Xbox 360's Wii-Style Controller: First Pictures? - InformationWeek

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Xbox 360's Wii-Style Controller: First Pictures?

Previous Internet reports have suggested Microsoft is working on a Nintendo Wii-style controller for the Xbox 360 under a project code-named Newton.

The July issue of a U.K.-based video game magazine is reportedly running pictures of what's been described as a Wii-style motion controller for Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game system.

Pictures in Xbox 360 World magazine, as shown on the Ultimate Gamers Podcast blog, reveal a hand-held, cylindrical device with Xbox-style buttons and color scheme. The device also appears to have a pistol-style hand grip.

In an update, the bloggers said the device is manufactured by Cambridge, MA-based Motus Corporation. Motus makes a motion sensitive controller called Darwin. The company has, to date, been mum on its game industry partnerships.

Previous Internet reports have suggested Microsoft is working on a Nintendo Wii-style controller for the Xbox 360 under a project code-named Newton. Microsoft has declined to comment on the speculation.

According to the reports, users would be able to control on-screen actions in Xbox 360 games by physically moving the remote through a three-dimensional plane. That would create the possibility for, say, a tennis game that players could control by swinging their arms as though holding a racket.

That sort of interactivity has proven to be a highly popular feature of Nintendo's Wii gaming system -- currently the only platform that supports such virtual play. Earlier this week, Nintendo launched Wii Fit amid considerable hype.

MTV's Web site first reported Microsoft's supposed plans to develop a Wii-style controller. MTV posted a picture of what it said was a rough mock up of the device. The music station cited as its source an anonymous individual who has "business relationships" with Microsoft.

If Microsoft does have such a plan in the works, it's remarkably similar to an April Fool's joke posted last month on a Web site maintained by the company's Macintosh business unit.

Microsoft Mac BU bloggers said on April 1 that the company was developing software that would turn the Apple Remote into a Wii-style controller that would allow users to play interactive games on the Mac.

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