I do not like playing computer games. In my opinion, playing computer games is wasting time. I have been using the computers since 1989 (second year in my computer engineering course) and since then I must have had spent totally less than 10-15 hours playing computer games. 90% of that time, I spent playing the snake game in MS-DOS.
My son, who is in the first grade, has been asking me for a quite a while, to buy him a Nintendo Wii and I bought him one just last week. I was amazed by the design. I found simplicity, elegance, adaptability, usability in the architecture of the system. I felt, it is like iPod in the gaming industry. (Well, this is the first gaming console I bought, may be, all other gaming console are like this. But I do not know). I was so impressed by their design and architecture. Curiously and quickly, I jumped into the tenure of understanding the internals of Nintendo Wii. Meantime, I played Wii sports (tennis and golf) with my son.
In my short tenure, I realized
- Developing games in Nintendo Wii has a huge market
- The Nintendo development SDK is not widely available
- The internals of Nintendo is not available for public
- The Wii remote (widely called Wiimote) is an infrared emitter communicates via blue tooth.
- Kids are addicted to these games (spoke to 5-6 kids , my friend’s son/daughters, my son’s friends)
- It is very expensive and not readily available in the market
- Does not have open standard browser
- Nintendo Wii has an wireless connection (a minimum security is a must) and connects to internet
Nintendo wii remote has more attention in general than the Nintendo console. Johnny Chung Lee‘s enthusiasm and his videos effortlessly motivated me to try/experiment his findings. The Wiimote white board project is most interesting to me since it will have both professional and personal benefits. I started working on this projects a couple of days ago. (weekend project). Here are my findings.
- None of my five home computers had an internal bluetooth. Bought Voice star (Cat. No. 17-1000[A], FCC ID. S76Bt-36)bluetooth 2.0 adapter from Radioshack. It is $10 USD.
- Bought battery holder, 1.5 v battery, Infrared LED, switch
- Tried to establish the connection between Wiimote and laptop (HP dv9913cl Notebook PC, 64 bit Windows Vista, bluesoleil 188.8.131.52 driver )
- I tried all combination. It did not work. I spent almost 15 hours in the attempt to make it functional. Tried all possible combinations I could think of. Nothing worked.
- When the Wii console is switched on, the Wiimote already establishes the connection with the Wii console. It does not connect to the bluetooth adapter/dongle.
- I got stuck at, Wiimote not found in the Human interface devices HID list. Further debugging reveled that the bluesoleil driver was not loaded in to the kernel. I was able to make pair the Wiimote and PC in the bluesoleil console. When I tried to open the device, I got the the above error message. I read in few forums, including Johnny Chung Lee comments, that there are few challenges in the 64 bit windows operating system.
- Tried to estabilsh the connection between Wiimote and laptop (Dell Inspiron, E1505, 32 bit Windows XP, Windows bluetooth driver)
- Was not able to open the driver. The wiimote was not found in the HID list.
- Installed bluesoleil (the driver came with the voice star adapter)
- Installed .NET framework 3.0 and uninstalled .NET framework 3.0 (noticed more errors and felt it was not going to help even though some forums documented that .NET 3 framework will resolve the issues I faced)
- The Wiimote was able to open by the driver (the application using the driver)
- Played around with Wiimote Smoothboard , Wii Play drums, Wii Test application, glovePIE applications. All of them worked great.
Made few crude testing to ensure the infrared LED works. Not successful. Could be problem with the battery or in the connection. Need to have a good design before the development. Does this statement sound familiar?
After the findings, I change my position on the Wii game potentials in the market. Once this kind of discoveries and re-engineering continues, there is no need to buy the console. The console function can be simulated in the PC/Laptop. It will become integral of the PC. Get the Wiimote (around $40 USD) and get the games which can be configured in the PC/laptop and get the same feature we are getting in the Wii console.
That is long way to go.. until then, buy Nintendo stock!!