The Nintendo Wii and its motion-sensitive Wii Remote controller have, undeniably, taken the videogame world by storm since their arrival in late 2006. Sony, meanwhile, has failed to ignite a similar level of excitement with its tilt-responsive SixAxis controller for the PlayStation 3, which leaves Microsoft the only player of ‘the big 3′ left to jump on the motion-control bandwagon. However, if a report discovered today is to be believed, Bill Gates’ company has plans to release a Wii Remote rival for the Xbox 360 by the end of the year.
While nothing has been officially announced as yet, a source has divulged to MTV News that Microsoft, in partnership with Rare, has been working on a controller that does everything the Wii Remote does - and more - since August last year.
MTV’s source explained that the controller’s functionality is similar to the Wii Remote, although it will include four face buttons, an analogue stick and a microphone (rough sketch – right). In addition, he/she explained that there were also plans for it to interact with the Xbox Live Vision camera.
“They want the usual assortment of ‘Halo’/ ‘Gears’/ ‘Forza’/ whatever, just in waggle form,” claims MTV’s source. “The whole thing is a colossal clusterf***,” …“[Microsoft] marketing just want it so they can match the Wii point for point. The biggest parts of their marketing materials outline how easy it would be for third parties to port their Wii games to the 360.”
In addition to the controller, it is rumoured that Rare has also been designing a system of gaming avatars to rival Nintendo’s Miis. They’re said to be more detailed than their Wii counterparts, and to be closely associated to any game planned to support them.
Whilst Microsoft has never officially touted its plans to move into the realm of motion controls for its latest console, previous comments from the likes of former Xbox executive Peter Moore in 2007 (“Since the day I saw Iwata-san [Nintendo president Satoru Iwata] pull the [Wii Remote] controller out from under his podium a few years ago at [the Tokyo Game Show], I’ve always realised that was the right thing for Nintendo to have to do for what they needed to do to be successful in this next generation… And it was always going to be a challenge for us. So, we have plans. This does not come as a surprise.”) reveal, perhaps obviously, that Microsoft was always keeping a keen eye on the idea and failed to rule it out.
We will, of course, keep you up to date on all the latest developments on Microsoft’s supposed motion-sensing plans. Until then, let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below, particularly whether you reckon Microsoft’s Wii Remote-alike could threaten the current dominance of the Nintendo Wii.