Nintendo Cancels the Pulseless Wii Vitality Sensor
Ever wondered what playing videogames actually does to our bodies? Every time we jump in our seat, yell at a character, do a victory dance, just what happens to our heart rate and pulse. What about the long term effects when we’re just sitting there, looking and being bored? It looks like we’ll still have to wonder.
Say goodbye to the Wii Vitality Sensor. Don’t remember? Don’t feel guilty, hardly anyone does. Four long years ago during E3, Nintendo’s President and CEO Satoru Iwata announced the creation of this pulsating device; an accessory placed on the fingertip, so it could measure pulse and show how tense or relaxed we are while playing a game. Nintendo’s thought process was that by giving gamers this information, players could actively try to calm themselves down when things became too stressful.
Unfortunately, since its 2009 announcement, it’s been stuck in the lands of “Developmental Hell.” That’s until now. Earlier this week Nintendo has finally given the world an update on its rather unique pulse-sensing sensor. It has no pulse. RIP. Send flowers.
During the Q&A portion of Nintendo’s 73rd annual shareholder meeting an attendee asked about the status of the Vitality Sensor, and Iwata said the company wasn’t going to release it because of unreliable results.
After a large-scale test of a prototype inside the company, we found out that for some people the sensor did not work as expected. The device only worked on nine out of 10 test subjects, Nintendo discovered, a success rate that just wasn’t good enough. We pushed forward its development on the academic assumption that by observing the wave patterns of the human pulse, we could quantify how tense or relaxed a person is or, to be more specific, how much the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves work as functions of the autonomic nerve.
Despite this news, there is a possibility; although small the Wii Vitality may not stay dead. In a couple of years with the advancement of technology, Nintendo could reach the accurate success rate Nintendo demands.
Iwata went on to say,
We would like to launch it into the market if technology advancements enable 999 of 1000 people to use it without any problems, not only 90 out of 100 people.
Until then, I guess we’ll just have to keep ourselves preoccupied with other Nintendo games releasing this year and just be in tune with our bodies while playing videogames.