In an interview with Siliconera, Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo Of America was asked what he thought the most significant innovation in gaming was in the last decade. He responded by saying the WiiMote.
But of course he'd say that, right?
"It’s gotta be the WiiMote," said Reggie. "The WiiMote introduced a completely new style of play that arguably set an industry standard for motion controls, and let the consumer experience games in an entirely new way."
But later in the interview he also paid kudos to the Nintendo DS for being the first device to use a touch screen for gaming. In my own humble opinion, considering where we are now, the DS touch screen may have been a more acceptable answer.
"So here’s what’s interesting," he added. "The question that you asked me is “what was the single biggest innovation in the video game industry in the past decade?” if you would have asked the question differently, during my tenure, what was the gaming system that arguably has redefined the industry, I would’ve said the [Nintendo] DS. Because if you think about it, it was the first system that had a touch screen, a built in microphone—and the types of games that that enabled? You know, in many ways, it’s the forefront of what’s happening now with mobile and touch and things of that nature."
I would agree with that. In fact if you were to ask me what the greatest innovation in gaming over the last decade was, I'd say it was the move towards touch screens. It has legitimately changed everything and it's here to stay, unlike motion control, which feels more like a gimmick that has died a death.
I will, however, be interested to see precisely how motion control will be added to virtual reality when devices like the Oculus Rift become more mainstream. Perhaps at that point we'll see something more concrete and usable in that realm.