Click to viewYesterday you saw the first prototype pre-Wii motion-sensitive controller that Gyration pitched to Nintendo in 2001. Today, we received a note from Matt Presta at Bridge Design, who drafted the original concept. Here he explains his mission, shares a peek at the actual drawing board, and gives a shout-out to left-handed people everywhere.
We were brought in to help [Gyration] pitch their gyro technology (which had previous only been used in pointing/mouse devices) to Nintendo for more complex use in gaming—an idea way ahead of its time back in '01.
Based on a requirement to roughly preserve the existing Game Cube button layout we created usability concepts that would work for one- or two-handed gaming. We experimented with different configurations through sketches, models and interviewing various hardcore gamers.
Gyration decided to hedge their bets choosing the quick-release idea as it could work for split-handed gaming without shaking up the already old-fashioned two-handed controller paradigm. We weren't party to discussions between Gyration and Nintendo so we don't know exactly how Nintendo arrived at their solution.
It would have been fun to take the project further than just a rough usability prototype though. It is cool to see that at least Nintendo finally decided to take the huge risk in developing the current (ambidextrous) Wii controller.
BTW, for the record most of us designers support you lefties out there. Unfortunately the business world often decides that ambidextrous attributes aren't worth the effort.