The War for Motion Control

With the popularity of Nintendo's motion-control interface on the Wii, rivals Microsoft and Sony have been preparing their own responses. Sony is launching Move, its own motion-sensitive controller, in a form factor similar to the Wii Remote. But Microsoft's answer is the much-anticipated Project Natal. Video footage of demo versions of the two reveals smooth motion control and fine-tuned playability. Some in the video game industry contend that the Wii isn't a system that appeals to serious gamers outside of the motion control and games featuring Nintendo's proprietary characters. That doesn't mean gamers don't buy them. Data suggests gamers own an Xbox 360 or a PS3 along with a Wii, but not all three. With Sony and Microsoft fighting for the control of the hardcore gamer, the motion control interface may be the deciding factor when attracting new gamers. With the intensity of controlling market share in the video game industry so feverish, you can expect there to be plenty of news coming down the pike. A high-definition version of the Wii has been rumored for release in 2011 or 2012 but Nintendo officials will not comment on the speculation.

Wii Motion Plus

At the core of the Wii's appeal is its motion-control interface. It gives the gamer a feeling of immersion in the game while inviting casual gamers who may not have the patience to learn an advanced controller a reason to pick it up and give it a try. In fact, Nintendo sold more than 3 million consoles in the United States alone in 2009. Worldwide, customers bought more Wiis (9,594,000) than both Xbox 360 (4,770,700) and PlayStation 3 consoles (4,334,600) combined. [source: NPD].

Knowing this, Nintendo released an updated version of its motion controller. Actually, it's more of an add-on. Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus accessory snaps into the same socket as the Nunchuk and, according to the company, it translates game players' actions into game movements in a 1:1 ratio [source: Nintendo]. Wii MotionPlus formally released with Nintendo's "Wii Sports Resort" in July 2009. While older games can't take advantage of the improved control offered by the add-on, some titles released afterward require the functionality the device offers [source: Bakalar].

"Wii Sports Resort" is the popular follow-up to Nintendo's most popular game "Wii Sports." Game play and graphics are similar, but Nintendo created new games that are designed to take advantage of the Wii MotionPlus attachment. The bundle costs $49 or you can buy the MotionPlus attachment separately for $19.