Wii Competitor For PC?

No, at the moment there’s no direct competitor (in terms of control device) for Wii in PC, but yesterday I come to think about it: Wii’s “unique selling point” is most about the control device. The controlling device that brings “freedom” to movement. What if some manufacturer would build similar device for PC? Maybe Logitech or Microsoft could make a deal with some game publisher and bring a this kind of device to PC market? There’s already plenty of PCs out there, and the casual games market for PC has already been established, and there would be plenty of small indie developers interested in making casual games for Wii like controlling device. The device could cost much less than Wii – I presume anything within 50 to 100 euros range would be okay – so it could be a real challenger.

I wonder if somebody has already thought about this.

14 thoughts on “Wii Competitor For PC?

  1. When the wii and its mote was announced, I thought, microsoft would be dumb not to copy this mote or improove it.
    Of course I didnt thought about patents at that time.
    So I still think it would be very wise for microsoft or sony to make an equal sophisticated mote as the wii.
    About the problem of making games specifically for a wii mote, you can always try to make a game that supports both the wii mote and both the standard keyboard and mouse.

  2. What about other consoles? Wiimote for Playstation or Xbox sounds okay don’t you think?

  3. I think there is a problem with a wii mote to the computer.
    The problem is the size of the screen, its too small.
    You play wii on the tv, and since you need to have some distance between you and the screen, while playing with a wii mote, the PC wont be suitable for that.

  4. The problem with special input devices for PC games is that they tends to have a rather poor adoption rate. A lot of PC gamers do not think much about buying special hardware to play games, and a lot of game developers feel they would be limiting their audience if special input devices are needed. I feel the only way change this trend is by game developers coming to a unanimous decision as to what sorts of input devices should be used for gaming — the more games which use specific input devices, the more likely game players will own them. Gamepads have existed for years, but even their use for PC games is very limited. Most PC games rely upon the keyboard and mouse, because developers know the user will have these pieces of hardware attached to their computer.

  5. The PC and the Wii are different things. While PCs can have a controller just like the wii’s, you wouldn’t have the manners to make it a standard. Games would not be created for it exactly, but would have to be adapted, and the number of games would be relative to the number of people that have it, so it would only work if it sold like a Tickle me Elmo product: Crazy.
    Developers cannot truly relly on such device for the PC’s, while in the Wii you HAVE to.
    Different platforms, different games.
    Jean-Claude hits the nail in the head with his post.

  6. Scurvy Lobster

    Microsoft actually released a Wii-like joystick in the mid 90′s. It failed terribly. It may not have been as good as the Wiimote, but offered a similar type of motion controlled game play.

    I wouldn’t count on this sort of control on a pc! Mouse and keyboard is the standard and where the market is.

  7. Very good idea Juuso… I hope logitech will do a similar controller ASAP :)

  8. Hi,

    I would definitely not recommend indie people to do such a thing as developing a game specifically for such a device. Yes there is a lot of PC out there but it is already hard to sell games. Imagine that you limit your audience to the people who bough the device only, you will suddenly divide your audience by a massive factor. Even if you have a way to reach these people, you will still have a niche market.

    I know what I am talking about, my game OvO: http://www.ovogame.com requires a webcam and despite the fact that the game is a good EyeToy game, I am struggling to sell it. I have only my site to sell it. Portals are not interested because it is not self-contained. You will be in the same case if you develop something witch require a specific peripheral.

    Just don’t go there.

    JC

  9. In theory, no reason why not (except patents perhaps!), but these things need to work *extremely* well in order to be fun, and need some wide acceptance so you don’t feel like some weirdo trying it out. The entire Wii is built around it, so it works. They spent the $$$ to make it work. I fear a copy-cat would just not work well, and not get wide acceptance.

  10. One reason you won’t find a Wiimote clone for PC anytime soon: patents.

  11. Okay, but I think back then the Gamecube was far more powerful than the PCs of that time, than today the Wii compared to today’s PCs. Of course there’s a difference, but I think it should be at least possible with, let’s say, frame-skipping or lower resolution or something, to make them at least playable. I could be wrong of course, I have no actual facts to rely on.

  12. Scurvy Lobster

    It took many years before Gamecube games could be emulated on PC, so don’t expect Wii games to come up running very soon on WinXP.

    The Wiimote however does work on a pc.

  13. Yes, I think so, but the next step would be having games that can be played with that.

    In the past, there has been a controller (or perhaps several) which was basically a wireless gamepad but with balance sensors, so you could use it for motorbike or car racing games. Perhaps the Wiimote is also useful for something like that.

    Perhaps there will also be Wii-emulators for PC (I think the Wii is technically not TOO advanced, so it might be possible).

  14. There are already a few unofficial “drivers” available to use the wiimote on your PC or Mac, here are some infos:
    PC : http://carl.kenner.googlepages.com/glovepie_download
    Mac : http://blog.hiroaki.jp/2006/12/000433.html
    It can indeed be really interesting!