Above, awkward Nintendo executives (including heartthrob Bill Trinen) show off the capabilities of the new MotionPlus-enabled Wiimote in the upcoming game Wii Sports Resort.
The new "MotionPlus" addition to the Wii will allow real 1:1 3D control, facilitating the long-awaited sword fighting games and other pseudo-virtual reality interfaces everyone had hoped the Wii could do in the first place. Kotaku grabbed the press release from InvenSense, the company who is making the guts of the new gyroscopic add-on.
Conventional MEMS gyroscopes, which are the key enabling technology that can sense absolute rotational motion inputs, are typically used in commercial automotive electronic stability control and GPS applications, where their larger size, high power consumption and costs are accommodated. InvenSense has introduced an entirely new class of high performance silicon-based MEMS rate gyroscopes that offers smaller package sizes, lower power consumption, and lower price points suitable for consumer markets. The addition of InvenSense’s multi-axis rate gyroscope solution to the Wii MotionPlus accessory allows high precision 3D tracking of rapid gaming gestures.
But the Wii was already suffering from the most expensive controllers of any current game platform — $60 for a Wiimote and nunchuck — and even with Gizmodo's modest estimation of an additional $15 per MotionPlus sensor (there's going to be one bundled in the upcoming Wii Sports Resort game), the Wii will now likely be the most expensive console on the market once you factor the price of all the peripherals for four players.
A kidney punch of fun to be sure, but I'll be there in line (a week after launch) like everyone else. If for no other reason, I want to see what IOSpirit can do with the MotionPlus controller in Remote Buddy, the OS X control interface that already works with the standard Wiimote.
And actually, now that I think about it, I only have two Wiimotes. It would be nice if Nintendo would simply release a "Wiimote Plus" that has the new gyroscopes built in.