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Revolution Offers Hope For Disabled Gamers?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that-can-only-be-a-good-thing dept.

Games 85

Via Joystiq, an article on Mercury News discussing the possible benefits to disabled gamers via use of Nintendo's unique Revolution control scheme. From the article: "Like many people with spinal-cord injuries that affect all four limbs, Taft retains some use of his arms and hands. But it's not enough for effectively operating the typical two-hand game device. He's confident his relatively strong right hand will be able to manipulate the new controller, which is part of the Revolution game system that's still under development by Nintendo."

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85 comments

Here's a one-handed game controller... (2, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601695)


Check out these nifty one-switch games [oneswitch.org.uk] . Not just one hand, but one button. These games are controlled entirely through skillful use of the space bar.

Re:Here's a one-handed game controller... (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601933)

Funny that it's the Revolution getting attention for this. I remember a couple of games (especially driving/racing games) that could be played on the N64 using only one hand.

And there's always Duck Hunt.

Re:Here's a one-handed game controller... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14602095)

Hey, AssMaster, you forgot the ^_^

Re:Here's a one-handed game controller... (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602291)

I have a handicapped sister so development of games and software useful for people with very limited mobility is interesting to me. I made her a cd/dvd playing program that can be controlled entirely with two buttons and by default the two buttons are mouse buttons which are easily controlled by plugging things like sip & puff switches or jelly buttons into an adapter that lets them act like a mouse button. For those with a bit more mobility it isn't hard to adapt other switches to take on a mouse's ball control. A very good place for opensource and open hardware fans to work.

Tongue mouse? (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603998)

I've always wondered why seriously disabled people can't use a mouse controlled by the tongue? Google returns a couple of prototypes, but nothing commercial. I'd think something like this would be ideal- IIRC most quads have use of their facial/mouth muscles and coupled with a speech recognition program would allow virtually full use of a computer. (Assuming you could work with both at the same time.)

Re:Tongue mouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14605410)

I've seen a few commercial chin controlled joysticks that could probably have a simple adapter made to make them work as a pointer device. Frankly, the use of the tongue would be unsanitary, which is why you don't see it.

Re:Here's a one-handed game controller... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602655)

*insert joke about one-handed gaming here*

knock two with one stone (4, Funny)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601704)

The new controller helps disabled gamers AND it helps obese couchpotatoes lose some arm-flab! score!!!

Re:knock two with one stone (1)

systemic chaos (892935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14609599)

So the much rumored "secret feature" of the revolution controller is its anti-viral [slashdot.org] properties?

Too late I fear. (1, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601709)


I wish this controller was out a few years ago.

I remember sitting in the park with Christopher Reeve in mid-2002 when he said "Of all the things I miss from when I was able-bodied, I miss playing games the most." He was quite down about it. I gave him a slap on the back, which was silly in hindsight as he couldn't feel it, and said "Cheer up, you'll be putting the 'Super' back in 'Superman' one day."

I'll never forget the way he took a big, machine assisted breath and said "Thanks, G."

Re:Too late I fear. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14601853)

"Cheer up, you'll be putting the 'Super' back in 'Superman' one day."

Yeah, how'd that go?

Re:Too late I fear. (-1, Offtopic)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602235)

Oh great now we're in for a bunch of Chris Reeve naked and petrified troll comments, aren't we?

Who's bringing the hot grits?

You laugh now, but when video game sex comes to the XXXbox 720, it'll be pretty damn important for the disabled to operate a "joystick".

Re:Too late I fear. (1)

dtzWill (936623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14604809)

You laugh now, but when video game sex comes to the XXXbox 720, it'll be pretty damn important for the disabled to operate a "joystick".
I imagine that when video game sex comes to the 'XXXbox 720', even non-disabled folk will find a one-handed controller to be rather...convenient.

Re:Too late I fear. (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607025)

Wow, the mods really didn't like a paraplegic, sex based, hot grits Xbox joke. Slashdot has jumped the shark moderator-wise.

Well, at least someone is optimistic about it... (0, Redundant)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601731)

The vast majority of material I've read about this thing has been negative. Can't say I've been terribly impressed by the neutral information, myself. A one-handed control seems counterintuitive and cumbersome for fast-paced games where a controller designed for two hands is far better suited. But, I've never had occasion to try one out...maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by it when it finally hits the shelves.

Where are you getting your information? (4, Informative)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601926)

I'm trying to decide if you're trolling or if you genuinely believe what you're saying. I'm even tempted to believe you're one of those "guerilla advertising" identities, trying to make early jabs at Nintendo's innovation.

Every review--that is, every review I've read or heard from people who have actually used the controller has been overwhelmingly positive. Even Nintendo's competitors have given that safe, non-commital "innovation is certainly a good thing" sort of comment. People's negative comments have all been speculative: "I'm not sure how it would work for X," "it's appearance might be off-putting to market segment Y." It's important to note that these comments have more to do with peoples' prejudices and lack of imagination than with any problems they actually perceived with the controller.

Where are these negative reviews you speak of? Baseless speculation from people who are too busy crying that "N1nt3nd0 is teh k1dd13." Certainly not from the dozens of people who have tried the controller and said, "wow, this could really go some interesting places.

Re:Where are you getting your information? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602131)

I can't honestly point at any negative reviews right now. It's been a long time, and those may have been engineering models that still had some bugs. As for guerilla advertising, notice that I made a point to say that I haven't used it myself and might be surprised by how well it works.

I like Nintendo. I thought the N64 controller was brilliant, by far the best console controller of its time. I don't own or know anyone who owns a Gamecube, so I've not had enough exposure to it to comment. I simply have my reservations about how effectively *any* one-handed controller will handle a game like Halo of KOTOR.

Innovation is always a good thing. That doesn't mean that everything innovative is always good, nor that what is great for one person won't be terrible for the next. I'm genuinely looking forward to trying out a revolution just to see if it lives up to its name...I just have my doubts and am expressing them. I'm sorry if that troubles you so.

Re:Where are you getting your information? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602293)

Ok, I'll save you some grief: the controller isn't one-handed at all. The one-handed base unit has the motion sensors (others are attached to the tv) and a few buttons, that's right. But you can attach an analog stick to the base unit, which you hold with the other hand. Aim right hand/arm, movement left thumb. Nintenod has said they haven't shown all they have, so I expect additional extensions.
See the TGS 2005 teaser video [ign.com]

Doubts Are Fine (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602335)

I haven't got a problem with your doubts. A lot of people have relatively unfounded doubts (just as my optimism is only tenuously founded on the reviews others have given).

I did not, however, take issue with your statement that you'd read mostly negative reviews, because I believed that statement to be either very poorly researched or an outright fabrication. I took issue with the fact that you cited "negative reviews" that you can't even point to now. Now I am left to wonder: did such "reviews" even exist to begin with? Have I caught you in a fabrication, or are you genuinely just poor at citing sources? Or did you just innocently echo what a thousand uninformed others have said without basis for their claims? Whether intentionally or otherwise, what you said was basically misleading. Most reviews of the hardware have been overwhelmingly positive, mixed with speculative negatives that I frankly believe are only there to help with the an illusion of "objectivity." People play with this controller and the first thing they say is, "this could be really cool."

Obviously, whether it will succeed will depend on it's execution, not its potential. But right now, there are no reviews on execution, for obvious reasons. I've seen a lot of criticism of the controller, but not from people who actually tried it. It's actually expected to be the best FPS controller since the keyboard/mouse. As a huge fan of KotOR, I can say that the Rev controller would be much more ideal for that game than the XBox controller.

So: if you have doubts, express them. It's okay, one voice is all you really need. Do not try to strengthen your claim by inventing reviews you've never read. By doing this, your guerilla advertising techniques will be much more convincing. d^_^b

Re:Doubts Are Fine (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603264)

Obviously, whether it will succeed will depend on it's execution, not its potential. But right now, there are no reviews on execution, for obvious reasons. I've seen a lot of criticism of the controller, but not from people who actually tried it. It's actually expected to be the best FPS controller since the keyboard/mouse. As a huge fan of KotOR, I can say that the Rev controller would be much more ideal for that game than the XBox controller.

I'm confused. Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) is an RPG, not an FPS. I'm not sure how the Revolution controller could be beneficial for RPGs, especially those that aren't in a first-person view. (KotOR, like many recent RPGs, use a 3rd-person "behind the back" view). If the left controller is used for movement, what would the motion-stick be used for? Using it to select menu options doesn't seem intuitive to me. RPGs are actually one genre that seems to make the least sense for the Revolution controller, unless someone can convince me otherwise. (I believe Nintendo already has plans on having a traditional-style controller anyway as a backup)

I do agree that the controller sounds great for FPS games. I'm a staunch mouse/keyboard user, so I find it difficult being limited to the two analog sticks with current consoles. I'm a little worried about sensitivity, but overall, the Revolution design just makes a lot of sense. I'm sure I'll have to try it in person before I can adamantly say it rocks or sucks though.

Re:Doubts Are Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14603822)

RPG's do not require quick button mashing of many buttons, all they need is the ability to choose stuff off of menus. Practically ANY control system can easily support rpgs. Saying they are the "least suited" genre is a bit on the edge. Being more benecifical than a standard controller, who knows, but it certainly won't hamper the experience much.

Pointing to menu items will make it more like Kotor on the pc than the xbox; and the pc version definately was easier to control than the xbox version. Maybe not intuitive, from a game standpoint, as nothing using the remote will be like anything that's come before. It's only a question of how quickly players are able to adopt the new control styles and how easy it is to control AFTER the acclimitization period.

Re:Doubts Are Fine (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603949)

the revolution controller has a D pad as well as A B a b start select and home buttons on it, that is more than enough inputs to control and RPG or, for that matter, almost anything that isn't real time.

Re:Doubts Are Fine (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14606557)

As a huge fan of KotOR, I can say that the Rev controller would be much more ideal for that game than the XBox controller.

Hell, it would be better than mouse and keyboard for KOTOR. Remember, in that game, you spend most of your time using a lightsaber...

* has a mental vision of spending Christmas '06 in front of the TV with a Revolution controller in hand, going 'whummm... whmmm... KHSSSSKKK! whmmm... Surrender to the Dark Side!'

Re:Well, at least someone is optimistic about it.. (2, Insightful)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601944)

Where have you been reading negative impressions of this? From what I've been reading, developers who have actually had a hands-on experience with it are extremely excited by it. It seems those who haven't touched it (3DRealms CEO) are the ones who have given negative impressions.

Re:Well, at least someone is optimistic about it.. (1)

Bullet-Dodger (630107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603298)

Yeah, it's too bad you can't use it two handed [nintendo.com] .

Really? (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601734)

Well, this sounds great if it works like that, which I doubt it will. I would think it would make it harder, not easier. The Revolution is interesting, but I think this is a bit of a long shot, before the console is even out.

New controller... (4, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601822)

New controller, can be operated with one hand. Photo [slashdot.org]

Re:New controller... (1)

fishybell (516991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602150)

How?

I find it rather difficult to use a joystick (of the type pictured) with only one hand. Usually the second hand is used to press the button. Of course, the innovation of putting the button on top would fix that problem.

Re:New controller... (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602870)

How about this one? [atariace.com]

Re:New controller... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603840)

You ask for it, you can get it [msn.com] :D

Re:New controller... (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605460)

Freud should have seen that one...

Re:New controller... (1)

rnpg1014 (942171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603842)

His efforts include using a childhood game system that can be played by moving a joystick with his right hand and slamming his more rigid left hand into one button.

While for some people that is even impossible, there's one way to do it. I suppose one could use the side of their one hand as well.

Re:New controller... (1)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602798)

I think you meant this controller [google.com] .

No PC gaming? (4, Interesting)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601907)

I imagine there's a much larger existing userbase for input devices for the disabled in the PC world. What prevents someone from using one of these devices for gaming? I'm not too familiar with this kind of stuff but I'm sure there's a sort of trackball . keyboard combo that could be used. You might not innately be as quick as you used to be (or as other players), but you'd be surprised...

When I went to college a fellow student at the end of the hall was very big into games. I believe his console of choice was the Saturn and he played it with an arcade-style joystick. What's surprising about him is that he had a pretty serious congenital disorder: he was born without arms, and just small, working hands at the end of his shoulders. I believe he moved the joystick with his mouth. He was a pretty good player too.

Worthy of mention too, is Pin Interactive's Terraforma [terraformers.nu] , which is a game designed both for sighted and unsighted gamers. Even for sighted gamers, the game offers a high-contrast mode. A playable demo [terraformers.nu] is available.

One of the lead developers of Terraforma mentions in this article that there are other games for the disabled [igda.org] - he specifically mentions MUDs as well as some really neat off-the-wall concepts like games that use a "breating interface".

I'm glad that attention is being paid to this. I don't think it will mean increased business for Nintendo in any measurable term, but then everything isn't about revenue.

Re:No PC gaming? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602559)

"I imagine there's a much larger existing userbase for input devices for the disabled in the PC world. What prevents someone from using one of these devices for gaming?"

The fact that 99.9% of PC games are designed for keyboard and mouse (as FPS fans are so fond of moaning about when they play on a console), which requires both hands and ten fingers. Unless the games are specifically written for these specialized controllers, you'll end up with a cludge that probably won't be very satisfying to anybody.

On the other hand, the majority of Revo games will be designed to take advantage of the default controller.

Strong right hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14601911)

sounds like a lot of gamer-geeks ...

This is precisely what I'm worried about (3, Informative)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14601927)

This highlights exactly my concern regarding the new controller. If someone with only the use of one hand can effectively use the controller, that means (obviously) that most or all potential for input from the other hand will be ignored. This strikes me as a strange, and possibly deal-breaking decision to make for a video game console.

The trend to date in video games has been towards more, rather than less, complexity. Bucking that trend will be, in my estimation, extraordinarily difficult. Improving games by adding complexity has proven to be comparatively easy - witness the endless parade of sequels, sports franchises, and ever-increasing button counts on controllers. If you can't add complexity, however, you're forced to add to gameplay in another way.

Now, improving gameplay in ways more fundamental than just adding new things is a fantastic thing to do. Innovation is always better than revision. The problem Nintendo will have is that they've foreclosed the option to add complexity, which means all they can do is add innovation...and innovation is hard.

If they can pull it off, and release a non-stop series of games that are innovative, then I'll be a happy camper. But I don't know if they can. It's going to be hard to improve on the GC's Metroid games while providing fewer control inputs. Ditto Zelda, Mario, Smash Bro.'s, and Mario Kart, which means they're potentially hurting themselves when it comes to staple games that, to date, have sold systems.

Possibly even worse, having a radically different controller than the other two consoles will be a disincentive to 3rd-party developers to try and port games to the Revolution. Perhaps the Revo's hardware is going to be far enough behind the others' that this won't matter; they wouldn't have ported anyway. But whatever the reason, that slows uptake of the new console, too.

Now, if anyone can pull it off, it's probably Nintendo. And I really hope they do, since it would be fantastic if there was a dramatic change in what kind of new games got released in favor of innovation vs. revision. But I harbor deep-seated doubts as to whether even the big N can succeed solely on innovative games, and ignoring wheelhouse franchises.

(As a sidebar, I'm also leery of how comfortable I might be using just one hand to play a game. I look at it this way: the NES controller could easily be redesigned to be used one-handed, as a pistol-grip with a thumbstick on top and a button per finger on the underside. Would I want to play any game with that controller as opposed to the original? I really don't think so. It's just easier to do two things at once when you've got one hand per task...and most genres of games require at least executing movement along with at least one-button action simultaneously)

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (2, Insightful)

Aquariette (891336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602034)

You're not taking into account the motion sensitivity. If the controller were two-handed, then you'd need to move both hands for one movement. It would be like using two of those one-handed NES controllers you describe, and having to press the same button on both for it to register.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (2, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602186)

Fair enough, and I hadn't considered that. It at least splits functions into minor muscle groups (fingers) and major muscle group (arm). I still worry that ignoring the other hand will be, overall, detrimental. I think I'd rather have a two-piece controller, one of which was motion-sensitive and the other of which had all the buttons.

Consider driving a car. You can easily simulate (and plenty of games do) all the core functionality of a car with one thumbstick (steering), two analog controls (accelerating/braking), and a pair of buttons (shift up/down). In fact, with modern controllers, you can toss in honking the horn, looking around, adjusting your radio, and changing your camera angle (doesn't even have a real-life analogue). I do this every time I play PGR3, and it's not particularly challenging.

On the other hand, when it comes to a real car, I use two hands, my neck, and one foot (two, if I'm driving a manual). And I have less than no desire to replace all those controls that tie up all those muscle groups with a modern controller. Using more muscle groups with minimal complexity is, to me at least, easier and more intuitive than using fewer muscle groups with greater complexity.

It's not so much that I don't see how you can play a modern game with one hand, it's more that no matter how simple the game, I'd rather split its inputs across both hands. Even in Asteroids and Galaga, I want to play with one hand on the stick and the other on the button, not with a joystick+trigger.

*shrug*

Maybe it's just personal preference, but the long history of video games employing two-handed controllers seems to indicate to me that it's a natural inclination for people to split tasks like this.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602810)

The system is also shipping with an attachment you hold in your left hand which contains an analog stick and 2 buttons. One of the big examples is when playing an FPS, you'd use the stick to walk and the remote to aim. Granted, I still don't think that's enough buttons for Metroid Prime, so I'm rather curious to see what they come up with.

There's also a WaveBird style shell that goes around the base controller allowing standard control styles while still retaining motion sensitivity.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602224)

Have you ever played a motion-sensitive game? I recall one gimmick game in the arcades back in the early 90s...it was horrible.

Nintendo will no doubt find some excellent uses for the controller, but traditional game styles that drive the console market (sports, FPS, fighting, light RPG) don't seem all that well suited for it.

I could imagine it being VERY cool for racing sims if properly implemented, though.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

Newander (255463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602860)

The reviews I've seen talk about how it worked really well in Metroid Prime. Seems like they said it felt more natural than keyboard and mouse.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14603919)

Warioware twisted works well, and the input method (a rotation sensor) is pretty good IMHO. Takes ~15 minutes to get used to and ~30 to get good, which is probably comparable to a regular controller if you've never used one.
And mastery isn't that big a deal. I still wouldn't consider myself great at using thumbsticks (got my first console 2.5 years ago, and mostly play PC), but I still have fun.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

mario64 (573112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14607945)

When I use my lightsaber, I want to use both hands.

Not so sure (2, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602187)

Why couldn't it be done such that one controller in one hand could get you through the game, (making certain features automatic or supplemented by the console/game) but still configurable such that you could take over the automatic functions by using a second controller in your other hand? Speaking of the Metroid series, one controller could easily be assigned movement and fire, with automatic aiming turned on...or two controllers could be used with one assigned to weapons control and the other to movement.

It seems to me those new controllers are designed (waiting and ready) for games to take advantage of one player using one controller in each hand.

Re:Not so sure (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602234)

*blink*

You know, I had managed to not think of that at all?

Now that you say it, of course, it's smacking me in the face with the "obvious" stick...and you're right, that would take care of all my concerns.

I would hope, then, that the Revo would ship with two controllers...but since I already factor the cost of a second controller and a game into the purchase price of a console, even that wouldn't bother me much. Do we know how many controllers the Revo will be able to support? If it's the traditional four, then any game which uses two controllers will automatically limit the number of players to two...but if they're wireless, it could easily be more than four.

Now, of course, I feel stupid for not thinking of this.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (4, Informative)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602457)

Have you not seen the controler mockups? There is a joystick unit with a trigger that attaches via a short cord to the main controller. This allows for moving your character with the joystick, while aiming with the controller, and pulling the trigger to fire. Or at least that's how it would apply to my favorite genre.

Hmm.. you need some more imagination!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14602490)

One isn't restricted with one controller, you can use two if you have some imagination. If you lack a little thougt or need persuading look at this demo:


http://media.cube.ign.com/articles/651/651334/vids _1.html [ign.com]

No need to be worried (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603150)

I think you're main problem with the Rev controller is that the design disallows for games from "normal" controllers to be easily ported. It's one of the lesser known things, but Nintendo is creating a "shell" for the controller- one that will look and act a lot like today's Gamecube controller, and will actually be an attachment for the Remote Controller.

And, as far as I can remember, it's going to be a regular option, meaning that designers won't have to worry if a consumer has the shell or not, because a shell will come with every controller, or something.

So, Nintendo is doing both. They are bringing the ability to greatly innovate and renovate video games, while still being able to play the multi-ports or old school stuff (how else were we supposed to play our downloaded games?)

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (3, Insightful)

Phantasmo (586700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605261)

If Nintendo can make a solid platformer that's controlled with bongo drums, they can certainly make plenty of great games for the one-handed and nunchaku Revolution controllers.

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605748)

Too bad the other Revolution controller design [gizmodo.com] wasn't adopted. I'm all for more buttons!

Re:This is precisely what I'm worried about (1)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14612726)

One thing I think you're missing is that controls haven't really been taken away, thanks to the motion-sensing. That is, on a dualshock-type controller your left hand deals with movement through the analog stick and d-pad, and has two shoulder buttons. There aren't any "action" buttons over there (other than the shoulder buttons). So they take away the left side of the controller and the right analog stick, but put the analog-stick/d-pad functionality into the controller itself. They also added some control in the form of rotation, which allows an extra degree of movement.

Now, that still leaves one analog stick and two shoulder buttons missing, in case there's a game that would use the entire controller. And guess what the "nunchuck" attachment has? One analog stick and two shoulder buttons.

It's certainly a change, but I don't think you're actually *missing* anything. And remember, Metroid Prime and the other games that work so well with the GCN controller were adapted to work that way - they wouldn't play the same with a mouse or even a dualshock. The control scheme may have to change for the new controller, but it's not like the current control scheme is the One True Way or anything.

Dear 3rd (hell, even 1st) Party Peripheral Makers (3, Insightful)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602294)

Teaching/TA'ing/Subbing in a few Middle school programs, I had a chance to work with a lot of disabled kids. Bright kids who enjoyed the same activities as their classmates. Some of them tried ridiculously hard to play video games, even though the conventional controller designs were prohibitive. If any game company were to embrace adaptive technology, I certain feel like Nintendo would. And I would applaud it.

Re:Dear 3rd (hell, even 1st) Party Peripheral Make (1)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602675)

If any game company were to embrace adaptive technology, I certain feel like Nintendo would. And I would applaud it.

You're absolutely right. If a company would make such a product (i.e. probably millions of dollars in R&D, with little hope of making that back in profit), it would be nintendo.

No wait, check that... it is [oneswitch.org.uk] nintendo. Check out this awesome product they made back in the 80s for kids with no/little use of their upper extemities.

I remember reading about this in the old Nintendo Fun Club magazine. They didn't try to whore it out for publicity (not that that's a bad thing: I fully support companies getting good publicity for good things), but this was so low-key and classy. Nintendo - What an awesome company.

Re:Dear 3rd (hell, even 1st) Party Peripheral Make (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603981)

That is amazing. This time around nintendo should make a similar peripheral more readily available.

Re:Dear 3rd (hell, even 1st) Party Peripheral Make (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14614096)

That's a really cool controller, all you need is a Darth Vader helmet + black cape, and the transformation is complete!

A single handed controller isn't new.... (3, Informative)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602438)

Ascii came up with one a while ago for the Playstation called the Ascii Grip (google images has many pictures of it). I got it because it was a cheap "we gotta get rid of this" deal from Electronics Botique. Not great for practical use by your typical gamer due to only being able to press a couple buttons at once, but useful if you want to play your RPG with one hand and eat pizza with the other hand.

Re:A single handed controller isn't new.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14605975)

I believe ASCII made a similar controller for the Super Famicon/Nintendo. Can't remember what it was called though.

And before that, was the original [handheldmuseum.com] one handed videogame controller.

Games aren't made with any thought to the disabled (4, Insightful)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602502)

And they should be. There are a lot of us, ranging from car accident victims to war veterans to crazy old men with perceptual disorders like me. If a game company stepped up to the plate and spent the small amount they would need to make a game accessible (integrate it with MS's text-to-speech and other accessibility features; permit simplified game control layouts, even if they allow less of the game to be fully explored, as long as it's finishable with the reduced control set; there's a million ways), I'm certain disabled gamers would respond. I'm not talking about targetting games solely at that section of the market, just removing the artificial and unnecessary barriers that exists as it is, adding features to normal game releases.

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (0, Flamebait)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602697)

No offense intended, but disabled actually means you are incapable of doing certain things.

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603610)

No offense intended, but disabled actually means you are incapable of doing certain things.

Agreed. I don't really see how say, Ninja Gaiden could include support for the disabled... There should definitely be games that are specifically created with this in mind, but come on, it's as if you were complaining that books can't be read by blind people.

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603911)

No offense intended, but disabled actually means you are incapable of doing certain things.

You are so fucking lucky there is no God.

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14602866)

I'm surprised that noone has metioned that while using two controllers in a FPS it would be possible to aim in two different directions at once. (although movement control might be a bit problematic)

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (1)

777film (946633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603012)

Considering how many different variations of customizable keyboards, mice and joysticks exist, wouldn't PC games be more appropriate for someone with a disability?

Re:Games aren't made with any thought to the disab (1)

ynohoo (234463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608019)

This struck me particularly with the last Myst installment, which for the first time introduced a couple of time-limited puzzles - a truly dumb idea in an otherwise disabled friendly series (excluding the failed attempt at a multi-player online game, with its clunky Tomb Raider style 3D navigation).

I am disabled....sort of... (5, Informative)

Dysson (457249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602774)

I have lost most of the use in my left hand. I am able to move my fingers, but I cannot obtain a strong grip. I have pretty good use of my thumb, but I am unable to feel anything with the top of my thumb. Therefore, I am able to use a gamepad directional controller, but not effectively. This is why I am so thoroughly happy that the analog stick became the norm in future controllers.

This is also why I purchsed a Nintendo DS. I only buy games that make complete use of the stylus - Trauma Center, Bust-a-Move, and WarioWare, to name a few. This is also why I will buy a Revolution. Where some will look at this controller as a gimmick, I look at it as a boon. I couldn't have been happier to finally see a controller I could use.

I know losing the ability to play alot of video games may not be the end of the world, but it really blows.

Re:I am disabled....sort of... (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603872)

try out polarium, it's a stylus only puzzle game and it gets wicked hard as well as allowing custom puzzles

Re:I am disabled....sort of... (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605327)

I don't know if you like platformers but Kirby also uses only the stylus and is probably the best nth generation mario clone out there.

If you missed out on Mario due to a disibility you owe it to yourself to at least try it out!

Re:I am disabled....sort of... (1)

Dysson (457249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608044)

I think I will give Polarium a shot. I already have Kirby Canvas Curse and I love the hell out of it! Thanks for the suggestions.

Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 11 (-1, Troll)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14602847)

Yes, nothing is better than to speculate wildly on the basis of a few facts and PR releases.

I've never seen so many people let their imaginations spin so wildly out of control about a toy. There hasn't been a single screenshot released, or even examples other than tech demos of how the controller will actually be used.

There is no way that the reality of the product will live up to the hopes people are piling on top of it.

Re:Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 1 (3, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603462)

"I've never seen so many people let their imaginations spin so wildly out of control about a toy."

You must've missed the build up (and eventual letdown) of everything the PS2 was supposed to do before launch. Anyone remember the Emotion Processor? At one point I'm pretty sure Sony was claiming they'd cure cancer with that one.

Re:Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 1 (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605112)

You must've missed the build up (and eventual letdown) of everything the PS2 was supposed to do before launch. Anyone remember the Emotion Processor? At one point I'm pretty sure Sony was claiming they'd cure cancer with that one.

Pretty much all consoles are hyped beyond belief. This is different in my mind because it's not even a complete console that people are claiming will turn one loaf of bread into many - it's just the controller. There isn't even a Killzone 2 video to argue about over whether it's pre-rendered or not. Nintendo has given its fans absolutely NOTHING substantial in terms of what games on the Revolution will be like, but all of them are assuming they'll be exactly the neatest things they would personally design.

Re:Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 1 (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14606603)

To be fair, they have at least shown us a controller and give us a general idea of how it's supposed to work. That's at least "something" even if it's not as much as a prerendered video. I do see your point however. We do have little to base judgements off of. I just wanted to point out that it's not a new phenomenon. It's a shame the Nintendo fanboys modded you troll. You did have a valid non-trollish point.

Re:Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 1 (-1, Flamebait)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605102)

(Score:-1, Troll)

Ah, I see the fanboys have mod points today.

Re:Revolution to offer eternal salvation, film @ 1 (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14608303)

(Score:-1, Flamebait)

Guys, you're just reinforcing my opinion that you can't accept honest criticism of your brand of choice.

It certainly could... (3, Interesting)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603053)

...but probably only for certain gamers, in certain games. To add my normal disclaimer, I'm a games programmer working for Sony (not their opinions in here, just mine, etc etc), but I have relatives and friends with various medical conditions which would have hampered playing games (ranging from colour blindness and deafness through to cerebral palsy and other more serious problems), so I've thought a little about this. None of them are (or were) games players. so this is mostly just guesswork and supposition on my part, but hopefully worthwhile. Anyway!

To take the most extreme example, someone without at least partial use of both legs is unlikely to fully enjoy Dance Dance Revolution or similar using a dance mat as an input device. That's not to say someone nimble couldn't manage, though, but generally. Playing bemani with an alternate controller isn't as much fun, for me anyway, but alternate controllers do at least give the option of participation. Which is a good thing - purely from a developer point of view, the more people you can include in your gaming experience, the better. Genres like this, as well as others where the physical interaction isn't the core of the gameplay, are easiest to make inclusive in this way (with subtitles for deaf players, bright or high-contrast graphics and enlarged text for people with impaired vision, etc). These are, of course, the games where the Revolution controller would probably have the least impact, as they're the least directly interactive in the sense of swinging a bat or shooting a gun.

To jump genres, twitch games like shoot em ups or first person action games almost always require a combination of multiple inputs, exercised with speed and precision. These are things which require much more radical efforts to make inclusive - things like auto aiming and reduced enemy reaction time could help, but would these maybe seem condescending to the player? "Here, let's make things easier for you since you can't manage..." I don't really know, it would be worth asking gamers that. The problem is that unless the Nintendo and game developers consider things like this, Revolution's controller could actually make these games worse for disabled players. For example, the addon controllers already shown could easily mean that some games require two hands to play, but with careful design (or possibly different optional addons designed for different disabilities), it could improve things dramatically for disabled gamers.

Of course, it'll all come down to money in the end - is the disabled gaming market big enough to justify the expense of research and development time for these things to be adequately looked at? Sadly, I'm pretty pessimistic.At least the possibility is there, and people can start to ask the questions. If enough of a market can be found, maybe something good will happen!

Good game for disabled gamers : (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14603673)

Duck Hunt, with the NES Zapper. Seriously, you can be deaf, colorblind and have only one arm, and still master it easily

Downsides for my disability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14603982)

My hands shake like hell, so using a single hand instead of holding the controller tightly with two hands is going to be quite the cockblock. Still, I'd rather other people be enabled by this controller than me not worry about my damn hands shaking :)

Few People *Aren't* Handicapped... (3, Insightful)

macserv (701681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14604212)

...when it comes to modern video game systems - at least, emotionally. That's the problem Nintendo strives to correct. Most people, outside of a core group of gamers, won't even pick up a controller. And who can blame them? A DualShock 2 has 17 buttons! Seventeen! The Revolution controller is much more akin to a computer mouse, or even a simple pointer, offering direct manipulation of the game.

Non-gamers love direct manipulation... it's the reason my girlfriend plays her Nintendo DS so much. She won't touch my PlayStation 2. With the DS, in many games you don't use the controller to tell a representative character what to do, you just do it.

The fact that it allows adaptation for physically handicapped individuals is gravy, and a very tasty gravy indeed. Country gravy, even. Imagine that... so much is possible when a company innovates.

Look here too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14604453)

Hi, I found this game yesterday night and since I can't stop playing:
http://www.hurtwood.demon.co.uk/Fun/copter.swf [demon.co.uk]
Enjoy :-)
chris

It may help some but it'll hinder others (1)

SavageRazor (950831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14604537)

I was born missing three fingers on my left hand and two on my right. What fingers I do have are mishapen and deformed. However I'm a huge gamer and I've struggled along through various controllers and I've found weird and awkward ways to use all of them. However I fear that I simply won't be able to play the revolution as I don't think I'll have the grip required to hold the controller up nor will the buttons fall into my grasp easily like they do on the current generations controllers. Already the DS's touchscreen is causing me much suffering. As I simply cannot reach the centre without having to totally repostion my hand. And then I can't reach the buttons. Sometimes innovation isn't a good thing.

Re:It may help some but it'll hinder others (1)

howlingfrog (211151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605186)

What you've hit on here is the central problem in trying to make mainstream products accessible to people with disabilities--which particular disabilities do you optimize for? My roommate is legally blind, and has difficulty with games that have small maps in the corner of the screen (GTA for example). Bright colors would make those maps much easier for him to see. But if all the colors were the same brigtness, a color-blind person would have a much harder time with it. Or if you make the game rely more on sound, that makes it better for all sorts of visual impairments, but worse for the hearing impaired.

No matter what you do, you can't change the fact that disabilities are disadvantages. They're the most extreme examples of different people having different strengths and weaknesses. Optimizing for one group of people with nonstandard abilities will be highly suboptimal for another group. It's unfortunate, but the only way to make everything accessible to everyone is to eliminate anything with any complexity at all. Only the simplest things are be usable by both the blind and the deaf. Basically nothing is usable by people without functioning legs and people without functioning arms. It's important to make products available to each disability group, but it's idiocy to pretend that they can be equivalent to each other, much less equivalent to the products available to the nondisabled. In most cases, you can't take a mainstream product, slap a different frontend on it for each nonmainstream group, and expect it to work for everyone.

At first glance, the amazing flexibility of the Revolution controller makes it look like it might be an exception to that rule. And for the first generation of games, it might be. But before long, developers will start making games that use the full range of that flexibility. Should those games be eliminated? If not everyone can use something, no one can? That's ridiculous. It's a problem, but pretending a solution exists will only reduce what's available to the majority. Anyone who can't do something I can has my genuine sympathy, and as much of my help as they want and I can give. But I'm not going to pretend I can't just so they can pretend they can.

My wife is looking forward to this! (2, Interesting)

Builder (103701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605452)

My wife lost around half of her thumb on her right hand in an accident last year. This being her dominant hand, she has been unable to use most of the consoles that we have in the house as effectively as she used to.

She's looking REALLY forward to the revolution.

One second please... (1)

NiceGuyVan (948839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14605588)

I know a quadrapalegic who has extremely limited arm movement, but enough so he could enjoy Lifeline on PS2.

Right hand? (1)

Challenged (951104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14613165)

"relatively strong right hand" Hmm.
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