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Would it have made any difference if the Wii launched with MotionPlus? [roundtable]
It's roundtable time!

I was thinking about this the other day. Thinking about how awesome Skyward Sword looks, and then thinking that it would have been pretty awesome if Twilight Princess had a Skyward Sword level of motion integration. An 'epic' motion-controlled game like that at launch could have made for a much more ambitious (in terms of motion control) software library. Maybe motion control wouldn't have become so infamous. On the other hand, maybe it would've.

But it just wasn't possible with the naked Wiimote. Some games tried to do directional slashing, and it worked at times, but it just wasn't very reliable. Imagine if MotionPlus was in from the beginning, though. Would it have made a difference? Could 'waggle' have been a thing of the past?

Possibly, but the total lack of interest for Move (and MotionPlus, for that matter) makes me think that the public doesn't really care about the evolution of motion control. What do you guys think?

By the way, there's a GameStop sale today: All Move games are $10!

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Posted: 09/12/11, 18:52:41  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/11, 18:59:34
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Given that TP was a GCN game and that the Zelda team needed the Wii Sports Resort team to figure out motion controls for them, I don't think we could have seen a SS-esque TP at the Wii's launch. Having the necessary tech wouldn't have been a detriment, but I don't think they could have gotten them working right out of the gate.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:02:01
We still would have gotten some waggle--the vanilla wii remote can do much more than most tried. But there would have been more quality use of motion controls from the get-go if plus was standard, which may've alienated developers who took the waggle approach (for good reason). I don't think motion plus or move have been handled particularly well, though. I don't think either 'platform' will really take off unless they're done as the standard instead of a peripheral. I think poor use of motion controls has caused public disinterest in motion controls--Nintendo seems to even be aware of it with their WiiU scheme. Many of their games downplay motion controls or just use them for simple, natural expansions. Save for Zelda, of course.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:03:01
Zack and Wiki would have been more popular (and better).

Link's cross bow training would have included boomerang training.

People would realize sooner that fans > swords.

Sadness would have released and revolutionized the galaxy.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:09:58
But what if Katsuya Eguchi had replaced Eiji Aonuma as director??

No, it would've been tough, but just assume that scenario for the sake of argument. I was actually a bit disappointed when I played TP that it took the Zelda team an extra year to put in that level of integration. I guess they were polishing, too, though. Like Corruption.

I agree with most of that. That's an interesting point about the public getting turned off by poor motion control. But have they? How's Kinect doin' these days?

Gamers have probably become disinterested, though. I wonder if motion WILL be standard next gen, considering the performance of Move. I guess they have to throw something in the box, just to try to hit expanded audience gold

Zelda's probably too late to be anything but a footnote.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:10:51
Yes, if M+ came out as the standard Wiimote tech developers would be more acquainted with the tech and dev kit. Weren't gyro's of that size non-existent back at launch? A lot of those throw away 3rd party games would be an even bigger fail than what they are.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:18:26
In terms of games supporting advanced motion controls? Yes. In terms of Wii sales? No.

I kind of wish that this had happened, but I understand that the technology was more expensive in 2006, and keeping the MSRP of Wii low was crucial to its mass market success.
Posted: 09/12/11, 19:34:50
There would be a difference; I certainly believe it.

Waggle is implemented because the Wiimote lacks buttons and is not as accurate detecting movement. Motion Plus would have given developers a mainstream way to implement intelligent motion controls. Motion controls that make sense and better connect the gamer to the game.

Steering in Mario Kart would have also been much better. Steering can get wonky when quickly going back and forth, due to acceleration.

And I agree with anon_mastermind. Popularity wouldn't have been an issue, but I do think more quality games would have come out and the console would have longer legs.
Posted: 09/12/11, 20:36:29  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/11, 20:37:31
Built into the controller from the start? It would have absolutely made every difference in the world... Think about all of those early games that would have used the technology. Think about how much better even things like Wii Sports, WarioWare, and Rayman Raving Rabbids would have been. Motion gaming would have gained so much more credibility because a lot of those things developers were trying to do would have actually worked.

... it's such a shame that practically nobody has supported the MotionPlus. I thought it was going to change the whole direction of the Wii when it was first announced.
Posted: 09/12/11, 20:43:50
Interesting point to consider.

@anon_mastermindI think you're spot on about price point. While some people would point out the ridiculous prices some paid for Wii's when they were very hard to get, they may never have got to that point of popularity to begin with if the initial price had been higher. That whole "critical mass" thing.

If Nintendo could have released the Wii at the same price though AND led the way with games that used those Motion Plus controls masterfully then that might have really improved the motion control experience delivered by 3rd parties.
Posted: 09/12/11, 20:47:41
Wouldn't have made a single difference.
Posted: 09/12/11, 21:21:34
I agree with @Guillaume that there would have been a period of getting acquainted with it. What worries me about the Wii U is that they do the same thing they did with the Wii and 3DS. With the Wii, they released Wii Motion Plus after launch. With the 3DS, they are releasing a second C-Pad add-on after launch. I'm worried that either they might release a Next Gen Wii Motion Plus add-on or a Wii U controller with multitouch technology after launch, segmenting the market once again. Nintendo really needs to go back to their old way of thinking, making plans years in advance, not months.
Posted: 09/12/11, 21:30:35
Multitouch seems essential on iDevices largely because they don't have buttons. Right?
Posted: 09/12/11, 21:32:08

I think they could have afforded to go up to $300 at launch, though, if they'd packed in a bit better tech. I don't think the lower price was as important of a selling point as Wii Sports, the killer app to end all killer apps. Remember, the 'Cube didn't sell particularly well even with a lower price. But 300 bucks with slightly better tech in the Wiimote would have done a lot for the longevity of the system and I don't think it'd have slowed sales down to any appreciable degree. It'd still have sold out for months on end, I'd guess.
Posted: 09/12/11, 22:14:17
I think about this a lot. I'd like to think that third party developers would have put a modicum of effort into their games if Nintendo hadn't skimped on the Wiimote tech. Which would have resulted in better games from the get-go. Which would have resulted in a happier core userbase. Which would have yielded more games.

But as much as I HATE Nintendo for skimping on the early Wiimote tech, I don't have much faith that third parties would have even bothered trying. But hey, at least we would have had more interesting games from Nintendo. Wii Play: Motion really shows what neat ideas can spawn when a developer goes into the planning process with precise motion controls in mind. It also further displays Nintendo's strategic fumbles, submarining a good game by bundling it with a controller.
Posted: 09/12/11, 23:50:08
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