Wii Vitality Sensor Never Released Because It Was 'Insufficient as a Commercial Product' 

by Zack Kaplan - July 9, 2013, 11:52 am PDT
Total comments: 15 Source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/stock/meeting/1306..., The 73rd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

Remember the Wii Vitality sensor? So does Iwata.

The Wii Vitality sensor was never released because it was "insufficient as a commercial product."

During Nintendo's shareholders meeting, President of Nintendo and CEO of Nintendo of America Satoru Iwata was asked for an update on the Wii Vitality sensor. In his response, Iwata revealed that it would not have been functional for everyone, saying that only 90% of people would have been able to use it after a company-wide test of the product proved to be unsuccessful.

Iwata was sorry for the lack of updates after the product's announcement, citing the lack of updates on the realization of it not coming to the market.


broodwarsJuly 09, 2013

Considering how faulty Nintendo's Wiimote motion control technology was, I'm amused that they're claiming a whopping 10% fail rate was enough to stop the Vitality Sensor from going forward.  In the end, it's probably for the best.  Let's see if Microsoft can come up with anything worthwhile w/ the similar tech in the Xbone's Kinect. Somehow, I doubt it.

Ian SaneJuly 09, 2013

What percentage of the population can't see 3D?  Is it less than 10%?  Whatever it is, it wasn't significant enough for Nintendo to worry about when they made the 3DS.  The vitality sensor would have obviously been an accessory so it wouldn't matter that much if not everyone could use it but it would be annoying to have to deal with too many returns.  Odds are people would not know if it wouldn't work for them until after they bought the game.  At least with 3D the tech is common enough that anyone that can't see it probably already knew that and can always not use the feature.

I figure Nintendo was just going to use this for some Wii Fit update so I really don't care that it never came out.  People on this forum thought of cool ways to use this in a horror game but I can't imagine Nintendo making such a title.  Unfortunately I find that when Nintendo reveals a strange peripheral the fan brainstormed ideas seem to be way cooler than what Nintendo themselves end up using it for.

TJ SpykeJuly 09, 2013

brood, the Wii Remote usually worked pretty well

pokepal148July 09, 2013

yeah, if it doesn't It is usually either poor programming or an improperly set up sensor bar

nickmitchJuly 10, 2013

Though sometimes "improperly set up" means there's a light somewhere you probably don't realize is the problem.

estebanjramosJuly 10, 2013

That didn't stop Nintendo from releasing the Wii U. HIYO!

Disclaimer: I'm a fanboy. The article title was a clear setup for that joke.

smallsharkbigbiteJuly 10, 2013

While the wiimote may have not always worked well with certain games, it was still a playable experience for all who used it.  Same thing with the 3ds.  You can easily use it without 3d.  My guess is the 90% is a high estimate and it's actually lower than that.  If this didn't work for an individual it is a complete failure leading to customers to be upset and return the product.  They probably didn't have any great ideas to use it for that they thought it was worth the risk. 

A shame. I could definitely have seen Suda51 incorporating this into some kind of wacky game challenging the players not to get aroused by some kind of sensual visual stimulation. Perhaps the main character is kidnapped by Amazon women who performed this erotic courtship ritual, and if your heart rate rose the player on the screen's chest would explode. And there'd be some kind of demonic insects involved.

I should write this game myself!

EasyCureJuly 11, 2013

(Sylvia's voice) Oh poo' Traviz, looks like you blew your load yet again!

Pixelated PixiesJuly 11, 2013


nickmitchJuly 12, 2013

This excuse gets sillier the more I think about it.

Mop it upJuly 13, 2013

I thought it was a good idea, but not something that could sell as a separate accessory. If they found a way to include it as a non-obtrusive part of a system's standard controller, then it could have a few uses to be worthwhile.

lolmonadeJuly 13, 2013

Quote from: Mop

I thought it was a good idea, but not something that could sell as a separate accessory. If they found a way to include it as a non-obtrusive part of a system's standard controller, then it could have a few uses to be worthwhile.

Or perhaps as an accessory that would come bundled with a 'proof of concept' game?  I don't think it had enough compelling game implementation ideas, but I think it's clear Nintendo has done sillier things than this.

Pixelated PixiesJuly 14, 2013

If only Nintendo owned an IP that could take advantage of the unique gameplay possibilities made possible with Vitality Sensor's unique ability to monitor a player's pulse. It would be great if Nintendo possessed a game or series based around horror which could utilise such a piece of hardware to monitor the player and use that information to provoke within them a sense of surprise or fear. Maybe that game, for the sake of diversity, might be set during various historical periods.

Perhaps they might call such a game Everlasting Blackness?

We can only dream, eh?

Mop it upJuly 14, 2013

lolmonade - I don't think it would work as a bundled accessory because it doesn't seem like something people would see and then want to try, it isn't like the Wii Wheel and such. Unless maybe the game is something people wanted regardless of some goofy accessory. It needs to already be a part of something else that people want.

Pixelated Pixies - You mean like Luigi's Mansion?

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