At E3, the big annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, hosted and attended by a serious hord of computer and technology geeks (in a positive way)Nintendo shows up with a new control for their console Wii. The controller is wireless and motion sensitive, and enables the geek (ehm, user) to control geeky (i mean cool new) games in a completely different and new way.
This is very interesting from a cognitive science standpoint since the interface to computers and computer games have been virtually the same for the last 20 years. Wiggle the stick or push the button… The mouse, not actualy designed for 3D navigation has turned out to be the best way, at least in my opinion, to control yourself in the 3d environment. ( Yourself…? The character…? The car? Honey I’m a car!? This of course depending on your feeling of immersion – Basis for another post) Anyway, guess what? Consoles don’t come with mice…
Of course there are fabulously clunky steering wheels and pedals and gizmos that clutter up your office cubicle making it almost impossible to work (so why struggle, play a game instead!…) Anyway, this control looks small, nice, fashionably white, efficent, easy to wipe off and furthermore, it looks like great fun to use. (Geek references in the beginning are attacking me now – shoving them off with my steering wheel)
The interface is what connects us to the virtual world, and if the interface doesn´t work, or is un-intuitive the experience suffers. I feel Nintendo is going the right way by not only achieving better graphics, but also focus on the usability and user interface component of the console.