Is the Wii Motion Plus just too damn good?

Is the Wii Motion Plus just too damn good?

The Wii’s Motion Plus add-on for the controller is apparently very accurate. Too accurate, according to one of the early adopter developers – EA reckons it had to limit the responsiveness for upcoming Grand Slam Tennis game. This reminded me of a discussion I had about the Wii’s control system.

Any serious gamer or technophile who has spent more than 10 minutes with a Nintendo Wii will have spotted that the Wii remote doesn’t actually have very good motion sensitivity. Chatting to one developer in the pub, we were laughing at just how bad some of the control systems are on the Wii’s party games were. It then occurred that this lack of accuracy could actually explain the Wii’s lure to the casual gamer and wider family audience.

If you spend 10 minutes with Gears of War 2, you’re not suddenly going to be as good as a hardcore gamer. In other words, you still quite likely to get shot. However, play 10 minutes of Wii Sports, and you’re likely to be as good at tennis as anyone else in the room. This isn’t just because the game is more simple, or because the control system is more obvious, it’s also because the Wii remote’s sensing of movement is rather restricted, and this limitation levels the playing field.

It would be hard to believe that Nintendo had planned this. Indeed the upcoming release of the WiiMotion Plus shows that greater accuracy in movement tracking is considered a good thing for future Wii games. However it seems that the console’s lack of accuracy to date could well be one of the factors that led to its success. I believe that’s called irony.