People talk and talk some more about how the Wiimote is the part of the Wii that is revolutionizing gaming, but what if it isn’t? What if it was something less obvious, yet completely obvious at the same time?
Kyoshi Shin of Japan’s International Game Developers’ Association was less positive, suggesting that many developers are shifting their focus to Nintendo Wii.
“When people talk about the PS3 on chat forums, they say it’s like going to a very expensive restaurant and not getting anything to eat,” he added.
What if the “killer app” of the Wii is not the controller that people laud for its innovation, but instead is the hardware that people love to continually bash for being so inferior? This is just wild conjecture from here on out, but who’s to say the Wiimote isn’t a Trojan Horse for Nintendo to get an insanely easy to develop for system into the hands of developers?
Think about it. The Wiimote is the obvious method to spread hype about Nintendo’s new system. Without it, we really do have nothing more than a GameCube on steroids. Without the Wiimote, no one gives Nintendo the light of day with the Wii — especially not with the perceived failure of the GameCube sill lingering in the wings. But they do take notice of this strange new Wiimote thing, and Wii Sports, and how this system is ravaging sales forecasts and setting the word-of-mouth channels positively ablaze.
So the curious developers get a few development kits, and begin to make a game with the Wiimote in mind. Then they discover how ridiculously easy it is to develop for the Wii, especially when compared to the PS3 kit that’s gathering dust in the corner. Oh, and they realize they can finally go out for lunch a few times because their wallets aren’t being drained with development costs. And then they start realizing that if they fail with this one idea they have, they won’t go belly up because they have resources left over to begin anew. They start to create first and set the check books aside until the brainstorming is 100% done. What a wild idea, huh?
Like with the DS and its touch screen, the Wiimote is just the icing on the cake of an easy-to-develop for system. If developers want to use it, they can. If not, they don’t. Or maybe they mix in some quirky controls here and there but don’t rely on them 100%. Regardless, before they know it they’re developing games without worry of failure or line item budgets that have skyrocketed to $20 million or more like they have for other systems. Things that typically bloat the budget of today’s “games” — like voice acting and cinematic HD sequences — become secondary issues behind game play and story. When the foundation is solidly in place, only then do developers begin to add in the extras. Too many games begin at the top today, I think. This dynamic changes that back to the way it once was.
In the end, the Wii allows developers to create new IP without constraint. And who knows, they could be doing it all while the Wiimote itself gathers dust in a corner. Thanks to the Wiimote, you see, they have been “tricked” into developing for an “inferior” system. And they’ll make mad money doing it.