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Wii Vitality Sensor to launch in 2010

Iwata naysays the naysayers.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said the company hopes to launch the Wii Vitality Sensor "not too late" in 2010.

Speaking in an investor Q&A he conceded there's work to do with regard to getting the concept of the device across. "The majority of the audience at E3 responded to it like, 'What in the world is Nintendo planning with a single pulse meter?'" he said.

According to Iwata your pulse indicates more than just your BPM - it can also provide "various kinds of information such as the condition of automatic nerve".

He continued, "Wii Vitality Sensor has great potential for various applications like measuring how horrified a player is in a horror title. What we are trying to propose first is a videogame with a theme of relaxation, which is completely opposite from traditional ones, to enrich the users' lives."

Specifically, the lives of those who have trouble unwinding after a busy day. "What if you were able to visualise how to unwind and relax, or check the condition of your automatic nerve by simply inserting your finger in the device once a day?"

Internal tests are already underway at Nintendo, where employees have been trying to improve the condition of their automatic nerves by visualising how they'll feel at the weekend. According to Iwata, patterns have started to emerge.

"You have all had an experience where you are not in tune with how your body is doing or aware of how exhausted you body may be in a busy, strained period, but if you can visibly measure your condition every day, you can start to see how you're doing," he said.

"It would be like stepping up on a scale every day and seeing the change of your weight. Our new challenge that is different from past software development is to make a videogame by using the visible activities of your automatic nerve."

As for those who are cynical about the Vitality Sensor's sales potential - people were also cynical about Wii Fit, observed Iwata. "Of course no one can tell how people respond to it before the launch. We understand everyone wants to enjoy a vibrant lifestyle, so I believe if the product could support that desire, it would make a large impact in society."

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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