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Power Button - Episode 48: One Week Later

Whatever Happened To The Wii Vitality Sensor?

Wii Vitality SensorBack in 2009, Nintendo revealed it was working on a vitality sensor peripheral for use with its Wii console.  Aside from showing the accessory on the E3 stage, the company did not offer any additional information, and nearly two years later we still know nothing new about the product.  Whatever happened to the vitality sensor?  Eurogamer has the news.

CEO Satoru Iwata told investors during a Q&A (translated on Nintendo's website) last week that the gadget was still being worked on but required additional fine-tuning before it would be fit for launch.

"I imagine that you are worried about that because it hasn't been put on the market even though a long time has passed since it was initially announced," he said.  "This is a totally new type of entertainment, and there are large individual differences in the biological information of humans.  For example, if it was acceptable that only 80 per cent of the users thought the result was natural, then we could propose this to consumers right now. However, we are aiming for a level of quality in which 99 per cent of consumers feel comfortable, and that is why this project is taking time to complete."

Despite the potential for pointless gimmickry, I'm still interested in what the vitality sensor could offer.  Who knows?  Perhaps it's being held back for Nintendo's next home console.  Allow me to close with a quote from my original initial impressions of the device from back in June 2009:

Imagine an action shooter adventure in which your character runs faster when you are stressed.  How about a platformer that generates random levels based on your oxygen rate?  Ever consider trying to sneak undetected through a gauntlet of enemies that will notice you if you get yourself too worked up?  There's much more to do with this gizmo than to just add it to the pile of exercise/fitness games.  Say, how about a Metal Gear Solid rematch against Psycho Mantis?  We already know that he likes to look into your memory cards.  What do you suppose he could do if he could look into you?