[games_access] E3 & Accessibility: Nintendo 'Demo Play"
richard at audiogames.net
Mon Jun 15 10:53:09 EDT 2009
1) from http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2009/06/67677679/1:
"On the extraordinary success of its Nintendo Wii video game console, Nintendo says it's due, in part, to making games accessible to wide audiences. And with an unannounced - but now confirmed - feature built into future Nintendo Wii titles, the Japanese gaming giant is taking this accessibility to the next level. Beginning with the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii (due this holiday season), players will be able to pause a game during a particularly difficult level and let the game take over to complete the level. Press a button at any time to resume playing. This will help reduce barriers of entry for new or younger players - without purchasing a strategy guide or resorting to websites that list cheat codes.In an exclusive interview with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary game designer confirmed this optional feature called "demo play" (tentative name) is something the development team has been working on. "In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they're ready" confirmed Miyamoto, through his translator. "And yes, we're looking into this for future games, too" Miyamoto says."
2) from http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3174774:
"Sure, you and I can beat the original Super Mario Bros. on one life in under 6 minutes (well, maybe you can, anyway...). But with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo wants your mom and dad and non-gaming friends in on the fun, too -- and they have a plan to make sure the difficulty doesn't get too overwhelming. Speaking to USA Today (via Joystiq), Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be the first Wii game to have what's tentatively being called the "demo play" feature: In tough portions, a player can literally let the game play itself, and then jump back in when they feel comfortable once again assuming control. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they're ready," said Miyamoto through a translator. "And yes, we're looking into this for future games, too."
You might recall this feature first showed up in a patent filed by Miyamoto back in January. According to the description in that patent, there was to be three different modes to this "demo play" option: One that lets a video walkthrough play in the corner but not interrupt gameplay; one that would stop gameplay for a full-screen walkthrough, and players could jump into the walkthrough and take control; and one that would allow players to choose where in the game to start, similar to the scene selection of a DVD.
Curiously, the patent specifically mentioned that if a player jumps ahead with the aid of the video walkthrough, they would be unable to save their progress. Miyamoto didn't specify whether this is still the case to USA Today, but then, he really didn't give many details at all, so it's hard to say how much of the original patent's description will actually be used. "
Although not the most elegant of solutions (adaptive game difficulty anyone?), another small step in the right direction :)
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