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Jim Merrick Interview

Jim Merrick is Nintendo’s head of European marketing. He’s recently been interviewed by C&VG, and he gave away some juicy morcels.

Nintendo had several objectives with their new controller – interesting new gameplay was just one of them. They also wanted something accessible, like a TV remote. The resemblance isn’t unintentional. The new controller can even be used to turn the new console on and off, just like a TV remote.

Mr. Merrick thinks the new controller has so many different ways of using it, you won’t miss the relatively fewer buttons. For example, to control an airplane you can bank left, right, dive, pull up, do a loop, and not press a single button. And he says that when combined with the analog stick on the nunchukk accessory, that you’ll never go back to using a traditional controller for first-person shooters.

The new console will continue to support existing GameCube controllers. That’s a backwards compatibility that Sony and Microsoft won’t be offering with their PS3 and 360. They’re also working on a classic-style controller with a hole wherein you slot the the free-hand controller. I saw a mockup of this somewhere on the net a while ago and thought it was a bunch of baloney, but evidently I was wrong.