The Wall Street Journal
By Nick Wingfield
December 26, 2007; Page B1
If you gave or got videogames as gifts yesterday, you may have noticed something very different about how some of the hottest ones are played these days.
The top-selling Nintendo's Wii comes with a motion-sensing controller. The music game sensation Guitar Hero III comes with a guitar-shaped controller. Another music hit, Rock Band, goes even further with guitar, microphone and drum-kit controllers.
What these products have in common is that they reject the conventional game controller -- the boomerang-shaped gadget that has been a symptom of the complexity. For years, the videogaming business focused on dazzling users with ever-more-sophisticated eye candy, while shutting out large numbers of potential customers with games that were just too hard to play.
The Wii, Guitar Hero and Rock Band have found huge success by rejecting the conventional wisdom about how people want to play games, and delivering new experiences with new devices for connecting to and controlling games.
Dr. Richard Marks, a senior researcher at Sony's games division, has created a new way for consumers to interact with the PlayStation 3; 3DV has created a new camera for the Wii; and Emotiv Systems has come up with a method of measuring the electrical activity of the user's brain through a helmet-like device.