Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sony didn't rip off Nintendo. Nintendo ripped off Microsoft (among other companies)

I've played with the Wii. The pointing interface wasn't all that great, but the motion sensitivity was kind of cool. Sony also had a pretty cool motion sensitivity. I thought Warhawk felt more natural then some of the more gimmicky uses for Wii software. (Shake the controller to attack in Super Mario Galaxy) Where was Microsoft's motion sensitive controller? Let's travel back in time to the year 1999. Microsoft, always at the forefront of innovation, released a motion sensing controller called the Sidewinder Freestyle Pro long before the Wii was even dreamt up. Don't believe me? Here's a review. So, everyone is complaining, “Oooo. Sony TOTALLY ripped off Nintendo with the PS3 controller.” The truth is that Nintendo totally ripped off Microsoft's Sidewinder Freestyle Pro. Nintendo's David Yarton made the ridiculous claim, “any innovation that has come in gameplay has come from us... With Nintendo, I'm trying to think of anything we've copied... but I can't.” Maybe he's not thinking hard enough. Let's take a look, shall we?

The D-Pad
Maybe Yarton wasn't aware that this was first featured in Cosmic Hunter for the Microvision. Nintendo introduced it afterwards in their Game and Watch games, but since Microvision was similar, you can bet they played it.

The Gamepad
This was first featured for Vectrex. Vextrex had an analog stick instead of a d-pad, but Nintendo wasn't the first one to veer away from the Atari joystick style controllers.

The Light Gun
Although the Zapper was cool, light gun games date back to 1936 with the “Seeburg Ray-o-Lite”. In this game, you'd shoot ducks... Sound familiar?

The Analog Stick
The analog stick that was a much touted feature of the Nintendo 64 dates back to 1982 for both the Vectrex and the Atari 5200.

Rumble Pack
CH products made a force feedback joystick that came out before the N64's rumble pack. On top of that, Sony's Dual Shock was more innovative because it combined two different types of motors to create different rumbling sensations.

Touch Screen
Palm Pilots and Microsoft's Pocket PC featured touch sensitive games before the DS came out.

Motion Sensitivity
Microsoft released a motion sensitivity gamepad for PC back in 1999 called the Sidewinder Freestyle Pro.

So, in conclusion, Yarton can claim Sony copied Nintendo all he wants as long as he claims that Nintendo copied all their ideas also. It's easy to say you've never heard of any of these devices, but except possibly in the case of CH Product's force feedback joystick, I bet Nintendo was well aware of the ideas they were taking.