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May 9th, 2005, 17:58
The Nintendo Revolution's controllers will feature pressure sensitive pads and offer gamers a free online service, according to the latest rumours spilling off the internet.
These speculative nuggets come courtesy of an anonymous ex-Nintendo employee now working on Revolution games for a third-party developer. If that doesn't make you want to grab for a pinch of salt straight away, the rumours surfaced not on an official news source but on the forums of E-mpire.com (also home to the insightful 'Are high heels attractive?' thread).

Nonetheless, the self-proclaimed expert assertively rubbishes rumours that the Revolution will use 3D projection technology before dropping the pressure sensitive bomb. "It will be like controlling a game with one of those stress balls," he says. "You squeeze it to go faster."

Right - you're thinking 'but surely the analogue controls on current-gen controllers do that?'
And you'd be right. But we assume the source means that the whole controller - or at least the body of the controller - will be pressure sensitive. So the harder you grip it, the faster your car goes or the harder you punch.

The source also spoke of the controller being wireless, which seems to be a given for all three next-gen consoles. Voice control will also apparently be a big part of Revolution, with wireless headsets apparently offering game interaction "more advanced than anything seen so far."

Next? How about an online service that will allow Revolution owners to play games and access information for free? "The only way I can describe it is as an internet service," said the source. "Imagine turning it on and checking your mail on the system. You see previews and demos of DS and Revolution games that you can download. A magazine similar to Nintendo Power will be exclusive to the system, and you will be able to access it on the Revolution's homepage."

A Nintendo Online service is expected to be unveiled at E3 next week, so this rumour could hold much more truth than the others.

The source then went on to say that Nintendo has seven Revolution games in development and that Activision, EA, Namco, Sega, Capcom and Zoonami are also working on titles.

But when talk turns to the Revolution's fabled revolution, the source suddenly clams up. "I'm not going to tell you the revolutionary aspect of the system. Nintendo has some cool pre E3 plans for that."

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo didn't have much to say. "Nintendo does not comment on rumour and speculation," we were told by a spokesperson. However, it was clearly suggested that no pre-E3 announcements would be made as they would only lessen the impact of Nintendo's conference next Tuesday.

We'll be in the conferences and on the showfloor at E3 bringing you all the latest on Revolution.