Wii remote review

Posted by dkidwell on November 19th, 2006 — Posted in Christmas, interface design, parenting, reviews, Wii

The whole family (even Grandma) gives initial thoughts from the family about the Wii remote:

Harry (age 13)-

  • “It’s really light and like a small DVD remote – it’s great!”
  • “It’s small, and fits in your hand.”
  • “It’s really simple to use the buttons.”

Epiphany (age 10) –

  • “At first it’s a little hard to control, but in less than 5 minutes you can really get good with it.”
  • “This is probably the coolest Nintendo thing ever.”
  • “Straps are required. If you don’t wear the wrist strap, it could fly off and hit the TV or the wall”
  • “It’s cool how it makes noises when you do stuff.”
  • “I really like having the B button on the botton, instead of on the top.”

George (age 7) –

  • “It’s really cool. It’s really easy. You barely notice that it’s wrapped around your wrist. You can move it really fast”

Mom (age 36) –

  • The sleeves will be a good idea – no fighting over who’s remote is who and if one is lost we’ll know who lost it.
  • Definitely – wear your wrist strap.
  • Make sure you have room to move around in the living room. It’s hard not to really move and get into the sports games.

Dad (age 36) –

  • It’s really good in the right or left hand.
  • It’s good for any size of hand.
  • I was expecting more weight out of it, but it’s really light. The batteries add weight on the bottom and I myself would like a little more balance in the weight.
  • In the Bowling game, you can get alot of precision with the spin and speed of the ball of the remote.

Grandma (age 66) –

  • With one hand, it was fairly easy to use. (Grandma had a stroke a while back and can only use her left hand.)
  • “I really liked how easy it was to use and type, especially when you personalize your Mii.”

These impressions do not include the nunchuck, since we have been Bowling and playing Tennis all day. [And for those that are keeping track, the kitten is sleeping in the other room and is quite content.]

Wii in motion

unmediated: How to Start a Nintendo DS ElecktroPlankton Band

Posted by dkidwell on January 10th, 2006 — Posted in Electroplankton, interface design, Nintendo DS, technology

Ok – so one of the ways I’d define innovation (leave a comment with how you define it!) is evident in how your product pushes through the traditional demographics identified by your product marketing managers. They tell you something akin to “this device will sell to an older gamer demographic than our typical line, aged 15-35, and will be stronger with women.” Fine, if that was all the DS did it would be one thing, but no! Artists are blogging about creating real music with Electroplankton on the DS, and suggesting the game console as a tax deduction!

unmediated: How to Start a Nintendo DS ElecktroPlankton Band

That’s some mojo.

Gamermom Watch: Electroplankton

Posted by dkidwell on January 10th, 2006 — Posted in Electroplankton, interface design, Nintendo DS, reviews, technology

The DS has to be the most innovative device to come down the pike in a while – at this point, I’m willing to declare that it’s picked up the innovation torch from Apple’s Ipod (which, while it continues to innovate, is essentially the same device it was at launch in 2001.

Electroplankton is a brilliant piece of software that has done very well in Japan. It is positioned as a media art video game, and was developed by Toshio Iwai, who created SimTunes back in 1996. SimTunes was the first of it’s kind that I’d ever seen, and was quickly installed on every machine in the house. SimTunes allowed kids to paint with music – and Electroplankton looks to be an impressive evolution.

Currently, Electroplankton holds the interesting distinction of being one of the most imported games from Japan to the US. According to the official site, Iwai “packed Electroplankton with the memories of the four devices he loved growing up: a microscope, a tape recorder, a synthesizer, and an NES” It’s worth checking out the link just to hear what else he had to say – look under “About the Artist.”

The game was released here in the US on the 9th, but not to stores. You can only buy a copy online. As of this moment, Amazon has them in stock, but can’t promise delivery until March 26th! Gogamer.com doesn’t have it and EBGames lists it on back order. I ordered if directly from Nintendo an hour ago, but haven’t gotten tracking information yet. Here’s to hoping it arrives by the weekend!

Nintendo & Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age?

Posted by dkidwell on December 10th, 2005 — Posted in daughters, interface design, Nintendo DS, Nintendogs, reading, technology

I just read an older post on Engadet theorizing about a Nintendo Communication Revolution: Nintendo DS wireless hub trick up its sleeve? – Engadget – www.engadget.com

The notion in a nutshell – the Nintendo DS has 802.11b wireless, but what if it acted as both a device and a hub? Allowing you to lilypad DS systems – creating organic gaming network? All wifi geek obstacles aside, I loved this idea for one reason…

What if you wanted to do something really visionary…

What if you…

  • created a system that appealled to little girls and young women in a way that no other system had, just through it’s form factor.
    [Nintendo DS doesn’t simply have 2 screens – it has a whole new interaction dynamic.]
  • launched a killer app that was ‘best of breed’ (forgive the pun’ of all the artificial companion, virtual pet apps. [Nintendogs is selling out in the UK and you can’t buy the Best Friends Bundles in retail stores in the US.]
  • bundled the app and device into hot Christmas sellers right before parents are most likely to shell out the ~$150 price point.

Suddenly you have a high density of some of the most agile communicators on the planet. A substrate for something particularly fantastic. A entrance point to a highly lucrative and as yet, virutally untapped market.

Maybe the DS isn’t Nintendo’s trojan horse into a brave new world of girl gamers. But man…what if it was?

BTW, if this post was at all interesting and you haven’t read , “Diamond Age” by Neal Stephenson, maybe you should.