Since the release of Nintendo’s Wii, game analysts and the competition have been in awe and rattled on how much consumers welcomed such a device in the market -- there were countless criticisms regarding the system’s novelty and measly hardware.

However, it turned out to be the anti-thesis of a failed console, the technology was disruptive -- it disrupted the very approach of creating a videogame system, that is to make it beefier and faster. Wii may be more powerful than the Gamecube but nowhere compared to the leaps and bounds of the graphical capabilities Xbox 360 and PS3 have. What it has going is the innovative control pad invented and developed hand in hand by Nintendo engineers and the creative genius/gaming god - Shigeru Miyamoto.

It’s the Wii’s soon to be third christmas and nothing has changed within the industry. Consumers are snapping up the system, demand has been so high that recurring hardware shortage has currently been the only thorn on Nintendo to completely rule this generation. They are number 1 worldwide. Since they are the leader - number 2 has been studying the approach to casual gaming which Nintendo has so far milked out billions of revenue.

Microsoft is developing a 360 version of a Wii control pad, thats right, with all the functionality of a Wii mote and then some. It assigned Rare to develop the controller that would go head to head with the Wii this holiday season. Expect an announcement this coming E3 or some other convention through the third quarter if all goes to plan, according to MTV Multiplayer Blog, Rare hasn’t been meeting its deadlines -- since when did they?

Now, how competitive would this type of peripheral be for MS? Very competitive. MS can pull this through, the foundation has been laid. The Arcade SKU is cheaper than the Wii in Europe plus a US price cut is looming on the horizon to reinvigorate the market since the core Xbox audience is nearly saturated. With heavy marketing and branding, Nintendo could lose market share within the casual gaming space. The sole impediment for MS is if Sony has a Wii-like controller of their own. Sixaxis is dead and Dualshock 3 is in, but that doesn’t mean Sony would let the Xbox camp enjoy a soft market barrier into the casual market.

Although millions of this peripheral could be sold, the best bet Microsoft has is to go all out on a PR offensive. Rebrand the Xbox from its high failure rate stats and it wouldn’t hurt for the Redmond giant on re-launching the Xbox 360 in a new smaller and sexier enclosure such as Sony’s past iterations for the Playstation systems.