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Time With The Revolution 86

IGN managed to get their hands on a Revolution Developer's Kit, and have put up a tantalizing hands-on impressions article. Folks who are very much looking forward to Nintendo's entrance into the next-gen war may find things of interest here. From the article: "One thing is crystal clear from the controller-based development kits, though: Revolution will definitely operate as an extension of the GameCube hardware. These preliminary kits include only a wired Revolution controller, a wired nunchuck attachment and a wired motion bar, which some studios have labeled the 'wand.' So the obvious question is, how can developers possibly hope to test any of this gear out? The answer is simple: the controller and its attachments plug into existing GameCube development hardware."
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Time With The Revolution

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  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:05PM (#14891494)
    Just because Nintendo made a low-cost controller dev kit by interfacing their new controller technology to their existing hardware doesn't mean that you can infer that the Revolution will be built on Gamecube hardware. All you can infer is that Nintendo has possibly made their prototype Revolution controller a derivative so that current Gamecube developers can explore the new controller paradigm without having to either buy, or wait, for the new Revolution dev kits.
    • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:15PM (#14891587)
      First, they're saying that developers can use the Revolution controller devkit with the GameCube devkit. Also, it's been mentioned several times in the past (no links handy) that the Revolution will in essence be an evolution of the GameCube hardware.
      • the Revolution will in essence be an evolution of the GameCube hardware.

        For the armchair developers out there, this is a good thing. The more similarity between the Gamecube and the Revolution in terms of architecture, the more quickly development studios can get the hang of it and start putting out some really interesting games.

        Every time a new console with a different architecture comes out, the studios have to start back at square one, and learn the intricacies of the new hardware. After a couple years o
      • First, they're saying that developers can use the Revolution controller devkit with the GameCube devkit. Also, it's been mentioned several times in the past (no links handy) that the Revolution will in essence be an evolution of the GameCube hardware.

        It's also not a finished controller. And at $2000 per dev kit + game licensing fees, they can afford to make a cross platform SDK.

        Also, nobody at Nintendo has said that the Revolution will be an evolution of GCN hardware. It probably will be, but nobody kn

    • The Revolution has to have hardware that's similar to the gamecube. I don't think nintendo is going to go the software route when it comes to emulating the gamecube, or else they'll have the exact same problems that microsoft is having with their emulation.
      • Actually not really, since the GC CPU is already PowerPC, and IBM is making a new, presumably multicore, powerpc cpu for revolution.

        MS needed to emulate intel on powerpc, which is a much harder proposition.

        • I would assume that since [presumably] it's a multicore, PPC CPU, it would be capable of running, in hardware, instructions designed for a PPC CPU on the same evolutionary line.
        • Yeah but the Xbox 360 also has the difficult task of emulating a different graphics chipset. If Nintendo wants to keep costs down and compatibility up then the Revolution graphics chip must be based on the gamecube's. Microsoft had no choice but to use a software solution since they did not own the rights to the Xbox graphics chip. Adding the xbox graphics hardware to the 360 would make the system even more expensive. Nintendo is still working with ATI so they wont have the legal issues that Micro
    • I'm a bit of a nintendo fanboy and look forward to the Revolution coming out. The article may be jumping to conclusions, but they may not be that far off. Does it really matter if the Revolutions is just an updated GC? Other than the new controllers, Nintendo is just intergrating alot of existing technology.

      • Wireless controllers rock. I think this technology is mature and cheap enough to build it in.
      • Ethernet adapters. When the GC came out, I don't think the market was ready for online consoles. The Xbox
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "While no HD resolutions may be a drawback. Nintendo isn't about pushing more polygons on your screen, they are about making fun games."

        While I'm not saying Nintendo is all about the graphics, the fact that they don't support/require HD means the Revolution can output significantly more polygons per frame - it's not going to be spending all its power creating higher resolutions that won't even be used by most setups.
        • Exactly, and as we now know, people working on XBox 360 titles already realised this and they are upsampling to HD on many games that are in the works and some that are out now (Project Gotham), albeit from slightly higher than standard def. I think the whole HD support is a ploy and when the PS3 is released they will begin to do all games in the "slightly higher than standard def, upscaled to high def" style to compete on graphics in the vast majority of the market: standard def.
    • Actually its a well established fact by Nintendo that the current kits are modded GCN dev kits. I can't remember any of the press releases/hype machines that have been issued so far but this isn't something IGN is pulling out of their a** (for once).
    • ...however, this does not mean that it won't be a lot more powerful. The Pentium Pro is an evolution of the 386. It just means the architecture is similar, only the Revolution has newer, much faster components and a lot more RAM. It will probably be very easy to work with for those familiar with the Gamecube.
  • Game formats (Score:2, Insightful)

    Isn't the Revolution going to be backwards compatible with GC games?

    Now that I think of it, what format are Revolution games going to be in? Certainly they won't use the mini-discs again.
    • The Revolution will be using regular sized CDs (with some form of DVD for storage, I think.) Supposedly it will have the ability to do DVD playback, but not out of the box. The regular thought is that it's activated either with a special remote controller, or you buy a small device that plugs into the system somewhere to activate DVD playback.
    • Re:Game formats (Score:5, Informative)

      by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:11PM (#14891548) Homepage
      The Nintendo GC disk format is basically MiniDVD with a few tweaks and a larger inner circle (so it starts a little further in and ordinary drives can't find start of disc). The Revolution format is going to be DVD sized, exactly the same format.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:15PM (#14891592) Homepage Journal
    Yup, it's going to be a sweet gaming system to play

    Dance Dance Revolution Ultima

    Star Wars: Jedi Academy Training

    any interactive FPS (especially if they shoot back and you have a blink target vest)

    and Katamari: We Meant It, You Must Roll!

    [game names all examples, yes I own Konami stock and they have plans to do fun things for the Revolution, it's called disclosure]
  • get it right (Score:5, Informative)

    by MorderVonAllem ( 931645 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:15PM (#14891593)
    "IGN managed to get their hands on a Revolution Developer's Kit, and have put up a tantalizing hands-on impressions article."

    no...they go their hands on a Controller Kit, not a Developer's Kit. This kit was basically just to let developers know what kind of controller they'd be using when developing for the Revolution. That way they can start brainstorming now about possible titles that can utilize the controller while working with hardware they're already familiar with...
    • Re:get it right (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not only that but they could also quickly port an existing game over to the new control set-up to see how it works before they spend millions of dollars developing a next generation game. If you're UBI-soft do you want to get the Revolution Dev-kit, spend a month porting your engine to the Revolution, wait for new content to be at a level to do an appropriate play test (which could take months), or would you want to plug in the controller and have your team port XIII's controls to the device and start playt
  • that's ridiculous (Score:5, Interesting)

    by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:16PM (#14891604) Homepage
    Nintendo made the controller available to game studios so they could start thinking about how to use it to develop games. Given that the controller is (by far) the most important change in Revolution, it's also the most important thing for studios to come to grips with.

    "Oh, and it's also five times as powerful as the GameCube" is also important, but not necessarily something that studios need to experience firsthand at this particular stage of the game. That will come when the hardware is ready. At this point Nintendo is (quite sensibly) concentrating on getting the controller right, because if that doesn't fly, the whole concept is shot.
  • Sensor bar? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <(tukaro) (at) (> on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:20PM (#14891638) Homepage Journal
    I was under the impression that the spacial recognition sensors were two distinct items placed at certain paces from the TV. However, one stationary bar (with the sensors on either end) makes a lot more sense, as you don't have to worry as much about calibration. It would then be a question of where it is in relation to the TV. (On the floor in front of, on top of the TV, right below the TV, etc.)

    Where are our pictures? All we have is a promotional side-by-side and an 'artists rendition'. If they went hands on, why not snap a few pictures, even if the tools aren't the final versions? I suppose they could have gotten some developer's janitor to let them in late at night to play with these (and didn't want to blow his cover), but the article is kind of worthless without pictures. "We got some prototypes. They don't plug into the actual hardware, we couldn't do anything with them, and we have no pictures." The only useful piece of information, IMO, was the size in relation to the GCN controller. (And even then, didn't they get a chance to go hands on with it back at E3 '05? Unless major changes happened, they should already know the relative sizes then, right?)
    • It's called a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
      • Which is why this article is so worthless.

        "Uh, we agreed not to take pictues, but, like, it's 'surprisingly' smaller than we expected. So, you know, in case you didn't see all those pictures at E3 showing it being held by hands, this article might be worth a shit".

        But since it's about the Revo and they use the term "hands-on", every gaming blog in the Universe has to link to it and give IGN undeserved ad revenue.
        • It is a dumb article.

          But the IGN Revolution site is so low on news and content I think they are grabbing at straws.

          One thing about the hands though; anyone who remembers the original Xbox controllers will know that the size of hands varies quite a bit! Comparing it to the Gamecube controller is maybe the only solid bit of useful information..
    • Re:Sensor bar? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by interiot ( 50685 )
      We have pictures of the LCD TopGun third-party controller [] (see the bottom third of the page), which gives you a quick idea of how it might look, at least. Though Nintendo has said it will only be a single sensor bar, with two (three?) sensors on it, so hopefully it will be moderately less intrusive than the LCD TopGun.
    • or what not is it going to be a problem for older (i.e. taller) gamers? My bro got that Jedi Traing Ball tv game for X-Mas (huge starwars fan) and he can't really play it because it's calibrated for kids, and he just doesn't fit into it's field of vision.
    • Technically if they just threw two 3D accelerometers in the ends of the controller, they could get all the same information that they can using two external sensors. The only additional information they'll be able to obtain with external sensors is an exact point in relation the sensors, but thats only if the hardware knows exactly where the sensors are and even then,the information isn't that important (nobody will probably position it right). All you need is acceleration readings and everything else can b
      • for more accurate aiming the revolution is using an (IR?) sensor.
      • Re:Sensor bar? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kaiser423 ( 828989 )
        Well, technically yes, but practically no.

        Accelerometers drift. They are not perfect devices. They produce integration error, and that would become very large over the course of a gaming session. The controllers would become unusable after an hour or so and need to be re-calibrated. You can buy some amazingly accurate accelerometers, but they're expensive, very finicky and you have to do your design 100% perfectly, and you can't tolerate a single error. It is a serious PITA to design a system to do
  • I don't care... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:22PM (#14891667) Homepage
    ...until I see it actually being used in games. Until then, it's a cool idea with absolutely no proof of how well or badly it works, and everything else anyone says is just uninformed speculation (from people who haven't played a game with it) or hype (from people who are developing a game with it).
    • IGN used it already, about 7 months ago. They found it to be quite responsive, although they were only working with tests and what seemed to be an alpha version of Metroid Prime 3, but they were quite impressed with it.
  • Old (Score:5, Informative)

    by vitaflo ( 20507 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:32PM (#14891771) Homepage
    The dev kits they saw were old. According to Reggie Fils-Aime (Nintendo VP of Sales) there have been 3 different revisions of the Rev dev kit so far. They are:

    1) A GameCube console with a wired Revolution controller attached
    2) Similar to the above, but with a few minor tweaks, and boosted CPU power
    3) Wireless controllers, more complete hardware

    A fourth dev kit is expected soon that will be 90-95% of the finished product. So whatever they saw, if it had wired controllers, it's already out of date.
    • Re:Old (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rohlfinator ( 888775 )
      Nintendo most likely has a tiered distribution plan for development hardware: Big studios like EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom probably received these "controller dev kits" a long time ago, when smaller studios had nothing. Once Nintendo revised the hardware, the big studios traded their models in for newer ones, and Nintendo passed the smaller dev kits out to slightly smaller developers, repeating the process several times over the course of the year.

      Currently, the biggest dev houses likely have the most comple
  • The gamecube hardware wasn't bad, they just didn't have any very appealing games. Nintendo has definitely taken a new look at their software and I think their next system is going to blow away the Gamecube (same hardware or not). They have announced a lot of very cool looking games for all of their systems, recently, so I think they're taking a step forward (or backwards, in a way) when it comes to games, and are going to make a new name for themselves.
  • by OldManAndTheC++ ( 723450 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @02:48PM (#14892518)
    Time With The Revolution

    Thats shows how old I am - I saw that headline and immediately thought that Morris Day [] was getting back together with Prince []!.

  • We were disappointingly unable to test any software with the development controller.

    How exactly is this a hands on? If you just look at something, its a hands-on? If I sit in a car and get out of it without turning on the engine, did I take it for a test drive? Way to increase traffic IGN!

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