November 2006 Archive

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November 22, 2006

Wii

@ 9:35 AM

Yesterday I pre-ordered a Nintendo Wii (external link) from Amazon. I own a PS2 and a GBA, and had no plans to buy a next-gen console - certainly the PS3 and X360 do nothing for me, being effectively hardware upgrades for the previous consoles, offering the same old gameplay mechanics - but a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across some video of people playtesting Wii Sports (which comes bundled with the Wii) and it looked like so much fun. And it has the Virtual Console (external link), backwards compatability with the GameCube, and wireless networking - I never stood a chance.

The one area which has seen little progress since the birth of video gaming is the controller, and the way we interact with our games, and it looks like a smart move by Nintendo to tackle this head on and try to push the envelope. The Wii remote and nunchuck seem to have captured developers' imaginations too, judging by some of the previews in the gaming press. The mirroring in-game of your physical movements in 3 dimensions was the technical challenge, and it will be good for the industry and gamers if Nintendo have pulled it off.

When you consider the stunning visual and aural capabilities of today's gaming PCs and consoles, it really is time that more investment was made in immersive controllers. The Atari VCS paddle was the last real innovation I can think of that worked for console gaming, with most other controllers simply extending the traditional joypad/stick, with gimmicks like rumble packs or the addition of yet more buttons.

It's due to arrive on December 8th - if I can resist the temptation to sell it off and make a fast buck you can expect a full review here shortly thereafter.

November 21, 2006

Petition the PM

@ 7:34 PM

Ian Fenn (I'm assuming of Chopstix (external link) fame) has setup an e-petition at the 10 Downing Street site (external link) asking the PM to ensure that websites launched by government comply with WCAG.

Let's face it, Tony needs some good news before he buggers off on the lecture circuit, so it's definitely worth a shot, if only to highlight the continuing non-compliance of the DTI and other high profile government sites.

There are 517 open petitions at the site at the time of writing, and we only need 81 signatures to make the first page, and 9123 to displace the top petition, so get over there now and sign it, you know it makes sense.