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Nintendo MotionPlus hands-on: blah.

Ryan Block , @ryan

So yeah, we got a chance to check out Nintendo's new MotionPlus accessory. Wii Sports Resort is the only title announced right now that requires (or supports) MotionPlus, and we gave a couple of the games a run (like sword fighting and jet-skiing). Basically we're a little at a loss as to how this does anything truly differently or more effectively than current controllers. We get that it's got additional MEMS accelerometers that supposedly bring the relationship of motion and gameplay to a more 1:1 ratio, and for the motion types we tested, it did seem to work -- but the experience and level of immersion felt basically the same. So what's the deal? More after the break.

It's a tricky issue -- gyros, relational movement, real-space, accelerometers, etc., and we've already got the take of the company that helped Nintendo produce the hardware. We also asked the booth rep to explain why we needed the MotionPlus for Sports Resort. Not just because the software requires it, but why it NEEDS it, and not just a regular Wiimote. We were told that with previous Wii Sports games, players could kind of get by with a waggle (this is where he started gesticulating with some what random movements), but now you could play all this crazy stuff, like swords and jet skis.

Earlier we asserted that it felt like most of this could be accomplished with a regular Wiimote -- or what the Wiimote originally promised. That may or may not be the case -- it's hard to say for sure what Nintendo's built-in accelerometers are truly capable of, although we're supposed to take it that this level of motion control isn't in spec. The gyroscopic relational movement MotionPlus is supposed to add just didn't really seem to build on that experience. to make it more accurate and effective in real space.

So why not move to improve the Wiimote's native experience instead of trying to hock another $30 accessory? When you're basing your titles on motion control, changing your system's motion control capabilities strikes us as a monumentally bad idea. What's worse, it strikes us like Nintendo's charging consumers to make good on what we were supposed to be getting in the first place. As of right now, we'll pass -- at least until Nintendo can really bring it home as to why this is the next important thing.