In July, we reported on a trademark for a potential new game called “NiGHTS Dream Wheel” by SEGA. With the reveal of a new Nintendo peripheral called the “Ring-Con,” our minds are now flying in circles at the possibility that this could be related, and therefore, logic dictates that this would be a game made exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
SEGA and fellow Sonic enthusiast Tracker first posed the possibility on Twitter, and the potential connection between Nintendo’s Ring-Con and SEGA’s trademark for NiGHTS Dream Wheel is strong.
you know a month or so ago I was quite happy to brush off that “Nights Dream Wheel” trademark from SEGA as just being pachinko
…now I’m not as sure pic.twitter.com/KIp0Q77hed
— Tracker (@Tracker_TD) September 13, 2019
Like Nintendo’s Project “Labo,” the Ring-Con (which requires the Joy-Cons to function) is Nintendo’s latest peripheral add-on to their immensely popular Switch console, meant to provide a non-conventional gameplay experience reminiscent of their bygone Wii days. In the reveal trailer for their first Ring-Con game, Ring Fit Adventure, players use the Ring-Con (and the Leg Strap) to control their character in a variety of mini games, primarily focused on improving physical fitness.
Shaped like a giant wheel, the Ring-Con can be squashed and stretched, turned, tilted and steered in a variety of ways. While this is all well and good for casual fitness or party games, we’re curious to see how this could be used in a NiGHTS into Dreams game!
NiGHTS has been used for experimental input peripherals for a while; even the first NiGHTS into Dreams was designed to use SEGA Saturn’s 3D Pad for full 360° control, later we would see NiGHTS feature in SEGA Superstars for the PS2’s EyeToy camera, and most recently NiGHTS Journey of Dreams for the Nintendo Wii, which utilized motion and pointing controls.
At one point, there was a game in production called “Air NiGHTS” for the SEGA Dreamcast which would use a motion controller (suspiciously designed like a Wii Remote… before the Wii was even developed) that never saw the light of day. The Ring-Con could continue this tradition of non-traditional input controls for a NiGHTS game, spin-off or otherwise.
How could a game like NiGHTS work with the Ring-Con? Being one of SEGA’s most beloved (and underutilized) IPs, we would hope that this unique peripheral could enhance the sensation of flight that the original Saturn classic captured for SEGA fans around the world. NiGHTS takes place in a dream-like world called Nightopia, and there’s plenty of potential for creativity here.
If this is a full 3D game, then it’s a basic enough idea that the Ring-Con could be used as a “wheel” to steer NiGHTS around the world from a behind-the-back perspective (similar to SEGA Superstars’ minigame), and with the extra maneuverability that comes with an unhinged motion peripheral, we could see NiGHTS moving in many more directions than just left or right.
Assuming this is a 2D game, however, we could have an opportunity for an entirely new control scheme where turning the Ring-Con around can steer NiGHTS into circles as they accelerate in the level. That’s a pretty wild idea, and a control scheme like that would take some getting used to.
The other feature unique to the Ring-Con is the ability to squeeze the wheel and stretch it out. NiGHTS is a character who can transform into dolphins, bobsleighs, cars, mermaids and even dragons, so you could picture NiGHTS squashing and stretching in size as the player messes around with the shape of the Ring-Con; perhaps this sort of move can be used to get NiGHTS into tight places, or pulling might inflate NiGHTS to get a better shot at snagging some blue chips. Alternatively, squeezing the Ring-Con could have another purpose, such as controlling NiGHTS’ acceleration or speed.
There’s really no telling how this could work, until it’s revealed, assuming a Ring-Con exclusive game is what’s in store for us! But what do you think? Are you excited at the prospect of a new NiGHTS game? Are you worried that it might be a tech demo for a new gimmicky controller? What do you think about the Ring-Con itself?
Let’s get a discussion going in the comments, and we’ll definitely post an update once we know what NiGHTS Dream Wheel truly is!