Nintendo Officially Kills Wii Vitality Sensor, Explains It Never Was Reliable Enough

Not all dreams go on to become reality, even in the world of video games. Avid gamers may recall a Wii accessory announced many moons ago -- it's the sensor you see here. The Vitality Sensor was supposed to be another step towards making the Wii the go-to fitness console. After all, the Balance Board gave gamers plenty of reasons to stand up and work out, but the Vitality Sensor has remained a ghost in the interim.

Now, Nintendo is finally copping to what happened. In a new FAQ on the company's site, it states: "The Wii Vitality Sensor was under development as an accessory for Wii. We thought it would be interesting to understand how the human autonomic nerve functions while using the Wii Vitality Sensor, and we did develop trial software and showed the media some of its features. 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. However, 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. We wondered if we should commercialize a product which works as expected for 90 people out of 100, but not so for the other 10 people. Though I am sorry that we did not give any specific updates after this product’s initial announcement, I would say that knowing that a product has a problem we should not launch it for the sole reason that we have already announced it.

The Wii Vitality Sensor is an interesting device, and we did various experiments to see what is possible when it was combined with a video game. But, as a result, we have not been able to launch it as a commercial product because we could not get it to work as we expected and it was of narrower application than we had originally thought. We would like to launch it into the market if technology advancements enable 999 of 1,000 people to use it without any problems, not only 90 out of 100 people. I actually think that it must be 1,000 of 1,000 people, but (since we use the living body signal with individual differences) it is a little bit of a stretch to make it applicable to every single person."

That's a long way of saying that the team never could get it to be reliable enough to launch for the mass market, and it doesn't sound as if another edition is in store for the Wii U. Thankfully, those who really need to shape up can grab a Fitbit and head outside... right?
Tags:  Nintendo, Wii, sensor