PS3 “too big,” but Wii’s challenge is just right

Wii Parappa RappaKick, punch, it’s all in your mind…

PaRappa the Rapper anyone? I only ask because NanaOn-Sha boss Masaya Matsuura spoke to recently and said his company was planning a simple little “one-button” Wii title. Why the Wii? Because the PS3 is a developer’s minefield and the Xbox 360 has an AC adapter the size of my apartment (I paraphrase a tad, but he really did say the problem with the 360 is its AC adapter!).

“Wii is a very good piece of hardware. Many talented people from Nintendo make great ideas for game hardware, of course. Already I’ve been starting to think about Wii software, but it’s very hard sometimes. Because can you keep shaking the controller for hours? Players can’t spend a long time on gameplay, so this can be tough. So I respect Nintendo’s activities, but for software designers like us, it’s very hard.” However, Matsuura said he is currently in the planning stages of developing a game for Wii – with work set to officially begin “soon, maybe”.

I said it yesterday, but this is how the Trojan horse effect might work for the Wii. Take one developer (Matsuura), add in a preconceived notion that the Wiimote is all there is to the Wii (“can you keep shaking the controller for hours?”) and then get them developing a simple game to start (one-button title). Then, and here’s where the system really needs to shine, a developer begins to think outside of mere control interfaces and starts designing a game without hardware or budgetary constraint.