Of all the seventh generation gaming consoles that we have seen explode across the globe recently, the Nintendo Wii has probably made the most significant advancement in the form of its innovative controller system.
This innovation has changed the way that gamers immerse within the virtual environment. Now gamers interact physically with the virtual world by manipulating it via digitally replicated actions of their own bodies.
Resembling a TV remote control, this piece of technology has been imbued with chameleon like morphing capabilities. Though it looks like a TV remote it actually becomes a sword, tennis racket, golf club, bow and arrow (in conjunction with the secondary nunchuk controller) and even a light saber! Depending on the game you are playing.
As I said this controller system is probably the greatest advancement that has been made out of all the seventh generation consoles. And I will back up that statement by postulating this theory.
The theory is that with gaming technology advancing exponentially as it is, it will soon reach a point of such perfection of graphics and game play that developers will have to look elsewhere to develop anything truly new or advanced. This new realm to which they will look, is virtual reality, total immersion of the gamer within the 3d environment. Think helmets, body suits and glove controllers. Indeed developments are well underway in this area already and I think in the future this will be the standard of home video gaming. Where by donning the suit will link you up to the game via motion sensors, a projector helmet and rumble and pressure devices which activate when you are sustaining damage or are engaged in a rocky activity within the game.
The closest step to this out of the seventh gen's is definitely the Wii. Although all three newly released consoles (the others being Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's X box 360) have taken incredible leaps forward in graphics and online gaming departments, only the Wii has taken the step forward to physical interaction with the gaming environment beyond thumbing the joystick.
An interesting side effect that has arisen out of the Wii's physical interaction aspect is that it actually induces increased cardiovascular activity that constitutes physical exercise. Of course this depends on the game you are playing. Wii sports which comes as part of the package when you purchase a Wii actually includes a Wii fitness program which tests your abilities and fitness level and plots it against a chart of fitness age groups. Wii boxing can prove to be quite a work out!
On a more humorous side, the internet is covered with incidents and you tube videos of Wii remote mishaps Whereby unprepared or over enthusiastic users have caused damage to their TV screen, nearby windows, or gaming partners as they were so caught up in the action of the game!
Have fun with your Wii, but watch out for your living room!