EA Sports pondering peripherals

EA Canada executive producer says publisher plans to implement alternate-input devices for upcoming Wii games; possible unveiling at E3.

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The unequivocal success of Activision's Guitar Hero and MTV Games' Rock Band franchises has all but assured the near future of peripheral-based gaming from third-party publishers. However, the rhythm-game genre isn't the only locus where peripherals are on the rise. With the release of Wii Fit on Nintendo's console in May, third-party publishers have been flocking to the Balance Board in droves.

One such publisher is EA, which said last month that the upcoming Skate It--due out later this year for the Wii--will incorporate Nintendo's proprietary weight-sensing device. However, that won't be the extent of EA's use of peripherals in its sports games. Speaking at the Paris Game Developers Conference today, EA Sports executive producer David McCarthy said that an expanded use of peripherals is a distinct possibility.

"You will see EA Sports--even over the course of the next 12 months, I would think--use that peripheral strategy to some extent," said McCarthy, as reported from the event by Next-Gen. The EA Canada-based producer also expressed caution in wantonly incorporating peripherals into sports games. "I would say [you could] push this a little too far," mused McCarthy. "I think you want to do a peripheral if it really does enrich the experience of gameplay. And that it doesn't create a barrier to entry for your consumers."

Speaking to Next-Gen, McCarthy further clarified EA Sports' position on peripherals, saying that the developer is "prototyping stuff that really does allow us to play with the Wii Remote differently." McCarthy said that gamers may get their first peek at what EA Sports has in store during next month's E3 Media & Business Summit.

Given that the presentation was titled "A Family Affair: Adapting EA Sports to the Wii," McCarthy reportedly made no mention of extending its peripheral strategy to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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