The Halting Point

Friday, April 28, 2006

D'Fusion. D'Vision of what's to come with the Nintendo Wii (Revolution)?

A recent Digg story has just set the rumor-mill running full power again. For some background, the Nintendo Revolution, recently renamed to the "Wii" much to the dismay of most of the internet has had one big secret about it which nobody at or affiliated with Nintendo is even willing to hint at other than to say "prepare to see games in a way you never imagined". There has been much speculation as to what this could be but the consensus has typically been that it was some sort of additional virtual reality device to enhance the controller experience, perhaps a camera or something.

Now, the link in the Digg article just discusses some of the speculation going around, however the comments in that article as well as the Digg comments link to a video which you can watch below that demonstrates some technology from a company called Total Immersion called D'Fusion. Now, for some reason that video is not on their website.....I wonder why. Perhaps it was too much of a giveaway? In addition to the video below I HIGHLY recommend you check out the other demo videos on the company website to get a better feel for the technology as the video below is probably leaving you with about a million questions after you've picked your jaw up off the floor.

There has been a definitive answer from Nintendo that there will be no visor or helmet for the system, and this could very well be why. You see, this technology relies on cameras having a fixed viewpoint. It would be very difficult to make it render accurately through a visor from the infinite viewpoints that would be created by that. You would need SEVERAL cameras for that. But just imagine playing on your bigscreen in your living room with a table in front of you. You have some piles of books, a couple empty glasses, and you and your friend are sitting at the table watching slack-jawed as you see yourselves on the TV, like a mirror image, and on the table in front of you there are little armies marching around and fighting, and INTERACTING with the books and glasses on the table as if they were real world obstacles. Whats more, your controller interacts with them with force-feedback.

Now imagine another scenario...networked play. Your friend is at his house with his system, you're playing on yours. You see him on the screen in his living room and he sees you in yours. Suddenly a lightsaber ignites in his hand and you flip your switch in response and smile as you see the blade follow every precise flick of your wrist on the screen. Every Star Wars fan's wettest dream. Aside from Carrie Fischer in her Jabba outfit.

I honestly believe there are true geniuses over at Nintendo because if this video is any sign of the reality of this system...they will have truly and utterly pwned this round of the console wars.

Add to this the fact that the system is expected to be priced around $200 in comparison to the fortune the Xbox 360 goes for and the fortune the PS3 will go for and it is a slamdunk.

I've already made up my mind to get a Revolution...sorry...."Wii"...for my next console...unfortunately if this the reality of the system, it just means I will have to get a place in line that much earlier the night before launch. But anything that is cool and innovative enough to almost make me say "Fuck Spore" is well worth that wait in line.


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