Sony made a breakthrough with the Playstation, and suddenly it wasn't just the geeks that were playing games. But I think it's naive to say that they brought gaming to the masses. So many of the games that define the Playstation are about being a soldier, an athlete, a criminal. They're "edgy". They're adolescent. They just feel terribly like games for boys. Sony expanded gaming from one exclusive and introspective circle to another. Sure, there's exceptions. But how much do they really count for?
Gaming is stagnating. We have it faster, flashier and sleeker than before, but where's that going to get it? I want to see universal games. Games that are based on a fun concept that anyone can grasp, and not on appealing to some transient asthetics and a bunch of hormones. I want to see genuinely social games and not everything a grim and steely competition. I want games I can play with an eight-year-old and not feel patronised. I want games I can play with people who don't play games, and not feel like I'm scaring them off. I want games that feel like Lego and not like Action Man.
I don't know if Nintendo can do it. I don't look on them like some kind of fairy godmother. I imagine they would squash me like a bug for a few dollars. But it's apparent that somebody there believes in what they are doing. Careers and money are being risked on what looks like a crazy idea. But it excites me. It won't bring everything I want to gaming, but it's a brave step, and a challenge to the industry. Let's hope it is heard and not lost upon the wind.
The Revolution Controller
EDIT - Better information about the controller, including speculation on the appearance of the shell expansion.
PS - Somebody has stolen all my cynicism. I apologise if you came here for a dose of bitter sarcasm and found me lacking. Feel free to compensate by leaving comments about how much you hate the Nintendo Revolution.