CRank: 17Score: 144400

Sony Copied Nintendo's Copied Ideas

In an interview in Brazil in 2012 ( ) , Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America was asked a question by the interviewer. The answer, in my opinion, was probably the most arrogant, unprofessional, and surprisingly uninformed answer that he could probably have given. It really questions if Reggie should be in the position he's in, in Nintendo.

The question was: "What do you think the competition will do to catch you guys?" To which Reggie replied: "Here's the interesting history of Nintendo: Every time we do an innovation, we see others copying the idea, whether it's joystick control, whether it's rumble in a controller, motion controls, touch screen in a handheld... I mean, do I need to go on?"

His answer reeked of either hypocrisy, a lack of knowledge, or perhaps both.
Nintendo, and their fans, have been saying for years that Sony copied the features mentioned above from them, but Nintendo didn't invent any of those things. Let's go through those things one by one:

Joysticks: The first joysticks appeared way back in 1976 on a console called the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System that was made in Europe by a company named Radofin. It was cloned, and likely improved, by many companies after it's release. The joystick on this console wasn't perfect, as it couldn't self-centre when you take your finger off it, and the design was later improved by Sega, Atari, and of course, Nintendo. Nintendo didn't invent joysticks, they just improved on an already-existing idea that someone else put out before them.

Rumble: Rumble is one of the most common things that people bring up when listing out what Sony supposedly stole from Nintendo. The truth is that Nintendo weren't the first to use rumble. Rumble, or Haptic Feedback, was used in various industries, from aviation to telecommunication, to a device called the Optacon, which was a device that lets blind people read printed material that hasn't been transcribed into braille. Rumble was first used in gaming by Sega in 1976 on a game called Moto-Cross, a motorcycle arcade game that used a set of handlebars, that vibrated upon collision with other motorcycles, as it's control input. So, like with Joysticks, rumble is something Nintendo improved upon, they didn't invent it.

Motion Controls: This is where people - and Nintendo themselves, apparently - get a little confused. Motion controls appeared on a Nintendo console first, via the Power Glove, but Nintendo didn't invent them. You see, even though the Power Glove was an officially licensed peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo didn't have anything to do with its production. The Power Glove was designed by Grant Goddard and Samuel Cooper Davis for Abrams Gentile Entertainment (AGE), and made by Mattel in the United States and a company called PAX in Japan. Motion controls appeared first on an Nintendo console, yes, but again, they didn't invent it.

Touch Screen On A Handheld: Sega were planning a successor to their Game Gear in the 1990s that was to include a touch screen, but it was abandoned after they decided that it would be too costly. Instead, it was a device called the Game.Com, (Game Com) that first used a touch screen. The 'Game.Com' was created by Tiger Electronics way back in 1997 and also featured access to a modem to upload scoreboard stats and check your email. It was ahead of its time but it flopped, partly because of it's anti-gamer marketing and limited number of games. Regardless of how it performed, though, it was the first handheld to have a touch screen. Somebody needs to remind Nintendo, or Reggie Fils-Aime, at least, of that fact.

I'm not saying that Nintendo stole all these ideas. I'm saying that a lot of people think that Nintendo invented these things, and they are misinformed.

Here's the thing, though. Although, Nintendo and their fans falsely accuse others of stealing things that they didn't invent, companies like Sony have indeed copied them with certain things.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is one example. Yes, there are games in the Arena Fighter genre other than Super Smash Bros., but PlayStation All-Stars is too similar to this particular game to not be a copy. Another example is the recently announced PlayStation Vita Pets, a blatant, shameless copy of Nintendogs. Shame on you, Sony.

The story is too old to be commented.
Donnieboi2658d ago

Good blog bro. A lot of these things were invented by others, and not necessarily by Nintendo first. I remember seeing a vintage sliding thumb pad controller for the NES that was made by a 3rd party. It probably paved the way for future analog sticks in games.

ZodTheRipper2658d ago

In my opinion it doesn't really matter who invented it, it's not like there are infinite possibilities to play a game. Someone had to come up with the idea before others. It's all about execution and making the best use of that invention and Nintendo is pretty good at this. But on a side note, Move is way more precise than the WiiMote and runs on tech (EyeCam) Sony had before the original Wii.

iamnsuperman2658d ago (Edited 2658d ago )

That picture highlights the problem the Move had. Despite the tech being COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, too many people saw similarities between them (like how a ball and an orange are round yet completely different).

On a more constructive note good blog green ranger

Imalwaysright2658d ago

@ Straight You should google Le Stick.

ShinMaster2658d ago (Edited 2658d ago )

The PS1 had dual analog sticks perfect for 3D controls, which everyone else later used.
N64 used a single digital stick, impractical for 3D controls. Atari, Neo Geo CD and others used some form of joysticks before Nintendo.

Rumble? Nintendo released the single motor Rumble Pak THE SAME MONTH that Sony released the Dual-Analog Controller with built-in dual rumble motors for the PS1, before the DualShock.
Research :)

THE POINT IS it doesn't matter who did it first as long as it was done right and works well or better.

Sony had patents for a Move-like wand controller in 2003 and demo'd it in 2004.

Microsoft took the colored X,Y,B,A buttons from the Super Famicom, which Dreamcast also used. Sony came up with original buttons.
Microsoft also took Nintendo's Miis and made Avatars.
Yet people like to make Sony seem like the bad guy.

Nintendo is using clickable left and right sticks on the Wii U like PlayStation has done for years.
PS1 also used grips on its controller. Nintendo and everyone else started using them later as well.

People consider the Xbox One revolutionary and innovative (at least that's what MS wants people to think). But the XBone is basically the PSX, the PS2 cable TV DVR p was ahead of its time. Then PS3 had PlayTVr and Nasne. And some have the audacity to say that Sony's planned online streaming service is somehow reactionary to the Xbox One? Hilarious.

It doesn't matter who did what. Most people are ignorant anyway. They don't know the difference between daisychained DVR functionality and an online streaming service which doesn't require a cable box. Something Sony has also done before with Video Unlimited.

joeorc2657d ago (Edited 2657d ago )

now if you take each , and turn the Wiimote side ways, and to the same to the move notice something?

the WiiMote is like a TV remote, you can use it like a mini game pad.

you cannot do the same effectivly with the Move, the reason why is the Move was designed like a wand! how else do you design a "wand"?

as for the nunchuck:

take a gander at the Zeemote:

beth even had patents on its design, and this was prototyped and developed in early 2005, but was not finished until 2008.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2657d ago
3-4-52656d ago

Nintendo is like the simpsons, they've done everything and are responsible for future companies doing well.

Nintendo had dual screen in the 80's. They gave us the handheld, although I will credit Sega for having a color handheld in 1991, which it took Nintendo until 1996-7 to release one.

The reason Nintendo doesn't dominate "what's hot", is because they are already onto the "next" thing, whatever that happens to be.

They are constantly innovating and tweaking things but it's not always well received by critics or fans.

They push the Gaming industry forward, it's just most people don't recognize it or realize it.

joeorc2658d ago

great blog, there is a misconception like what you pointed out.

Innovative use: is not the same as "Invention"

Invention is the creative building block to Innovation.


Kirby showed a very good outline to point out exactly why

miyamoto2657d ago

nice comment.

the thing is Nintendo did not even invent the Wiimote tech. Hillcrest Labs did. and if Nintendo did not pay them huge money Wii could have been banned in the US.

the problem with casual Nintendo fans is they are too shallow to dig deeper for facts.

Nights was developed in 1994 with analog sticks for 3D world navigation.

BillytheBarbarian2658d ago

There is too much money wrapped in patented technology for Nintendo's accountants and lawyers to handle. That's not really Reggie's job. His job is pr for Nintendo's home console/handheld market. Him not knowing about in 1997 really only matters to us nerds on the internet. I think he was basically talking about Kinect and move.

Nintendo might be first to bring a lot of those patents to home video gaming. The NES dpad controller is an icon. Now everyone uses the face button layout of the SNES controller. Take Sega Saturn's 3d controller, add one more analog stick, then put the face and bumpers on from SNES, and boom. It's a 360\PS3 controller.

Companies don't steal but borrow and pay the owners of those patents while trying to make them work better for their own tech. Reggie really wouldn't know or care.

dark-hollow2658d ago (Edited 2658d ago )

Well, the thing is, if you used this kind of logic, a lot of products that changed the industry and revolutionised it can be dismissed as non innovative.

It's not about being the first, but the way of implementing the said method or technology. Lets take for an example the powerglove. It is one of the earliest motion controllers, is it innovative? Well, kind of, but it wasn't implemented very well and thus it wasn't received very well.

Another non gaming related example. Those crappy early touch screen smartphones, did they introduced a new concept? Yes. Was it good enough for practical use? No.

I think the innovation here (I hate this word since sometimes people read too much into the term as something has to be 100% original from the ground up which is something OVERY rarely) is in the way of implementing and producing the said idea, and when Nintendo or Sony or even ms introduce an idea or a technology that is already established in non gaming fields and implement it in a seamless way for gaming then it is innovative. Another example is online gaming. PC gamers were used to a good online experience for decades. While consoles did a poor job bringing online gaming to consoles, that until ms introduced Xbox live and showed how console online gaming is done "right" and Nintendo and Sony followed their footsteps.

nothing Sony, Nintendo or ms introduced to the gaming industry is completely new, a concept that has NOT being made at all in the history. All ideas has to be based off something, nothing is magically 100% original. Well... There are completely original ideas, but in these days, they are very rare.

Embolado2658d ago

Could we not make the same argument that they set idustry standards that have been carried forward into proceeding gaming sytems?

Which would be innovation in the those terms.

Just like Sony did with CD/BluRay medium. Xbox with online community.

Sure you could find someone that did it before but not to the extent that they built their system around these ideas. Not an afterthought.

joeorc2658d ago


Could we not make the same argument that they set idustry standards that have been carried forward into proceeding gaming sytems?

you could, but what sets standards is not who strives to build something around something, its when the consensus all agree's that is one of the best ways to do something right now, and than it can change to another standard later on.

someone is always bound to get something out first in the tech field, but what makes something a standard is set if many all agree to use such as what you would set as a standard. thus

for example: the Wiimote did not use the +adapter off the bat because it was too expensive to release at the time of the system release, but was later added because it was then in price/component cheap enough to release.

on the same token both technology of the Move and Kinect was capable of being built back in 2002 and 2003 but the price of components/core component would have cost almost as much as the platform system itself, Microsoft and Sony both had to wait until the core price for components was smaller and cheaper.

but the demo's of each system technology they were going to use was shown off in siggraph 2000 and again in 2004!

just like Kirby stated the touch screen everyone knew for smartphones that was where they were heading, it was not until much later that the cost/components would be cheap enough to employ such technology at a much lower price.

setting a standard is a group effort, not a lone effort. someone may start to promote a method of use but unless you "invent" such a method it will require a consensus group to decide if it will be a standard, until another method works better than the one established. innovation, invention are methods to an end.

Imalwaysright2658d ago

I disagree. Credit should always be given to the person/people that not only had the idea but also turned the concept of that idea into reality. For example it pisses me off when people say that Nintendo invented motion controllers. They didn't. All that Nintendo did was making a business decision by making motion controllers the standard. A risky one but a business decision nonetheless.

joeorc2657d ago

"They didn't. All that Nintendo did was making a business decision by making motion controllers the standard. A risky one but a business decision nonetheless."

that is the thing, you cannot have a standard unless its industry wide, and a standard is Bluetooth connection, only thing is the physical layout and what functions each company uses, some would include such with the Move was a magnameter to account for sensor drift. did you know the WiiMote does not contain a magnameter?

the reason being is the camera the WiiMote uses is in the WiiMote itself, while playstation Move uses a EXTERNAL CAMERA.


even Kinect can interact between itself and an object you are holding ie: a bluetooth enabled game pad.

someone is always going to get out something first, that does not mean they were the only one thinking about such technology in use for such purposes. example back in 2004 Dr. Marks over at Sony R&D was using the Kinect sensor IE: prime sense 3d depth sense camera with the PS2! they even made a DEMO of how it could be used, running in real time @ the siggraph 2004 convention. pretty much all the big IT companies all go to there, and its key note was emerging trends in siggraph 2000. motion control gaming

this did not happen over night, many companies all looked into it, but the costs were freaking high, too [email protected] high for one imagine in 2005 what the cost of such a component:

PlayStation Move's LED orb can emit 16 million different colors

not just the size but keeping the cost low with yields high.

that does not include:
accelerometer, a rate sensor, and a magnetometer.

and a dedicated Arm7 chip onboard the Move. the costs were just too high to release the Move when the PS3 was released, $600.00+ another $399.00 for the move set up back in 2005 because move back in 2005 would have cost [email protected] near $400.00. imagine the outcry over $600.00 and than add in the cost of

Kinect would have been just as expensive back then.

Show all comments (21)
The story is too old to be commented.