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EA Confirms Major Wii Support 150

Posted by Zonk
from the woot-wii-woot dept.
Electronic Arts has confirmed they are 100% committed to the Nintendo Wii, reports Gamasutra. The largest game publisher in the U.S. has revealed six games currently in production for the console, which is scheduled to launch sometime in the Fall. From the article: "The EA statement on the matter comments: 'Each title will remain true to the hallmarks of its franchise but is being designed to maximize the power of the Wii hardware and take full advantage of the uniqueness and innovation of its one-of-a-kind controller.'"
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EA Confirms Major Wii Support

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  • by Valthan (977851) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:15PM (#15713805)
    EA innovating and not just re-releasing the same game with the trades made... I jsut got shivers running down my spine...
    • Any Word on Component Cables? Madden Wii was confirmed to have 16:9 widescreen and 480 progressive scan output.

      Note: Yes, the Wii CAN do HD 720p or 1080i if it wants to. It'll be more powerful than the first X-box which can do this as well. Nintendo is just sticking to 480p as THEIR standard like they did with the gamecube (Hell the GameBoy Player supports 480p).

    • Nope hells still plenty warm. They are just re-releasing the same games still. Just now you can play Madden 20XX on PS2, XBox, Wii, PS3, XBox 360..... No new games or innovation here, just tossing the same old games on one extra box.
      • RFTA and tell me that changing the whole mechanics of a game is no innovation. They could have done what they normally do and just re-release it, same controls and all, they don't need to support the motion sensor of the Wiimote, last I checked it still has buttons to play games as well.
        • You realize that to the game it doesn't matter if your twirling an analog stick, mashing a d-pad, or pressing the "Y" button. To the game its just input signals. Choosing to have a player pass the ball in Madden via moving the Wii controller instead of pressing a button is roughly the same amazing inovation on the games part as having the player pass via pulling one of the triggers instead of pussing a button. Nintendo had a lot of work to do getting the controller to work, but for the game developers it
          • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:45PM (#15713993)
            From an engine standpoint, yes. From a playing standpoint- no. Pointing and moving the controller are entirely new control techniques for the player, using them as gameplay elements is innovation.
            • Agreed this may lead to better gameplay. IMO I just don't see what the game will be doing as any type of "innovation" since every game which has ever been updated or ported to any device with a slightly different controller has done the same thing (remap which input signals trigger which events). If we want to use the word "innovation" here, I think we save if for Nintendo for creating the new controller not for EA doing what basically every game before has already done.
            • Pointing and moving the controller are entirely new control techniques for the player, using them as gameplay elements is innovation.

              As opposed to pointing and moving with a thumbstick?

              The Wiimote is interesting from an engineering point of view, but from a gaming point of view it's the most over-hyped "innovation" ever.

              (Bracing now to get bitch-slapped in equal measure by fanboys and astroturfers.)
              • Do not underestimate the power of the Wiimote. Powergloves, P5 gloves and countless (?) others have failed where the Wiimote might succeed. What other input devices do we use while playing a console game, beside the gamepad? Maybe a gun... I can't think of anything else. So this MIGHT be a significant innovation.
                Oh and here's a hug - now get ready to be flamed to a crisp :D
                • What other input devices do we use while playing a console game, beside the gamepad? Maybe a gun... I can't think of anything else.

                  The past few years have seen a flourishing of alternate input devices for console games: DDR pads, Guitar Hero axes, touch screens (if you consider the DS a proper console), EyeToy cameras...

                  I think the market has shown that new control paradigms can be market successes if properly supported (and no, Xavix showcasing their silly sports simulators in Guitar Centers instead of el
              • ### As opposed to pointing and moving with a thumbstick?

                Thumbstick has two degrees of freedom, the Wiimote has six, which makes the Wiimote one of the few devices, and probally the first mainstream one, that allows you to do full and direct movement in 3D. I am sure we will see lots of missuse of the Wiimote and badly adopted games, but what the Wiimote allows is *way bejoint* what you can do with a thumbstick in terms of gameplay. That doesn't mean that the Wiimote is necessarily the better controller, but
          • by Jerf (17166) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @03:50PM (#15714363) Journal
            You realize that to the game it doesn't matter if your twirling an analog stick, mashing a d-pad, or pressing the "Y" button. To the game its just input signals.

            Technically true, but who cares?

            What we care about is the full system, from the output of the human brain back into the input to the game device. At that level, there can be large differences in button vs. stick vs. something else entirely. Plus, not all signals are created equally; "analog" signals can carry a lot more info than digital button presses.

            Now, I don't know what EA's plans are, and I don't know exactly how accurate the Wiimote is. But, if the Wiimote is as accurate with the accelerometers as it should be, and if EA is going all out, they could set it up so that you actually make a throwing motion, with full control over direction and speed as quickly as you can make the motion. This would be a qualitative improvement over any existing control setup, which has no feasible way to extract this much information from the player in any way the player could hope to deliver it. There is going to be no other way to tap into our throwing circuits anywhere near as well, and those are extremely refined by Mother Nature.

            To the game, it's just another input. To the human, it's anything but.

            This is supposition. I think it's possible that the Wiimote will be able to handle this technically (this is actually just an accelerometer application, exact positioning would be irrelevant, so even if positioning is wonky there's no good reason this won't have a sensing accuracy far in excess of the signals your body can generate), but I would be somewhat surprised if EA implemented this, as it would be a lot harder than button translation. But they are talking the talk, so one can at least hope they are walking the walk.
          • It's as much an innovation as the mouse (versus cursor keys, joysticks, paddles, or whatever they had back in the day). New input can make techniques possible that were theorizable but uselessly clunky with older input.
        • If I were you, I'd wait until I actually got my hands on EA's Wii games before I said that they were changing their mechanics in any fundamental way. Remember, this is EA we're talking about. They innovate, but almost always incrementally.

          Rob
          • The hands-on reports from E3 say that the Madden controls are vastly more intuitive on the Wii and apprently they have changed the mechanics beyond just changing the input device.
    • It doesn't sound like it. They might tweak the interface for some of their old titles to take advantage of the new controller, but these are apparently going to be franchise games rather than original titles.
    • Yeah, I think one of the Westwood guys got a really high position or something.
    • EA is trying anyway. You're right, they could've just released new rosters and said the old controller was enough. They didn't just phone it in. If they actually get rebounding sorta right-ish in NBALive after so many years of painfully bad results, Heck will at least be a little cooler. Maybe not Hell...

      EA was among the earliest 3rd-party developers to show major projects on the Wii, and from the start they were talking about Madden and how the controller would work. It's clear they've spent some thought

      • I would personally be very interested in a Rugby title similar to their existing games, but apparently that doesn't have enough market behind it.

        You mean something like this [easports.com] or this [electronicarts.co.uk]?

    • Yes and no... They're releasing something remotely innovative- and quite a few non-kiddie style titles; unfortunately they're almost all sports titles (But then, this IS EA we're talking about here...).

      EA could go out on a limb and not spew more silly Madden, etc. titles- but I guess I shouldn't be too upset, they're taking the Wii seriously; seriously enough to put major titles, some of the big ones of the year supposedly, on the platform out of the gate. If the other publishers and studios are on the sa
  • Sports Games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TripHammer (668315)
    EA's sports titles on the Wii-mote sounds excellent to me. If they implement the analog control well, it might become the preferred platform for sports games. Seeing these titles excel on the Wii should boost Nintendo's street cred.
    • EA's sports titles on the Wii-mote sounds excellent to me. If they implement the analog control well, it might become the preferred platform for sports games. Seeing these titles excel on the Wii should boost Nintendo's street cred.

      A lot of people are talking about EA "dropping the ball" by just introducing the same old crud on the Wii that they've introduced on every other platform, and that people won't want to buy the same games all over again. They're mostly correct, but they're not taking one thing i

  • by Millennium (2451) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#15713814) Homepage
    I hereby dub this The Jockstrap Announcement.
  • No original IPs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scrabbleguy (980944) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#15713815) Homepage
    It seems FTA that none of the six titles are original though. They are all new versions of old franchises and multiplatform titles (like The Godfather.) It's a little bit disappointing that we're not seeing more original works.
    • Well, to be fair, new IPs on a brand new system are not the way to go, from a business standpoint. First you release games that actually have a chance of selling, and once you're sure you have a reasonable install base, then you go for new IPs.
  • If there is widespread game support on all of the next-gen systems, this could come down to hardware, pricing, and marketing. I know that the opening salvo of the last round of the console war was largely games available after launch.
  • by mrxak (727974)
    I'm not going to buy a Wii or any other console in this next generation, but I want the Wii to do very well since I think the technology and fun-aspect of it are very exciting. The "Wiimote" is pretty darn cool, and they seem to be interested in user-experience more than anybody else.
    • Re:Great (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daeley (126313)
      I'm not going to buy a Wii or any other console in this next generation, but I want the Wii to do very well since I think the technology and fun-aspect of it are very exciting. The "Wiimote" is pretty darn cool, and they seem to be interested in user-experience more than anybody else.

      So why won't you be buying a Wii?
    • I'm just interested in how can you decide for sure that you aren't going to buy any of the three, when two of them haven't even been released, and the third still has plenty of time to produce some killer games. Do you plan out all of your purchases at least five years in advance, or just video game related ones?

      Or perhaps this slashdot post was your last act before giving up all material posessions and moving to a hut at the top of a very cold and remote mountain?
      • I just don't buy consoles, in general. When I play games, it's on the computer. But what I like about the Wii is the whole Wiimote thing, strictly from a technology point of view. All that motion-sensor technology will be put to good use, I hope. And, it has always been my impression that the Nintendo seems to care a lot about fun-factor, rather than just the latest in shiny graphics. If I was going to buy a console, it'd be the Xbox 360, and only for Halo 3. It's not worth it. I'll just wait for it to (ev
  • It's good to see support from large companies for the Wii. It looks like there will be some quality games for this system.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#15713841)
    Even if I don't like EA as a company, everything I hear makes me feel that a Wii (and neither a 360 or PS3) is the way for us to go for this next generation, in terms of games options, fun, innovation, and of course cost. And this comes from a family that now has just a PS2 + PC games.

    Other than the "poorer" graphics (intentional quotation marks), what bad stuff *has* come out about the Wii? Anything?
    • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:31PM (#15713895)
      Its new name.
    • There hasn't been a lot of anything coming out about the Wii. No news is good news, sure, but we lack a lot of technical data. Rumors of a launch date, rumors of hardware in production, educated guesses on price and stock quantity. We know nothing of the Virtual Console, which could be a whole circus of DRM and licensing (fortunately today's Nintendo isn't the same old 10NES Nintendo). We don't know how the DS will interact with the Wii.

      It's good for Nintendo, of course. Certain other consoles have
    • well I own a 360 and I've been pretty damn happy with it. As an owner of all 4 last gen consoles I think I was the happiest with the Dreamcast and once that died an early death my opinion of the games available on the other consoles was overly apathetic with the exception of the occasional game here or there. The 360 got me excited about gaming again. It's hard to describe how amazing the Live integration really is. The Wiimote looks to do to controllers what the new Xbox Live has done to online services. I
      • I'm in the same boat as you (regarding the last generation)--had all 4 of them and the Dreamcast was by far my favorite. I STILL own more games for it than I do on any of the other 3 consoles--almost 30 games on the Dreamcast and just under 20 for the next closest console (either XBox or Gamecube--they both had really close counts and I don't remember which one had a game or two more than the other). I ended up selling my PS2 to my younger brother after not finding a 'must own' game on it for 2 years and on
        • Completely agree about Dreamcast innovation the VMU was one of the best controller innovations in recent memory and I really wish one of the other console makers would bring it back.

          So many great and innovative games for that console too: Chu Chu Rocket, Space Channel 5, Jet Grind Radio, Resident Evil Code Veronica, Sonic Adventure, (and all the ones you mentioned). Some of those were re-released on other consoles, others just disappeared.

          I think the Dreamcast showed us that you don't need new and inn
  • by numbski (515011) * <numbski AT hksilver DOT net> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:24PM (#15713848) Homepage Journal
    Translation - they're all going to be sequels. No original content from us. We're EA, what did you expect?
    • Yeah, because the first thing you'll think when you make a game that sells loads is "Ahh, now I've done that I never need to do it again and make even more money with a product people obviously want!"

      What people should really be objecting to is crappy sequels, not sequels themselves. Whether EA's sequels are always crappy is very much a matter of opinion, I quite like some of them. And enough people buy them to keep those sequels at the top of the retail charts for a long, long time.
    • Yeah. I'm tired of sequels too. Lets destroy all copies of The Empire Strikes Back, and burn all the comic books after #1 of any series.

      George Bernard Shaw said that there are only two stories. Should we stop writing books because they borrow from old themes?

      Just because something presents a familiar CONCEPT doesn't mean that it can't still be original in its execution.
    • THe six titles are probably the following:

      Madden 07
      NBA Live 07
      Tiger Woods Golf 07
      FIFA 07
      Fight Night Round 4
      SSX
  • At least something will be new about an easports title. I'm surprised they bothered to update their control scheme, when they could of said "just use gamecube controllers."
  • Wii will be the console of choice for the next gen, followed by XBox 360, then PS3 as a close 3rd.

    The only "if" in Wii's corner was EA's sports franchises. This pretty much guarantees it as long as the final Wii controller has enough buttons.
    • Re:This seals it. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rev063 (591509)
      But why would the Wii controller need more buttons, even for an EA game? That's the whole *point* of the Wiimote -- rather than having a zillion buttons to map to the various actions in the game, you use gestures of the controller itself. If it works out, playing games should be more like playing sports: easy to pick up, but with practice of the gestures comes mastery.
      • Because Madden has had the same interface for years. Screw with that and people get confused. You need at least 5 unused buttons for your recievers, that's just the way Madden has always worked. After seeing the Wii controller, it seems that Nintendo is aware of this. It looks like an SNES pad with 2 analog sticks a la the Dual Shock.
    • Aren't you being a bit presumptuous?

      The 360 is selling so poorly that even mediocre sales will put both the
      Wii and the PS3 ahead of it. Nobody's played the PS3 yet, so it seems
      silly to write it off the page as being unable to compete (although I
      do agree that the initial price is daunting). Most of the interest in
      the Wii is because it's the console that we have the least information
      on. Once it's out and we've had a chance to evaluate the possibilities
      of the new controller, then we'll be in a position to spec
  • "Electronic Arts has confirmed they are 100% committed to the Nintendo Wii..."

    This is news? I don't think so.

    News would be: "The biggest game software vendor declines to write games for the industry's next major platform, thus ceding leadership to bit players X, Y and Z."

    • Seriously. This story needs to be modded -1, "Duh".

    • I don't know what angle are you using here, but if you look at the business impact of this, it's a MAJOR piece of news. Ever since the "couch-potato sport's simulation lovin" crowd was identified as a major videogame consumer, having EA on your side can make or break your console efforts.

      I don't like sports simulations, so this means nothing to me either, but software drives console penetration that drives more software to be developed/brought over from Japan. And that's where the sweet things start happe
  • Um, I can't really say that I'm surprised at all. Come on Sega could make a new hardware platform and EA would make a few games for it. EA will be making games for all 3 consoles.

    You know if EA really wanted to make some news; they'd start a nude sports series that was adult only that was the same exact games except that the players were all nude. O.k. the only games of that line that I would want is women's track & field, women's ice skating, women's swimming & women's tennis. I wouldn't want N
    • I think I'd personally go for "women's beach volleyball"...
    • by masklinn (823351)

      Come on Sega could make a new hardware platform and EA would make a few games for it.

      EA didn't actually port any game to the DreamCast... so no.

      Not that this was a bad thing for the DC though.

    • You know if EA really wanted to make some news; they'd start a nude sports series that was adult only that was the same exact games except that the players were all nude.

      Shade your eyes. EA Sports Triple Play Baseball (either '98 or '99) for PC & Playstation had a secret team that consisted of the software developers and artists in their underwear. Cheat codes are available somewhere for that.
    • Adult only track and field. Hmm... I'd love to see the "pole" vault.
  • by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @03:03PM (#15714092) Homepage

    EA is reknown for treating employees less than fairly. And I don't really like many of their games. But strong 3rd-party support is something that Nintendo has been lacking, and this helps to dig them out of the hole just a little bit.

    If Nintendo could get similar statements from other big companies, it would do so much for their prospects. I would really like to see Blizzard, Bioware, and Obsidian doing Wii games. I respect their PC games, and I think they could help to up the ante.

    Also, I'm starting to get excited about Nintendo's new console for a different reason. People have struggled with RTS console games [penny-arcade.com], due to the controllers. But couldn't the Wiimote work similar to a laser pointer? If so, wouldn't that open up some better control mechanisms for RTS console games?

    -Tony

    • People have struggled with RTS console games, due to the controllers. But couldn't the Wiimote work similar to a laser pointer? If so, wouldn't that open up some better control mechanisms for RTS console games?

      mmm...

      How about no?

      A pointer isn't enough for an RTS by a long shot, it'd be barely enough to play Warcraft III, and Warcraft III isn't the most complex RTS out there by a long shot.

      Console's low res would also mightily blow.

      • A pointer isn't enough for an RTS

        That's why there are buttons on the remote, the nunchuck with an analog stick and buttons (and also positional input), and optional attachments.
      • A mouse is basically just an indirect way of pointing. That's why the default mouse cursor is generally an arrow. A mouse has a couple of buttons to click on as well, and so will the Wiimote.

        As far as I can imagine, the Wiimote doesn't seem to duplicate keyboard functionality in any way that would work in an RTS. So the question is, how important is the keyboard to RTS games? While I'm sure it's possible, and some people already have made games that rely on all those buttons, I also believe that it'
        • So the question is, how important is the keyboard to RTS games?

          Pretty fucking important I say, if only for the regular click modifiers (create waypoints, select all of a kind or all of a screen of units, queue units by 1/5/20/100, queue constructions, ...)

          And I'm not even talking about the requirements such as the ability to create unit groups that can be reselected/jumped to in a split second.

          You could create a simple turn-based RTS (see Advance Wars), but definitely not a full blown TA-like RTS.

    • I would really like to see Blizzard, Bioware, and Obsidian doing Wii games. I respect their PC games, and I think they could help to up the ante.

      I love the games of all those companies, but all that any of them (in the case of Obsidian, we're really talking about Black Isle, of course) do is take games that people have already made, and make some truly excellent evolutionary advances. I'm not aware of anything those companies made that was 'new' in any way -- they're companies focused on polish, not on cr

  • by Ant P. (974313) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @03:19PM (#15714179) Homepage
    am screaming in horror at this.
  • I bet this is more about EA realizing that the PS3's high price is gonna boost the Wii's market share than about a desire to spend a lot of money developing unique ports for a third place (according to CW) console. Am I the only one who remembers EA not porting to the Dreamcast because of their (somewhat self-fufilling) prophecy of PS2 dominance? I still bet Madden will suck though.
  • If EA is in... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    While EA may not have a great track record for orginality, they are still an industry heavyweight.

    This means that if EA is supporting the Wii, other big publishers will most likely step up and offer titles as well. This leads to more AAA titles and (hopefully) more innovative games that will truly make use of the Wii-mote.

    There are hundreds of crap games for every Starcraft / Sims / Civ out there, afterall.
  • This is likely to be one of the first blows to Sony's PS3. While I know the vast majority of /.ers arn't fans of EA, the public tends to say otherwise. Their flagship title, Madden, will bring a lot of people to the Wii. I figure in the coming future we'll see a lot more announcements like this.

    The real people that are going to determine if the PS3 "wins" or the Wii "wins" are the develops/publishers. Whatever system they decide to release on most is the one that everyone is going to flock to because they w
    • i am not sure I see madden bringing people to the wii. I mean, madden will be out for all three systems, right? So then you must ask yourself what the average madden player would rather use...the typical interface or one that requires you to swing your arms around? Seriously. I think that most madden players are young children or jocks or frat boys. Perhaps young children would like nintendo and its unique "active" style, but i doubt you will find many frat boys looking to play on a "childrens*" system
  • by Senzei (791599) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @04:02PM (#15714440)
    Nice title "EA Confirms Major Wii Support". I, for one, did not know EA was getting into the underwear business. Not at all suprised they are the kind of tightasses that would only make briefs.
  • by amliebsch (724858)
    Who is this Major Wii and why is EA supporting him?
  • Just think, if EA games is totally behind the Wii, that means not just playing Animal Crossing: Animal's Revenge on the Wii, it also means we'll get both Sims 3: High School and Sims 3: Pet Zoo as well as Spore by Will Wright on it as well!

    Forget the PS3, I have no further interest in it anymore ...
  • I cannot much say that I like anything that I am aware of that EA has put out. But, they are the biggest beast in the industry as far as publishers go, and having EA do full scale production on the Wii means a stronger 3rd party support.

    And its strong 3rd party support that Nintendo has lacked since the N64.

    I would also guess that EA is supporting the Wii as much due to lower dev costs as anthing else. EA likes profit, and lower dev costs mean more potential profit.

    END COMMUNICATION
  • I do not think it matters. Most EA sports games are mediocre, to say the least. An advanced control method like Wii's deserves better games than EA's.

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