By far the
most coveted item of loot to score at E3 was the Nintendo WaveBird. People waited hours in
line just for the hope that they might win the chance to win one of these smooth looking
controllers. E3 patrons who walked home with a WaveBird in their bags walked a little
taller than the rest of us. People wanted a WaveBird more than a new system, more than a
picture with Lara Croft.
The most impressive thing
about the WaveBird is how much it looks like a regular Gamecube controller--only without
the cord of course. It has a range of about 20 feet, and because it has 16 different
selectable frequencies, youll have no problem hooking up four controllers at one.
The WaveBird uses radio frequency signals so it will even play through wallsno
worries about breaking line-of-sight. Nintendo boasts over a hundred hours of game play on
a single pair of AA batteriesnot bad at all. No rumble function is supported on the
WaveBird, but its a small price to pay for the freedom it promises. Retail on the
unit is only going to be $34.95 and it will hit store shelves in less than two weeks (June
10th to be exact).
The dependable wireless controller has been the holy grail of console accessories, and
leave it to Nintendo to be first to deliver. While a variety of other wireless controllers
have been offered by 3rd party developers, the Wavebird is the first wireless
controller developed 1st party. This is the rare video gaming accessory that
even people who dont play video games will appreciate. When I told my wife about the
WaveBird she said, "You mean I wont have to wrap up your cords anymore?"
The abundant cord situation is even more of a problem if you own two or three systems with
several controllers for each one. Nightmare cord knotting scenarios are born from this
situation. The Nintendo WaveBird could be the future of controller design.