Atari’s New Casual Focus & New Wii Remote Plus – Casual News Round-Up

Fri, Sep 24, 2010

Casual, Console

Casual news has been booming lately with the launch of new motion controlling devices, along with a shift in certain companies’ focus. Today, we have speculation surrounding Atari and their new, possible casual focus along with the rumor that Nintendo is launching a new version of the Wii Remote, called Wii Remote Plus that comes with the Wii Motion Plus built in.

Atari Shifting to Casual Games

While the name still likely brings back memories to a simpler time, Atari is more of a shell of a former shell these days than anything else. In recent memory, Atari has only had a few games that have had any lasting power such as Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Star Trek Online. Despite these releases, the most interesting things going on at the company have been going on internally where changes are taking focus on returning to profitability.

Atari changed CEO’s abruptly last year, and even wrangled Atari founder Nolan Bushnell back to their board of directors back in April. Along with those, Atari launched Atari Games Online, which may have been the moment Atari officially and publicly pushed the “Reset” button on themselves.

This Atari Games Online initiative is an affiliate program that extends the company’s reach into casual and social games, much like Facebook. The idea at the moment is to attract independent developers and allow their products to grow.

Atari’s thinking is that, with the right amount of support, these games can grow and become huge, mainstream games much like titles from Nintendo.

“From our perspective, the role of the publisher has fundamentally changed in this online world. It’s not about boxes on shelves at retail outlets anymore. It’s about providing that suite of services that a developer needs to get visibility and cut through the clutter.” said Thom Kozik, Executive VP of Online & Mobile.

We’ll bring you more about Atari’s shift as it becomes available.

New Wii Remote Plus Coming this Fall?

Back in 2009 when Nintendo unveiled the Wii MotionPlus, critics enjoyed the added precision but usually all had the same conclusion: “Why isn’t this what Nintendo launched back in 2006 and why isn’t it part of a whole new Wii Remote?” While the first question is difficult to answer by anyone that’s not Nintendo, Triplepoint Client Nyko answered the second question earlier this year with the Wand+.

However, it looks like Nintendo is looking to kick things up a notch with a totally new Wii MotionPlus Remote that has the technology built right in. The newest boxart for FlingSmash from Nintendo includes a “Wii Remote Plus” bundle, which shows a Wii Remote with no extra attachment on the bottom.

Here’s hoping that this new Remote does follow true to the rumor, because I know that attachment on the bottom is why some stay clear of the MotionPlus.

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Talor is a Contributing Editor at Frisky Mongoose focusing on the mobile side of the social gaming world.

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