes
Mortoal Kombat: Armageddon
Driver: Parallel Lines
Escape from Bug Island
Call of Duty: World at War
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent
The Godfather: Blackhand Edition
Target Terror ...

There's lots of blood&gore and more coming to the Wii. Some of its good... some of its shit.

The Xbox/PS3 gets most of these too though and their versions are usually the stronger titles. This is partly because the xbox/ps3 is the stronger platform in terms of hardware, and partly because the people looking for blood&guts gravitate towards the xbox/ps3 (and a large portion of them are -only- interested in a title if it has an "M" rating -- actually favoring blood&guts over having a game worth playing (but I digress...)

All that said, a title like Resident Evil 4 or the new Metroid Prime in my opinion show the Wii to be an EXCELLENT platform for FPS and hard core games. The control scheme when done well is infinitely superior to the xbox/ps3 analog stick controllers.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643299)

All that said, a title like Resident Evil 4 or the new Metroid Prime in my opinion show the Wii to be an EXCELLENT platform for FPS and hard core games.

Technically resident evil 4 wasn't an FPS, it was an over the shoulder, but you're right basically.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642847)

You think you can't make a casual FPS? I think they said the same about racing games 'til Mario Cart.

Add a dash of luck, give the underdog some powerful goodies and up the challenge for a "good" player and you're there. Now add that the controller sure makes for a very different experience than the usual keyboard/mouse FPS setup and you're at casual gaming.

Water Warfare (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645279)

You think you can't make a casual FPS? I think they said the same about racing games 'til Mario Cart.

There's actually a water gun FPS [nintendoraw.com] coming out for the Wii. Could be fun.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

Ksempac (934247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643371)

Ever heard of MadWorld on Wii ? Extreme violence, with a clever gameplay that makes a good use of the Wiimote

I don't have the sales figures but it does show that the Wii accepts almost any game.

Re:Swordfighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643465)

Ever heard of MadWorld on Wii ? Extreme violence, with a repetitive gameplay that makes a good use of the Wiimote

T, FTFY

Re:Swordfighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643885)

like Myst and Riven, most hardcore games EVA!

Re:Swordfighting (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643931)

I don't recall any shooting in those.

Re:Swordfighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27644753)

If FPS players are so hard core, why are they using such an inappropriate input scheme?

Re:Swordfighting (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645363)

The Wiimote already has vibration, and it even buzzes when your pointer crosses the border of onscreen elements like buttons and scroll bars. Thanks for trying, though.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

Skrynkelberg (910137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643279)

Slightly offtopic, but interesting: The swords wouldn't break. Mythbusters tried it out. Breaking swords by hitting them with other swords is exceptionally hard; they'll just bend. At most, there will be some severe dents in both blades.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

theTerribleRobbo (661592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643919)

Definitely. Hitting something with your sword edge-on means you've got the most strength and resistance behind the hit.
Sure, if you hit something hard with the flat the sword will probably bend (or maybe break if it's flawed), but the worst you'll do with edge-on-edge hits is dent or blunt the the blades.

Heck, on the weekends there are a group of us that hit swords (and each other, to an extent) pretty damn hard, and they've lasted years.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643335)

FPS is fairly rare (in part because third parties are fairly afraid to make any investments into Wii games that can carry more than a well-made flash game or a really badly made core game) on the Wii but not completely nonexistent. While The Conduit (big, hyped up title) isn't released yet some people liked Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (not released in Europe as far as I can tell) for having 32 player online multiplayer, Metroid Prime 3 is pretty much a must-have on the system despite almost feeling closer to Hunters than Prime 1/Super and Onslaught (WiiWare) is a lot of fun if you want a more arcadey game like Serious Sam.

I have no idea why the genre is so rare though, maybe because it's primarily graphics driven with few other selling points employed by FPSes or maybe publishers feel that Wii gamers can't grasp the concept of a nunchuk and instead produce rail shooters (so much that "it's going to be a rail shooter" has become a meme on some websites whenever new Wii games get announced), preferring to run with the crowd than charge into the empty spaces with lots of money waiting for them.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643813)

The thing is, _Link's Crossbow Training_ has some first person shooter ``ranger'' levels which are very well done and a lot of fun (I enjoy the game so much I make Wii Zappers out of wood and give them to co-workers and friends along w/ used copies of the game) and most of the highly-acclaimed games have made excellent use of the Nunchuck for movement:

  - Metroid Prime: Corruption
  - Super Mario Galaxy
  - Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  - Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
  - Call of Duty: World at War

William

Re:Swordfighting (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644575)

that's a good point. i thnk it'd be cool too, but if someday the controller really did have some technology to stop in mid-swing and possibly pull/strain some joints, that's asking for a bunch of lawsuits ... :(

Re:Swordfighting (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645225)

The fact that the Wii Remote doesn't meet any resistance hasn't really been an issue so far. The main problem with sword fighting games on the Wii was that the Wii Remote wasn't precise enough to detect more than very generic swipes.

The lack of resistance might become an issue with Motion Plus, but I think it's something that games could work around. Yeah, it's never going to feel quite right, but then, playing racing games never quite feels like driving a real car, either :-)

Re:Swordfighting (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645901)

Have you tried the homebrew port of quake ? Well, it is a 15 years old game, but it is nice to play it on the wii.

Re:Swordfighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642785)

It's more fun with real Force FX blades because there's a sense of danger.

Re:Swordfighting (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643773)

Yeah. I bought Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors for that sake --- it's a lot of fun, though short, w/ almost painfully cute monster graphics, but one can't block w/ the Nunchuck (have to toggle into shield mode --- one doesn't use the Nunchuk as a shield 'cause they use rotation which apparently only the Wii Remote provides), and there's only one opponent w/ a sword (the final boss) and one doesn't get to fence w/ him, just strike when one has a chance, block when possible &c.

Pros:

  - it actually uses the Wii Remote
  - fun, one of the few RPGs

Cons:

  - the interface is fussy, requiring one to manually indicate when targetting other than the center of the screen
  - detection of movements and mapping them to the screen is erratic, not quite to the point of frustration, but close
  - the Nunchuck is not used as the shield
  - no fencing w/ sword-wielding opponents
  - no ability to move during combat
  - the game is built on rails w/ a few branches
  - limited options (basically slashing or thrusting)

Of all of these, the only things the Wii Motion Plus can help w/ are detection of movement and possibly allowing one to move in combat and hopefully limited options --- the balance is a matter of gameplay design, which all-too often is lacking in contemporary games.

But if they do a sequel, or an improved version, I'd probably buy it.

William

Re:Swordfighting (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644091)

But it could never work properly, blocking just wouldn't feel right when you can swipe straight through the other guy's sword...

Of course for a local multiplayer game you could attach a stick to the end of your wiimotes, but then whats the point of having the wii in the first place?

Re:Swordfighting (1)

lanes (1484749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644247)

Dear Slashdot commenters: We know you don't actually participate in anything remotely resembling a sport. It's okay. Stop making up words.

Tennis? (3, Insightful)

dzafez (897002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642535)

Man, I would like them to rerelease the golf and bowling with support, so it actually works.

Re:Tennis? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642561)

Indeed. That and a new Star Wars game.

Re:Tennis? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643339)

They work well when I try them, with golf the important part is to have an actual golf stance, otherwise it's hard to judge the force required. Yeah, some people figured out how to play couch potato golf but that's missing the whole point.

Re:Tennis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643523)

I couldn't really get much into golf, but bowling worked wonderfully, especially for a launch title. It probably could have been done better, but it's about as close to a real game of bowling you can get in your living room.

The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (4, Interesting)

DreamMaster (175517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642565)

You know.. I was all ready to hate them for not making the new sensor backwards compatible with older games, but then it occurred to me that it says that the new motion sensor hooks into the base of the existing Wiimote. It may simply be that the connection there for peripherals/nunchuks doesn't allow the new sensor to supercede the existing Wiimote movement sensors.. that may be why only new games will be able to make use of the extra information.

Of course we could then always argue that Nintendo should have re-designed the Wiimote from scratch with the new sensor embedded if that's the case. If so, I would hope that they do, because there are a lot of existing Wii games that would benefit from the extra sensitivity.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (4, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643109)

Actually since the MotionPlus doesn't use the IR sensors that's kinda pointless. This thing contains afaik 3 multi-axis accelerometers that are way more precise than what was possible during the launch of the Wii years back. It snaps into the Wiimote which is a good thing because they have sold 50 million Wiimotes and most people won't be too happy to spend another 200$ on new controllers just to have a sword fight with their mates. Nintendo already pissed off loads of people with their strange antics, now telling me I have to throw away my Wiimotes and buy new ones -no wai. Instead it's a 20$ addon which is much more feasible to most consumers, if you want it ... it's 20$ per controller extra instead of another 50 for a new one. Other than that, older games won't work because there is no real patching infrastructure on the Wii that I'm aware of. You would have to re-write potentially large chunks of the controls code to have your game react to the MotionPlus input correctly and why bother in the first place? The games that didn't have M+ don't need it now. Most games wouldn't benefit from simply "tacked on" MotionPlus just as they don't benefit from tacked on waggle or motion control. Now, games that are built around MotionPlus ... that's a different story.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643199)

This thing contains afaik 3 multi-axis accelerometers that are way more precise than what was possible during the launch of the Wii years back.

Sounds great! Is the output from the new accelerometers in an easy-to-decode format so it works on Linux with libwiimote [sourceforge.net] and similar software?

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643251)

This thing isn't on the market yet, so who knows? But I'd be surprised if it wasn't. All the other things you can plugin have had the data streams reverse-engineered by various wiimote libraries.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643253)

I don't know but I sure hope so. We'll find out after it's released, I guess.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (2, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644077)

This thing contains afaik 3 multi-axis accelerometers that are way more precise than what was possible during the launch of the Wii years back.

Actually, it uses a 3-axis gyroscope. Accelerometers can only measure movement, but the gyros can measure position. This is why you had to use a lot of "waggle" on wii games: the accelerometers couldn't tell the difference between flicking your wrist and an arm movement. The gyros can.
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/08/wii-motion-sensor.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645177)

I completely disagree, the motion sense on the wiimote is not that hot, it's pretty notchy and sometimes I miss things in Wii sports tennis because I'm setting up for a shot (I like to actually move my arms) and the wiimote decides I've made a swing when I'm clearly making a setup. Older games could DEFINITELY benefit HUGELY from an improvement in accuracy. Too bad they won't be able to because Nintendo didn't make the wiimote just a tiny bit smarter.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645989)

Indeed, there is no operating system on the nintendo wii. Basically when a game boots, it takes the all control on the platform. The only things that stays is some kind of IRQ that is used for networking. The "wiimote input library" is statically linked into each game. So it will not be changed easily. More information on http://hackmii.com/2009/02/why-the-wii-will-never-get-any-better/ [hackmii.com]

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644131)

I was all ready to hate them for not making the new sensor backwards compatible with older games

How should they go about it?

I theorize that the library I've used to program the wiimote with (cwiid) reflects what the wiimote sends over bluetooth. If that is the case:

The games are written to expect a number between 0 and 255 for each of the three accelerometers. How do you backwards-compatibly make the game make use of a wider range of numbers?

You can do fixed-point arithmetic, putting the past-the-dot bits somewhere else in the bluetooth packet and round them off to the nearest eight-byte value. What does that win? So you go to nearest instead of nearest-below. Big whooping deal.

Or, you could monkey-patch the game to make it store a bigger number for the accelerometer data, but that's basically unpossible; how do you pack three 8^H32-bit values into one machine word? How do you monkey-patch a program which tries this? And especially, how do you find out which bytes are just plain old bytes and which are accelerometer data? How do you find out when a byte switches from storing accelerometer data to storing some other byte-valued thing?

Not to mention: you have to monkey-patch all code; if a program generates code dynamically (ewww, but possible), you have to detect it.

Monkey-patching: not gonna' happen. Any other kind of patching?

You could fairly easily (in theory) modify the OS so that whenever it "runs a disc", it checks whether it has any patches stored for the disk, and dynamically applies those (think "Overlay" on the file system layer). You _could_ do it, but then you have to store patches on the (somewhat small) drive; and you have to download them from somewhere. Plus: congratulations! your stick-it-in-and-play console now requires system administration. Isn't the point that you don't want that?

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644295)

If they redesigned it from scratch, they still couldn't make old games support it. The Wii does not really have the ability to inform a game about new features that the console might offer. As for why it was easier to not redesign it, they did do a good job making the Wii remote extendable. The Nunchuck port is I2C, and the Wii remote can be directed to talk to many I2C devices connected to that port.

I think if the new device were just accelerometers, as the other poster believe, they would be able to place them in the same address as the accelerometers in the nunchuck, and old games would get something. I would suspect they have moved to gyros. Paired with the three axis accelerometer in the Wii remote already, that would provide 6 degrees of movement.

Re:The Wii MotionPlus is an expansion device (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645711)

The Nunchuck port is I2C, and the Wii remote can be directed to talk to many I2C devices connected to that port.

The old stillborn Philips CD-I also had I2C ports, allowing you to chain 1P, 2P, etc, controllers together. (Or was that the 3DO?)

No plans to support older titles (4, Informative)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642631)

Read: It's a near impossibility to support older titles. It would be nice to head over to http://hackmii.com/2009/02/why-the-wii-will-never-get-any-better/ [hackmii.com] and find out why; specifically:

As it turns out, Nintendo chose not to have any operating system or common code at all running on the Broadway CPU. When you run a game, everything that shows up on your screen, ever, is being loaded from that spinning polycarbonate disc. And there are no mechanisms for anything else to run on that CPU: no update infrastructure, no Home Menu updates, nothing. If they ever want to have a "hypervisor" run above games, they'll need to get a new CPU with full-blown virtualization capability (or an emulator), because games assume they have direct access to the CPU and most of the hardware.

If you've been following the Wii scene, you might be thinking, "what about IOS?" Indeed, Nintendo's security and I/O Operating System runs alongside games (on a separate CPU built in to the Hollywood chipset) and it is updated as part of system updates. It includes some important bits and pieces like some peripheral drivers. However, as it turns out, Nintendo has decided that every new feature will be developed as a separate fork. Your Wii contains many IOS versions, and the older have never been updated except for security reasons (to fix our exploits). Not that they've added many new features, but if you look closely, new IOS features do not operate when you're playing older games. This includes any updates to the WiiConnect24 downloads code, and even some minor things like the "slot LED blinks when you eject a disc" feature - try it when you're playing Zelda and you'll see that it doesn't work, because it's using the very old IOS9.

Re:No plans to support older titles (4, Interesting)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642823)

Read: It's a near impossibility to support older titles.

My first reaction was: why would that be unlikely/impossible? If the MotionPlus simply made the 'mote more accurate, then there would be no need for software support on the Wii (via a new IOS-version).

But what the MotionPlus probably does is add a second gyroscope to the Wiimote and send the data directly to the Wii. The Wii would then be able to determine the orientation of the Wiimote more accurately by comparing the data of both gyroscopes. Any other setup would automatically give backwards-compatibility (but it seems like it wouldn't work).

Can't wait for the next step: 3 BT receivers to triangulate the position of the wiimotes. I'd love to get rid of that barely-functional sensorbar setup.

Re:No plans to support older titles (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643067)

But what the MotionPlus probably does is add a second gyroscope to the Wiimote and send the data directly to the Wii. The Wii would then be able to determine the orientation of the Wiimote more accurately by comparing the data of both gyroscopes. Any other setup would automatically give backwards-compatibility (but it seems like it wouldn't work).

The original Wii controller does not use gyroscopic sensors. It uses accelerometers, which measure gravity and changes in velocity (not changes in position). The big problem with the Wii controller was that a programmer could (approximately) measure the orientation, but only if the controller was not moving. The MotionPlus is different because the gyroscopic sensors can measure orientation regardless of the velocity or acceleration of the controller. Once the orientation is known, then the accelerometers of the original controller can be used to detect movement. Previously, one could detect either movement or approximate orientation, but not both. The MotionPlus remedies that problem, which is a HUGE step forward for the Wii.

This is also the reason why older titles cannot make use of the MotionPlus. The type of data returned from the gyroscopes of the MotionPlus is fundamentally different from the type of data returned from the accelerometers of the WiiMote. There is no means of automatically translating the MotionPlus data into something that older titles expect.

Can't wait for the next step: 3 BT receivers to triangulate the position of the wiimotes. I'd love to get rid of that barely-functional sensorbar setup.

I haven't looked into it, but this is almost certainly not feasible. It would require extremely precise determination of signal latency. As far as I know, the BlueTooth interface is not designed a manner that allows this, and even if it were, the Wii would need very specially designed BlueTooth receivers.
The most succesful setups for small range position detection of this sort have historically usually relied on magnetic field detectors (for example the Polhemus Fastrak or the Ascension Flock of Birds).

Re:No plans to support older titles (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643615)

Previously, one could detect either movement or approximate orientation, but not both.

Heisenberg is that you?

Re:No plans to support older titles (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643695)

It's uncertain.

Re:No plans to support older titles (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644359)

The nunchuck port is just a fancy I2C socket, and the remote can be directed to address any chip attached to it, which is what lets the various drum kits and guitar controllers each be unusable in other games. As for what it adds, any gyroscope would be an upgrade over the plain 3 axis accelerometer that is in the remote. A 3 axis gyro, with the values accessible at the same location as the nunchuck's accelerometers, would be very nice.

amit.lzkpa (1)

amit.lzkpa (1536519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642869)

This is just refinement. It was bound to happen. I am sure, one day this technology will progress to the stage when, you need to have your 'gaming suit'(with all kinds of sensors) to play your game. It would be possible in the near future, if Nintendo and the MIT students team up.

Step 4: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642915)

Teledildonics !

Re:amit.lzkpa (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643369)

Unlikely, people won't use peripherials that seem too dorky and nothing is dorkier than a whole suit.

Wii catches up with PS3 SixAxis then.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642927)

This is just adding accelerometers, you know like the PS3 SixAxis has has from the start...

Re:Wii catches up with PS3 SixAxis then.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642951)

That's why the ps3 is known for such great uses of motions as Lair, Warhawk?

Re:Wii catches up with PS3 SixAxis then.. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643377)

Do you perhaps mean a gyroscope? The Wiimote had accelerometers from the start. Of course it's not a new idea, Microsoft had a gamepad built around a gyroscope (or pendulum or soemthing, either way it reacted to tilting) in the year 2000 but the regular controller shape doesn't lend itself to motion controls.

Breakthrough? Maybe not! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642937)

While this is amazing technological achievement, it doesn't compare to what I've discovered! Get this: real life tennis! The motion sensing capabilities of real rackets AMAZING! It's like the racket follows my hand EXACTLY.

Re:Breakthrough? Maybe not! (4, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643395)

And it requires a fairly large court (which you usually don't own and have to rent) and human opponents near you and doesn't come with computer assistance that can make anyone feel like a world class player.

Re:Breakthrough? Maybe not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27644407)

Snap! You told him!

yes, tennis is fascinating (3, Insightful)

Punto (100573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642941)

so is bowling and golf. Where's my lightsaber?

Re:yes, tennis is fascinating (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27644111)

Star Wars Golf? You'd never get off the tee!

Re:yes, tennis is fascinating (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646047)

I feel like I'm persevering through a massive drought until the next zelda game.

Why not a next-gen Wiimote too? (0, Redundant)

Omegamogo (1388313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642953)

The MotionPlus if fine and dandy (Though only grudgingly accepted by me since I think the original Wiimote should have been more accurate to begin with), but why not build a WiimotePlus? In other words, same Wiimote form factor, MotionPlus accuracy. Maybe some cosmetic change to differentiate it from the normal Wiimote, too.

Re:Why not a next-gen Wiimote too? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643407)

They can probably sell a combination device as well but the little plug-in is much cheaper than a whole new remote and many people already have a remote and only want to upgrade.

It should've been like this in the beginning. (-1, Flamebait)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643073)

Please don't give me 'the tech wasn't available' or 'the tech was too expensive at the time'

Firstly, Nintendo was making a profit on the Wii hardware from the get go! They should've put it in even if it reduced that margin, other manufacturers make a loss out of the gate.
Secondly, the Wii motion plus is rumoured to be a 20$ item or included with several upcoming Wii motion plus games, so how can it go from being 'too expensive' only a few years ago to being a 'throwaway item' now?

This was simply a case of either lazyness or greed and it should've been implimented in originally anyhow, the way that it appeared to be advertised in the first place!
Now you've gone and you're going to seggregate the market, the ONLY way to now handle this properly is to price the Wii motion plus at a sensible price (slim profit margin) and bundle it in for free from now on, if not re-release the Wii remote with motion plus, effectively making the 'non motion plus' model impossible to buy.

I realise the Wii is still highly defended on slashdot, since we like to defy the norm here but having been an owner of a 360, PS3 and a Wii in the past 12 months, I can assure you that if you're a 'traditional' gamer rather than a party or social gamer, that little white box is a nasty, overhyped little fad and I look forward to it going where it belongs and what it's being sold as. (in the bookshelf cupboard sitting next to monopoly, to be pulled out at xmas since grandma and the family like it so much)

In conclusion, you guys damn well should've got it right in the first place, you've lost me as a customer and no, I won't be buying a Wii again.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643209)

i think it has something to do with that free market thing people always rave about;

they didn't need it. the wii sold well enough with the crappy motion control that it had.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643521)

Well they've clearly lost one customer with this guy to begin with, crappy indeed.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (2, Funny)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643405)

...you've lost me as a customer and no, I won't be buying a Wii again.

How many were you planning on buying?

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643433)

I've purchased one, had it for 7 months and sold it.
Played Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda, the system simply did not compete (in my eyes) with the 360 and PS3 it shared a TV cabinet with.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643419)

Secondly, the Wii motion plus is rumoured to be a 20$ item or included with several upcoming Wii motion plus games, so how can it go from being 'too expensive' only a few years ago to being a 'throwaway item' now?

How is 20$ individually, 10$ in a bundle (the bundled version costs a bit more than the unbundled one) a throwaway item?

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643445)

How is 20$ individually, 10$ in a bundle (the bundled version costs a bit more than the unbundled one) a throwaway item?

How is 20$ NOT a throwaway item when a game itself is 50 or 60$ US?
How is 20$ compared to a 250$ US RRP for the product such a huge increase that it simply wasn't an option at the time, it's only 8% more, they make up money on the games anyhow.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643761)

If you think the tech is so inexpensive, why don't you try and find how much that actually cost.
There's even a site that propose the gyros the m+ is using and i can tell you it'll be cheaper to get a m+ and stip it of its gyros.
And you're talking about business sense and you don't bitch about the shoddy quality of the x360?
flamebait indeed.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643829)

Why I'm replying to an AC, I don't entirely know, your post is mostly invalidated around here without a username as it is in most peoples eyes.

How is it that you can ask me to find the value of each individual component when we know the SUM of the addon itself is 20$ ? That answers all the relevant information required.
Furthermore, you take the oppourtunity to bash the Xbox 360 on a completely unrelated topic (which I don't deny, if you were smart enough to see my slashdot history, you'll see I've been a long time, cynic of anyone who stuffs up, no matter the brand - the 360's flaws I've outline many a time)

What does poor build quality but half decent games and NOT seggerating the market with a new peripheral (Microsoft) have to do with Nintendo seggergating their market with a peripheral which should've been released in the first place.

If you're going to try and school me, do some research.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643991)

check the price [tinyurl.com] , then come back and tell me how gyros aren't exactly expensive.

Furthermore you can bash whatever to high heaven or something, your view on why you felt the Wii unworthy or your living room is as ontopic my little rant on the various pbs MSFT have with their hardware (pb they actually handle well for a change).
I mean YetAnotherInternetToughGuyBashTehWee, everybody can go to various gaming websites to see this and NEWSFLASH : nobody cares.
And I mean I'm pretty nobody cares about whether or not you'll buy another wii (as a multiconsole owner you're a minority of a minority so...yeah).
And I agree that nobody gives a shit about my view on it too (which is why i keep it to myself).

Now about the M+, the tech is indeed expensive. if it wasn't Sony would have integrated it in the Sixaxis instead of the accelerometers.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644081)

Are you taking the piss here or something?
You link to 'gyroscope prices' this is like linking me to newegg.com/blurayreaders and insisting that's what it costs to put the bluray in the PS3.

This is a mass purchased product, it's not sold as a toy like the ones you've linked
(the individual gyroscopes I'm referring to) and again the motion plus is TWENTY DOLLARS
and gyroscopes have been around for years, I mean really, we KNOW it's 20$ - what, was the tech inside the motion plus 25$ before? 250$? is the contents of the motion plus 2000$ worth of hardware only 2 years ago?

The motion plus is a small chunk of plastic with 'stuff' in it, it is packaged, tested, includes profit, it's to be marketed, manufactured, researched all for 20$
If anything, if it was done 'in the first place' it might have been 10$ more cost to the Wii, maybe 20$, EVEN 30$! back then - considering their total sales and profit margins can you not see where I'm coming from.

Also, I'm in no way even remotely the first person to say this, there's a large backlash brewing against the motion plus online as 'how it should've been' also sales are tapering in Japan as the fad is finally wearing off.

Who cares if you care if I buy another Wii? Who cares if the 360 is a piece of unreliable shit? Who cares if my PS3's fan turns on in heavily GPU intensive games? Who cares if I sold my Wii and found it to be an unwise purchase.
The whole point of slashdot is commentary, I'm expressing my opinion, people are happy to agree, disagree, flame, moderate, laugh, cheer or sneer, I don't care too much but really half your posts sounds as if there shouldn't be any posts at all, why don't we just disabled comments?

If you can provide me with a link, clearly stating what parts are used (or similar ones) how they differ from thesixasxis, iphone and regular Wii controller, how much they cost I'd be curious to read it.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643979)

1. You have to compare that to the 40$ controller, not the whole system (since it goes into each controller)
2. The components massively went down in price since the launch of the Wii, I heard about it being by an order of magnitude.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27644049)

next time you decide to throw away $10, could you toss it my way?

$10 is $10.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (2, Insightful)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644117)

they make up money on the games anyhow.

So you claim above that nobody but grandma and little Billy play it, but now you claim they're making money on games. Which is it?

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (2, Informative)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644003)

Secondly, the Wii motion plus is rumoured to be a 20$ item or included with several upcoming Wii motion plus games, so how can it go from being 'too expensive' only a few years ago to being a 'throwaway item' now?

In the same way that a DVD burner can go from $150 to $20 in a few years time, or RAM that cost you $80 a couple of years ago is now $20. Technology becomes cheaper over time.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644087)

I realise the Wii is still highly defended on slashdot, since we like to defy the norm here but having been an owner of a 360, PS3 and a Wii in the past 12 months, I can assure you that if you're a 'traditional' gamer rather than a party or social gamer, that little white box is a nasty, overhyped little fad and I look forward to it going where it belongs and what it's being sold as.

the system simply did not compete (in my eyes) with the 360 and PS3 it shared a TV cabinet with.

Maybe you don't like it, but it's hardly as black and white as you try to make it sound. A lot of people enjoy it, and not just grandma. I can definitely be included in the 'traditional gamer' category and my Wii gets plenty of use. There's more of a market than you give it credit for.

Re:It should've been like this in the beginning. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644157)

Maybe so but I play single player games for a great storyline, I play my PC and PS3 extensively.
The wii caters for the casual, party casual crowd with very very few games for a regular single player gamer (Mario and Zelda aside)
The controller is downright infuriatingly inaccurate and I honestly present to you, just how many bloody Wii games can be clocked, simply by putting the controller in the dryer on a spin cycle? (seriously!)

There's little to no element of skill in using it and that translates to a lack of 'seriousness' in the gaming that FAT NERDS I ADMIT like myself appreciate.
The direct motion plus feel would've been badass, I could've looked past 480p, I could've looked past no internal storage or shitty SHITTy online matchmaking, naming etc I could look past a plethora of other technical issues with the thing if at least the games, gameplay and controls were at least cool, badass or downright fun.

I happily maintain and I will stand by calling it a toy, the vast VAST majority of Wii purchasers are buying it to put it in the loungeroom as a guitar hero and Wii play / Wii sports machine, it's like a kareoke machine to an extent, it really doesn't have the feel, design or user experience as a 'proper console' and I feel, besides the controllers unique angle, it's comfortably living in the late 90's - right down to the terrible online experience.

Yes I owned one but sorry I would not again, I don't even rate the 360, yet it's 348$ AUD and the Wii is 399$ AUD - that's a 60gb 'pro' 360 mind you.
Really, this thing is over-rated and the least of my complaints should be the terrible controller which could've been right from the get go.

Flame me away and enjoy your Wii (although much like many internet bandwagon products, I wonder how many of the defenders here actually own AND use the product)

PCs (1)

marcuz (752480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643431)

is it or will it be possible to use this controller (or some clone - are there any?) on PCs or other consoles? it might take time for games to start supporting this.. can i emulate wii on pc and use this controller?

Re:PCs (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643643)

There is a bluetooth hack to use the Wiimote on the PC.
http://wiihacks.blogspot.com/2006/12/howto-use-wii-mote-in-windows-as-your.html [blogspot.com]
So if there is a working emulator, I'm sure with some trickery and stubborness you could get a wii on the pc.
I'm kinda interested as to how well a FPS would control like this. It'd be awful handy since I travel a lot and space can be a premium making mice kind of a hassle at times. Also, if I can get it working as a mouse, then I may be able to further trick it into working as an on the go flight sim control, which would be all sorts of win.

Re:PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27643847)

M+ brings nothing to this set up,
it's the IR part that is used for the pointing mecanic of fpses.
It's already in the wiimote

Re:PCs (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644541)

TOGSolid's link goes over the basics of how to get it to work and it works rather well.

Some things to note are
GlovePIE which is the software that allows you to configure the wiimote's functions was written but a leftwing nut there isn't any other way to describe him. If you're in the Military or from Israel you can't use it, see the EULA for more.
There is also another helper application called PPjoy and it doesn't work in vista64 so you're out of luck there. PPjoy controls the thumbsticks.

In my case I've spend most of my time using the classic remote for emulator's and it's been very nice. I've also got Area51 up and running on MAME but its a bit flaky, I don't have dedicated a LED bar I'm using 2 candles.

parity (0, Offtopic)

acon1modm (1009947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643605)

bring greater parity between a user's movements and the animations

You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:parity (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643913)

bring greater parity between a user's movements and the animations

You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

It comes from the french word pareil [typepad.com] , which means "same".

The whole idea of a parity bit is to make sure the data is the same.

Okay, when's the new Wii Zapper coming out (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643855)

and what will be the pack-in for it?

William
(who want something w/ the weaponry variety of Ghost Squad and the targeting variety and excellent interface of Link's Crossbow Training and the fluid switch between first and third-person of Quantum of Solace)

Re:Okay, when's the new Wii Zapper coming out (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645405)

Uh, what? Why would you need a new Zapper? The current one [nintendo.com] is adequate (there are numerous other options as well.) Mind you, it won't work with the motionplus, because you need the nunchuk to have full zapper functionality.

Re:Okay, when's the new Wii Zapper coming out (2)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645531)

Because the Wii Motion Plus has a pass-through to accept a Nunchuck, but most (all?) of the current Wii Zapper designs won't work w/ a dongle in place (I've got a wireless Kama Nuncuck replacement and had to make a Wii Zapper to use it in pistol mode) --- and IME there're a lot of times when the control of the Wii Zapper isn't quite fine enough to get perfectly centered on target w/o some twitching, so if the Wii Motion Plus would allow more precise targeting a new Wii Zapper would be welcome.

William

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