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Gaming Evolution

E3 2010: The Wii & Memorex Go Hand-and-Hand

June 25, 2010
- On my way to check out Memorex’s Wii accessories, I’d be lying if I said I was enthusiastic. And, wouldn’t you know, they already knew. There’s no shortage of accessories and controllers at the show and they were the first to admit it. But they insisted that they had the goods -- something to get excited about.

They didn’t lie.

Right up front, they didn’t bury the lead, and brought out their star product: a new Wii remote, called the Controller Plus. Most striking about the Controller Plus is its design; black, shiny, sleek with rings of blue lights (“Sexy Blue Lights” or “SBL’s”) and felt solid in my hand, but lightweight. Surprising, considering what’s under the hood: built-in motion plus and a rechargeable battery (not to mention the SBL’s). It feels good, too; bowled buttons that conform to your fingers and an analog, multi-directional d-pad make a surprisingly big difference as far as comfort, ease of use and range of movement are concerned.

A Wii remote wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying nunchuck. Their wireless nunchuck features the same sleek, black finish, a rechargeable battery and a new pistol grip with grooves for your fingers. Most importantly, I took notice of the increased amount of spring on the stick, which felt a lot more responsive than the standard nunchuck. Both, as well as another version of the remote without the built-in motion plus, will be out in the Fall.

They also showed off their own take on the Wii sensor bar. What sets it apart is the fact that it’s curved, allowing for a much wider range. If you’re tired of sitting directly in front of your TV to play Super Mario Galaxy 2, then for $15 you probably won’t find a better solution. It’s a lot bulkier than the original sensor bar but, consequently, looks a lot more durable.

Lastly, I got to check out their new Wii racing wheel. I was never a huge fan the original wheel, but this is definitely a step or two above the standard. With the wheel, Memorex is focusing on ease of use. With rubberized grips to prevent slipping, a built-in compartment for motion plus support, a slim frame for easier access to the remote’s face buttons, and a spring-loaded trigger for the B button to increase responsiveness, the wheel’s enhancements are mostly subtle, but welcome, and make enough of a difference to separate it from the pack. They even gave us one to try out, so expect a hands-on review of that soon.

Written By: Christian Higley

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