Archive for Ephemera
Oh, great. Great. In August 2005 I predicted the Nintendo “Revolution” would feature a wireless touchscreen controller that might double as a portable, handheld game system—a little like the Dreamcast’s VMU, but 800x better. And what’d we end up with? Glorified television remotes, you guys.
At Tuesday’s E3 press conference, Nintendo confirmed persistent rumors: the Wii’s successor, the “Wii U,” intends to make waves with its touchscreen controller. Is this genius? Yes. Could Nintendo have released it six years ago, far predating the iPhone’s ubiquity? Yeah, no, OK, probably not.
I’m kind of a fanlady, sure, but this thing is exceptional. It’s as if its designers took a Wii Classic Controller—which, thanks to the slow perfection of several generations, is a perfectly calibrated configuration of buttons, dual analog sticks, and a directional gamepad—and yanked at both ends until there was room for an iPod Touch in the middle. Add a microphone, a camera, subtle stereo speakers, and God knows what else, and they’ve cooked up something formidably functional.
Can we talk about me again, though? Can we go back to my prescient, six-year-old doodle again? (My doodle is now old enough to draw its own doodles.) This inane, jokey mock-up was COMPLETE WITH TILT ACCELEROMETER ACTION, AND ALSO, A CLIP-ON STEERING WHEEL. Today, clip-on racing wheels actually exist! For Wii Remotes! My dream became a reality! But does anyone remember my prediction? Absolutely not. This E3 game = totes bogus.
P.S. I also anticipated a cooking game where players would make frying pan “flipping” gestures. No one cares. I know.
When you play games on your iPod Touch, do you find yourself, erm, all thumbs (so to speak)? The Fling mini is here to correct that!
The mini, based on the original Fling for iPad, is a pair of “analog” joysticks that suction onto a smartphone’s touchscreen, grafting a physical controller right atop the onscreen one. Smart! And since the joysticks provide “haptic feedback”—that’s leetspeak for “gamefeel”—you might discover that these joysticks offer just what your iPhone (or Android) hack-and-slashes have been missing.
And though the joysticks certainly take up a whole lot of touchscreen real estate, the designers promise that, once the stick itself is backlit, it becomes nigh transparent. (Its designers also promise that the joysticks are “compatible with hundreds of great games,” but by all appearances the Fling mini has, so far, been tested against just seven. Oh, well.)
The Fling mini doesn’t appear to be in production quite yet, but you can pre-order each pair for US$24.95. Ah, the high price of high design.
Even in her girlhood—she spent her summers in Topeka, staring up at the sky—little Chell dreamed of a someday-career at Aperture.