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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wii Motion Plus - new era for Wii?

I just noticed Wii Motion Plus has been listed on Future Shop's website.... available June 10, 2009.

The price is listed at $24.99.... hmmmm, I think that the U.S. MSRP is $20.00, so I suppose that sounds about "right"... but with the rising Canadian dollar-- currently at 0.91¢ U.S.-- we're just about back to par with the U.S. greenback. When our dollar tumbled due to the "economic crisis", games went from $40.00-$50.00 to $60.00+ ... I'm hoping the frustrating trend of Canadian game prices going up will be reversed.... but I know that's mostly wishful thinking.

Oddly enough, it will be 3rd party games (Tiger Woods from EA) that make use of MotionPlus before Nintendo's 1st party game, Wii Sports Resort is released in July(?) Also Wii Sports Resort will come with one MotionPlus dongle. But if you want to do 2 player MotionPlus, you'll need to buy a additional dongle.

What's bad is Future Shop's misinformation spin is going full speed as usual.... if you read their info blurb on MotionPlus, it implies that MotionPlus will improve all Wii games that use motion. Obviously not true-- games have to be specifically created to use MotionPlus, all previous Wii games won't use it at all. So the dongle only has a very small list of compatible games for it (for now)

But MotionPlus is getting some early rave reviews from blog critics; they say that this is what we should've had from the beginning, it really makes a difference, etc. So far the only MotionPlus game I'm really interested in is Wii Sports Resort, that will probably be a day 1 purchase for me because I'm afraid it's gonna sell out.

With all the controversy surrounding new PSP models... the basic argument over adding another analogue nub, giving the PSP 2 analogue nubs.... there's always been a huge concern that by making drastic changes to the console, the PSP audience could be split: those with old controls, and those with new ones. Sony has bent over backwards to keep the audience "united", the PSP-2000 & PSP-3000 have been minimal "hardware refreshes" as they call them.

MotionPlus brings this controversy from the PSP over to the Wii. Will future games split the Wii audience between old controls & new? Should Nintendo just build MotionPlus into their Wii remotes from here on out? Technology changes so quickly sometimes, yet other times it just plateaus, like the current PC trend. Maybe Nintendo was caught in a tech growth spurt when they equipped the Wii remotes with their (inadequate?) motion tech. So far their decision seems to be to make the new tech an add-on, thus putting the choice to Wii owners whether they want to pay extra for the new control. We'll have to see where MotionPlus goes from here.


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