The engineers who have created the geomagnetic sensor at the heart of the new GamePad controller for the Wii U home console say that it is the first nine-axis device and that gives it more accuracy than the PlayStation Move or the Sixaxis.
Becky Oh, an executive at hardware maker PNI Sensor Corporation, is quoted by Venturebeat as saying that the new pieces of hardware “are good at tracking relativistic change. But it doesn’t tell you absolutely where you’re pointing and where the pointer is. What the magnetic sensor does is use the Earth’s magnetic field as a reference. It can always guide back to what the absolute position is.”
The magnetic sensor integrated into the GamePad means that it offers more accuracy and makes it a better fit for genres like the first-person shooter or the racing game, which have traditionally failed to adapt well to motion tracking.
Oh compared the Wii U controller with the Sharpshooter for the Sony Move, saying, “In that case, hardcore gamers would go back to using a joystick or game controllers, but if you had a very accurate way — with no latency or very little latency — to use the gun to point what you’re shooting. I think that does change the way the game is played.”
Nintendo has been very keen to attract more hardcore players to the new Wii U and that means offering a controller that they feel comfortable with and that offers speed and accuracy.
At the moment, the new console is only being offered in North America, where Nintendo says that it has managed to sell more than 400,000 units during the first week, which included the Black Friday period.
European gamers will get the Wii U tomorrow and Japanese gamers will wait for an official launch until December 8.