Posted on October 6, 2008,

Nintendo Claims MotionPlus Tech Was Too Expensive During Wii Development

Gaming Today

One of the most significant announcements to come out of Nintendo’s otherwise abysmal E3 press conference (and even this was announced before the conference) was the Wii MotionPlus. With this adapter, which attaches to the bottom end of the Wiimote, the controller will be capable of a 1:1 response to the user’s movement. Great, right? But there’s one nagging question about MotionPlus that we raised immediately after it was first announced: Why wasn’t this technology in the Wiimote from the beginning?

As we’ve now learned, it all comes down to cost. Chatting with VentureBeat about the MotionPlus, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime explained that Nintendo was aware of the technology while designing the Wii but implementing it would have proven too costly for the business model Nintendo was looking to employ. “By waiting about three years, the costs come down substantially and it becomes a viable product,” he offered.

While it excites us to know the Wii will be capable of more precise controls, it’s difficult to avoid wondering if it was the right move to make. The MotionPlus will segment the Wii’s market and potentially cause confusion among the casual crowd — the same audience that Nintendo has to thank for returning it to the position of top dog in the videogame hardware biz. What do you think; is it a wise decision to add this functionality in or should Nintendo have waited for its next system to give gamers a 1:1 control experience? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.

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10 Comments on Nintendo Claims MotionPlus Tech Was Too Expensive During Wii Development

Iron Tiger

On October 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm

As long as every game under the sun does not require it them I do not see a problem with it. If they do start making the majority of the games with MotionPlus then that needs to be clearly labeled on the box.


On October 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I imagine it won’t ever be required per se, but it will have best enjoyed with Motion Plus add on, on the box or whatever

Used Cisco

On October 6, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I don’t understand why they bothered. This would have been a great improvement for the Wii2. My fear is that because they released it already, Wii 2 might be a LONG way off.

Jack Bauer

On October 6, 2008 at 4:53 pm

There’s no reason to not upgrade if you’re a Wii owner. Just do it and shut up. Be glad you’re even getting that!


On October 6, 2008 at 6:21 pm

its just really nice to see nintendo shoving it up the big guys asses by concentrating on “fun factor” rather than graphics and such. (MS and sony.) and i hope they keep the console fun and family centered to that they stay up top in sales.


On October 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Not integrating it in the first run was obviously the right decision, because the chosen price point seems to be perfect ( just look at the sales figures ).
Releasing this device now … i´m not sure, it is nice to be able to get a more accurate reading of the movements, still i doubt the casual gamer will notice it. Now it´s up to Nintendo to educate the masses … and that´s a job even most goverments seem to have a problem with. But Nintendo has a nag for making things simple. :wink:


On October 6, 2008 at 9:59 pm

After reading a few of these comments, I have to agree with the view that the 1:1 motion feature should have been saved for the next-gen console.

The Nintendo Wii has the potential to match the Playstation 2 in terms of popularity, and game sales.

The 1:1 MotionPlus system does sound like something that overcomplicates the Nintendo design, which already sells attachments well. It will also overcomplicate game development, as developers supporting the MotionPlus will also have to design the game to work without the feature. Then again, that has been Nintendo’s MMO since the days of the N64.

If they waited to introduce it with the next-gen Wii2, then it would be seen as a logical improvement of the core Wii implimentation.


On October 7, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Motion tracking can use quite a lot of processing power. If this really is an improvement it should use the same amount of system resources.


On October 7, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Not a single comment on the most obvious point: games.
I fear that Nintendo, for all their capacity to innovate, is falling (albeit more slowly) into the ‘tech conquers all’ trap, i.e. ‘cool new tech will drive sales’. As we’ve seen, this just isn’t so (PS3)

Wii’s greatest weakness is the lack of quality games. This seems to just compound that problem: what’s the point of a 1:1 motion-sensing peripheral if there are no games that can efffectively utilize the device?


On October 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm

What I think is that I never was able to purchase a Wii because of the insane demand and that now, looking back on the quality of the games that have come out and the held-back developments that Nintendo is dripping out, I’m pretty squarely in the category of ‘not going to ever purchase a Wii’

I’ll wait for Wii2. Hopefully, it will be the best of both worlds: take all the ‘innovation’ and ‘think different’ of the original Wii, throw in the boatloads of $$$ that Nintendo has been collecting since they released Wii1 so as to get a far more sophisticated system (graphics, processor, harddrive, memory), and voila: an awesome system in the wings.

Not that far away – they’re saying maybe xmas 2009 or summer 2010. I can wait.