Factor 5: Wii matches PS3, “and then some”

julian.jpgFactor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht sent Nintendo fans reeling in January when he announced his prestigious team has “at least one all-new Wii project” in development.

In an interview earlier this month with IGN’s Matt Casamassina at the annual DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Eggebrecht revealed a few more vague details and confirmed widely held expectations that Factor 5 would push the modest Wii hardware to unprecedented new levels.

What wasn’t expected, however, was the extent to which the Lair developer has pushed Nintendo’s comparatively under-powered platform. According to Eggebrecht, Factor 5 has created an engine for Wii software that “does everything the PS3 did and then some.”

“We’re pretty much at a state where we’re almost done with the engine. At the same time, we’ve also been working on content quite a bit because we had enough running very quickly on the platform that we were able to. But the biggest milestone or mark right now is that we’re almost done with the engine and it does everything that the PS3 did and then some, quite frankly. So we’re pretty happy with that.”

In regard to what he called the “uniqueness of the Wii,” and perhaps the result of a lesson learned from the flawed SIXAXIS controls that hindered PS3’s Lair, Eggebrecht emphasized the importance of the Wii remote’s IR pointer over its much-hyped motion controls.

“But one of our main focuses is the innovation around the controls. Everybody is always talking about the motion control, but I think people are overplaying that a bit. I really, really love the pointing aspect of the remote. Although we’re going to use everything for what we have in development, I think the pointing stuff is probably the biggest innovation which we’re working on right now.”

When asked if the game will utilize the nunchuck, Eggebrecht dropped some surprising tidbits about the “casual gaming” direction Factor 5 seems to be taking toward its upcoming Wii project.

“I can’t really comment yet because, quite frankly, you try to design almost every game for the Wii, I think, to avoid the nunchuck unless it’s necessary. If it is necessary and if the game lends itself to it, I think the nunchuck absolutely is valid. But one also has to be aware of the genre, because if you want to go very casual, then the nunchuck is the first barrier for really casual gameplay.”

Perhaps in regard to the persistent Kid Icarus rumors continuing to spread, Eggebrecht had a simple answer to whether the project is for a Nintendo first-party game or a third-party publisher:

“I won’t give you a clue.”