Is the MotionPlus delay due to third party developers?

As you all know, Wii MotionPlus has been absent from the past two major Nintendo release schedules. Now, my first thought is this is Nintendo being Nintendo, always meticulously testing its first party products until they’re perfect (unless, of course, we’re talking Wii Music—I kid Miyamoto, I kid!).

However, hundreds, if not thousands, of people saw MotionPlus in real-time demos at E3 and elsewhere to close out 2008. The tech worked; the hardware appeared sound—especially in one of the more complicated implementations, 1:1 sword-fighting.

So, if the hardware is sound, perhaps it’s the software that’s the issue. No, not Wii Sports Resort. Third party software. There are a number of developers who’ve outright bragged that their game will support MotionPlus, and I imagine there are several more who have yet to speak up about it that nevertheless have games ready for deployment. And then there are those developers that have yet to sign on that are seeing this excitement in their peers and want in on the action, so to speak. Many publishers, like EA, are openly groevling at Nintendo’s feet these days (and have already pledged MotionPlus games), so there’s a bit more evidence there as well.

What Nintendo could be doing is something we wouldn’t have seen in an older, more arrogant 1990s Nintendo. Keep in mind they’ve said nothing official yet, so there’s no real “delay,” but the release schedule absence speaks for itself. Perhaps Nintendo is throwing developers a bone? Giving them a bit more time to get something together for the launch? With Wii Speak and the Balance Board fading from my memory faster than I’d like, this scenario would make a bit more sense than Nintendo going in alone. And yes, I realize that the Balance Board continues to be a moneymaker for Nintendo, regardless of my memory, but this MotionPlus scenario would mean even MORE money for the Big N, if that’s even possible.

And, of course, Wii Sports Resort will blow everything away anyway, so this hypothetical is really win-win for Nintendo.

16 Responses to Is the MotionPlus delay due to third party developers?

  1. peshue says:

    Perhaps they’d like it to actually be a successful peripheral, they can’t do that with just a few ist party games.

  2. DaveRage says:

    I believe the delay is due to either technical issues (testing) or new negotiations to lower the cost for the tech needed. Nintendo has never feared launching a peripheral without 3rd party support. A few examples are the:

    Wii Zapper
    Wii Speak
    Wii Wheel
    Wii Balance Board
    Cube Microphone
    Cube Bongos
    N64 Microphone
    SNES Mouse
    SNES SuperScope
    NES Zapper
    NES Printer
    NES Power Glove
    NES PowerPad
    and yes, even ROB

    If history has taught us anything here, its that Nintendo releases peripherals when its well and ready, regardless of who’s on board. I don’t see much changing with MotionPlus here.

  3. David says:

    Yeah, Nintendo generally doesn’t seem to support their own peripherals let alone worry about 3rd parties doing so.

  4. Jack says:

    So, remaining hypothetical, since we don’t know anything yet (even IGN’s Nintendo podcast team hasn’t made anything up), let’s change conversational gears.

    Hypothesize, as daverage has, on what the hold up could be, given the rather successful demos we’ve seen so far.

    Really appreciating the constructive comment thus far. Kudos again, dear readers.

  5. peshue says:

    It could be price. They seem to want it to be fairly inexpensive, but being Nintendo I’m sure they want to make a hefty profit on it also.

  6. Jamie says:

    I think we’ll see it shortly before the release of The Conduit. ‘s the biggest game I can think of that uses it and Nintendo would be plain silly not to get it out before that game hits.

  7. El Hajjish says:

    I’m guessing that mass production at a low cost could be a problem, or perhaps they are really trying to make Wii Sports Resort a refined game. If they don’t want to ship one without the other, this could be a hold up.

  8. El Hajjish says:

    Also, Jamie, sorry to say, the Conduit is not going to use Wii Motion Plus anymore. The developer said it didn’t really add anything to the game so they took it out.

  9. Joe A. says:

    I believe it has something to do with this article you posted a while back. A direct quote from the article reads “He told me…Nintendo is hiring them to figure out how to sell more games to Wii owners. Nintendo is saying Wii owners are not buying many games; they’re just playing Wii Sports.” If this is true then releasing Wii Sports Plus would obviously make more money for Nintendo, sell a lot of Wii’s, but inevitably perpetuate the problem ten fold. I think 3rd parties are finally focusing their effort onto the most popular platform and if they have to compete with Wii Sports and Wii Sports plus then that could pose a problem. Nintendo is staying quiet on the MotionPlus issue and won’t release it until this holiday. Or at least that is just my opinion.

  10. charon12 says:

    Perhaps they’re just waiting until they’ve produced enough to attempt meeting demand. It can still be tough to find a Wii or Wii Fit for some people and maybe they’re hoping to avoid or reduce a supply problem.

  11. gojiguy says:

    Jack, I hope what you’re saying is true because Nintendo’s out-of-the-blue announcement for the MotionPlus last year was a left hook out of nowhere for most developers and if they rushed out a project JUST to meet the launch date we’d be left with more shovelware and half-baked titles than you could shake a stick at. It’d be the Wii launch all over again!

    So here’s to hoping Nintendo is being a nice game company and giving 3rd party devs a chance. We can all wait a bit longer for WMP. I know I can.

  12. tylor says:

    I don’t think it will be delayed significantly. We’ve seen it working and Nintendo knows it basically has to come out before the summer sports games featuring it go out of season (lest there be a shitstorm), so I really wouldn’t worry about it. They’re probably just looking for the cheapest way to make a million of them right now.

  13. Lite says:

    @ DaveRage:

    Oh, hey. Sorry. I think I heard you diss ROB. Well let me tell you something…

    Fuck yeah, he failed, he only had two games!

    He’s a good Brawler though. You have to give him that.

    Regarding MotionPlus:

    I think of it as a hardware update to the Wii Remote. Most of the games Nintendo will develop first-party will be MotionPlus, and a few good third-party games (No More Heroes 2? Let’s hope it has MotionPlus!!) will be compatible too.

    The Conduit has no MotionPlus? -sniff sniff- I’ll-I’ll be alright…sniff…

  14. tylor says:

    conduit and motion plus? m’eh, it’s not the type of game that seems like it’d benefit the most from it. I mean, as long as it plays like Metroid Prime 3 but without the hour long stretches of being bored of my ass interwoven with the good stuff I’ll be pretty happy.

  15. InvisibleMan says:

    I’m with Jack’s hypothesis: 3rd party developers have to wait until the peripherial is ready to go before they start developing controls for it in their games! So, you need to add about a year after Nintendo announces it for 3rd party games that use it to come out…

  16. lance says:

    It’s smart of nintendo to with hold the units release so that developers can make some games for it. I hope it’s not as big a flop as the balance board is (it is successful, yes, but there’s probably less than ten games that use it.)

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