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Nintendo on the Wii Vitality Sensor: You Just Don't Understand

Illustration for article titled Nintendo on the Wii Vitality Sensor: You Just Dont Understand

The Wii Vitality Sensor was met with a very harsh, possibly unfair reception when it was announced at E3. Now, Nintendo is getting a little defensive about their upcoming medical instrument game peripheral.

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Nintendo's North American President Reggie Fils-Aime explained that the Vitality Sensor is just the latest in a chain of products that are first misunderstood and ridiculed, gaining acceptance after having a chance to prove themselves, like the DS, or the Wii, or the Balance Board. Pretty much everything, actually:

[We] probably had a very similar conversation when we first showed the Nintendo DS: how is it going to work, why a touch screen, voice activation—I don't get it. We probably had a similar conversation about the Wii Remote: how is this going to work, how is it going to work with the games that I want to play—I don't get it. Now I'm hearing something similar for the Wii Vitality Sensor. And all I can tell you is, with the game developers that we have, we will bring forth an experience that you will say, "Wow, I get it."

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There were surely plenty of folks who ridiculed the DS and Wiimote concepts, but they were shouted down by the rational majority who could easily see how a touchscreen handheld or a console motion controller could be awesome.

And besides, most interested people do have specific ideas in mind for the Vitality Sensor, which is precisely why they're not excited. It's not the nobody "gets" the product; it's that gamers are lamenting the Wii's accelerating change from a fun console to some kind of distinctly un-fun health device.

Of course Nintendo could blow us all away with some new kind of clever biometric game integration, akin to their previous attempt at a heartrate sensor (except hopefully better), but if they want us to expect—and get excited about—anything beyond Wii Fit II, we're going to need a little more information—games, clues, or frankly, anything at all. [Fast Company via TechRadar]

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DISCUSSION

Nintendo's only mistake with the Vitility Sensor so far was announcing it WAY too early. I get what their point was, they're the only guys trying to approach this gaming thing from a different angle, but when you don't even have a prototype game or tech demo to show it off yet, there isn't much point in throwing it out there.

I think people were generally harsher than they needed to be about it just because they falsely interpreted it as some big surprise announcement for the year, when all it really was supposed to be was a vague suggestion about something they're going to be doing in the future.