Nintendo: No Wii MotionPlus BC planned

Megapublisher says no preexisting games will be patched to support June 8's Wii Remote peripheral, which will add new functionality only for games specifically designed for it.

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At last year's 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo unveiled the Wii MotionPlus, a new peripheral designed to enhance the Wii Remote's motion-sensing capability. The president of the company's US operations, Reggie Fils-Aime, proclaimed that the add-on would make the controller "more precise and more intense," and would generate "a need" for outstanding software to live up to its technological promise.

The strictly new-school Wii MotionPlus.
The strictly new-school Wii MotionPlus.

Given that the add-on would come packed in with Wii Sports Resort, many took Fils-Aime's words to mean that the beach-themed minigame compilation would be the first to support the Wii MotionPlus. However, that assumption was dispelled by yesterday's announcement that an a la carte $19.99 Wii MotionPlus would go on sale on June 8, almost two months before Wii Sports Resort launches on July 26. During the seven-week gap between the launches of the game bundle and the stand-alone peripheral, only three third-party games that support the peripheral will debut: Sega's Virtua Tennis 2009 and Electronic Arts' Wii versions of Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10.

The hype behind Wii MotionPlus and its somewhat scant initial catalog led to speculation as to whether Nintendo would update older games with a patch to support the new add-on's improved motion sensing. Today, though, company reps confirmed to GameSpot that only upcoming games built from the ground up for the add-on will be able to take advantage of its capabilities.

"Wii MotionPlus accessory is only for games that are designed to make use of its abilities," a rep told GameSpot. (Emphasis added.) "Wii MotionPlus is an optional accessory for developers and players who want to further refine their game experience."

Nintendo reps also said that the Wii would continue to sport old-fashioned games that support only standard Wii Remote control schemes, which will still play normally with the Wii MotionPlus attached.

"The Wii Remote pioneered a revolution in video games and made this pastime accessible to millions of new gamers," explained the rep. "This technology is still relevant and compelling."

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