2006 - Nintendo Wii: Video Games Start to Feel Motions
Nintendo has been producing various games since the year 1887. Throughout its history the company had its ups and downs, but its gaming nature always helped Nintendo to find its own unique path to success. The motion controller of Nintendo Wii allowed the company to sell over 80 million of consoles in just about four years.
Unlike companies like Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft Corp., Nintendo has never tried to create the most technologically advanced video game system. Its consoles always lacked a number of technological features others considered common (Nintendo 64 used cartridges, whereas the original PlayStation used CDs, GameCube used proprietary discs and did not support either CD or DVD playback), but concentrated on creation of successful game franchises like Super Mario or Zelda. But slow sales of GameCube made it clear for the company: it does need some kind of innovation to succeed in the next round.
In 2002 a long-time leader of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, stepped down as the and Satoru Iwata took the reins. The new head of the company redesigned the firm and its development teams quite substantially. But even under the new lead Nintendo was confident that video game consoles should be inexpensive and either earn money from day one, or at least cause minimal losses. As a result, it was not really an option for Nintendo to go with high-definition graphics and complex processing units. Instead, it needed to find something that no one else would have. Something, which would immerse players into games without high-quality graphics or audio. Being unable to "address" the eyes and ears, choosing motion-based gaming was really the most logical option.
As a result, the company decided to risk and employ a motion-sensing game controller. In fact, the firm first started "playing" with the technology back in 2001 (the first prototype of a motion-sensing controller was made for Nintendo by Gyration back then), so, the decision was a well-considered one. None popular video games used motion-sensing controllers before Wii and the innovative Wiimote and Nunchuck were just poised to attract attention of gamers. Moreover, simplistic game process could also make non-gamers play. At the end, all "traditional" games like basketball, bowling or football are about moving the whole body, not just fingers.
By the middle of the decade video games became so complex that a non-gamer could not play them. By contrast, moving hands and pressing one or two buttons if needed was simple enough to achieve goals of the game. Simplistic motion-sensing controller appeared to be just what the doctor ordered, not only hardcore gamers were excited about motion-sensing gaming, but people who never held a gamepad in their lives became addicted to Wii!
At first, neither Microsoft nor Sony really believed into the success Wii game console since both companies still tried to submerge players into virtual worlds using complex graphics, advanced visual effects, vibrant sounds as well as thrilling plot. Deep inside those companies people naturally worked on things like Kinect, Move, Eye Toy and others, but the giant corporations did not take a risk to bet onto motion-sensing gaming with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. After four years of hard work and seeing how Wii outsells PS3 and X360 combined, Microsoft and Sony also entered the world of motion-sensing gaming.
Video games are all about human senses and it is apparent that they will continue to develop in different directions. Nintendo Wii and its controller just added one more way to be in the game. As we see, its competitors decided to add motion-based gaming to currently available platforms and not wait for their successors, an undeniable proof that the Wii changed the industry.