Dutch Zeemote Launch a Fact

August 1st, 2008 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Gaming Gear | No Comments »

There has been a lot of speculation for some time, but the launch of the
Zeemote has become reality. We spoke with Jim Adams from Zeemote on next week’s
official launch
and the future of mobile gaming gear for the company.

So let’s first start with the big news.

"We are very excited to announce that we will launch the  Zeemote JS1 controller
first in The Netherlands in a bundle with the  new SonyEricsson W760i "
said Jim Adams from Zeemote.

The Zeemote will not be sold separately (yet). Combine the real motion
gaming technology of
the W760
i and the Zeemote and mobile game lovers will have a killer deal
here. After
purchasing the W760i, mobile gamers must redeem
a voucher to claim their
free Zeemote JS1
  – the W760i will have some Zeemote Ready Games embedded.  

The reason for starting in The Netherlands was clear
for Zeemote. The Dutch are an excellent public and by releasing the
Zeemote JS1
together with certain phones, the market will be able to
pick it up quite fast. Also, it allows the company to produce the Zeemote JS1 Controllers
at a constant rate without the problems of stocking up complete continents
before a product launch.

"The Netherlands is a progressive and innovative market, hungry for
devices like the Zeemote
. The market size is just right for a first launch" said
Jim Adams

The reason for releasing the Zeemote in a bundle is to guarantee the consumer
experience. If the device lands in the shops as a side product, there is no
telling on which devices the consumers expect support , which could lead to
disappointment as a direct result.

We asked which other devices the Zeemote will be packaged with in the future,
but there are no announcements on that yet. Also the next countries for launch
are not public at this moment. Jim Adams did let us know that they would love
it if Apple would include more Bluetooth functionality into their iPhone SDK as
that’s the reason why there is no iPhone API yet.

Talking about other mobile gaming gear, Jim explains that there are requests
from several publishers for controllers that better fit their mobile games.
That is a subject of interest to Zeemote, but we (MGB) reckon that it
could be a nightmare to get distribution in place, as a mobile game is still
not a physical product.

The company founders have a history in gaming gear for some time already. They
even developed force feedback for the first joysticks. So we asked where the
Force Feedback was in the Zeemote.

"We have had inquiries to support force feedback. The problem is not the
technology as it’s real easy to implement. The real problem lies in the battery
lifetime. Force Feedback really drains the battery and we want to avoid
consumers being disappointed
by that. So for now, we rely on the vibration from the phone itself." Said
Jim Adams.

The current battery lifetime is 40+ hours, which means 3 to 4 weeks for real
active mobile gamers.

Next to the commercial news about the launch, we also discussed some technical
details with Jim Adams. One that is on the lips of many developers is the size
of the API for connecting with the device.

Jim explained that the company had been doing it’s best to squeeze down the API
as much as possible already. The company just hopes that the restrictions for
filesizes will play no role in the future as new devices are launched in the

We also wanted to know if there is any chance of the company developing a
native application for smartphones running platforms like Symbian and Windows
Mobile. Jim agreed that such a ‘driver’ would be interesting, as it would
enable any application and mobile game to use the Zeemote  JS1,
even if not supported by the individual developer.

We also wanted to know why the C button is so hard to press (one of our critics
when we discussed the device some time ago). The reason seems more obvious then
we expected.

"When in a mobile gaming session, users find it hard to control their
third and fourth finger. Those are right before the C button which means they
might press it at unwanted moments. That is why we ask developers to utilize
the A and B buttons for fast actions while the C button would be for deliberate
action at certain moments (i.e. switching weapons)."

As always, we ended our interview by asking for Jim’s favorite mobile game.

"That would be an old classic; Pac-Man. Namco’s Pac-Man just had an
unbeatable play pattern which I enjoy a lot."

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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