Wii Vitality Sensor sounds boring, but could be fun if used right


The Wii Vitality Sensor is probably the most head-scratching announcement of this year’s E3. “People will be able to use the product we are developing with the Wii Vitality Sensor to achieve greater relaxation,” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata on Monday, during the company’s annual press conference. “It may not be long before games are used to let people unwind or even make it easier to fall asleep.”

A game that helps you fall asleep? That doesn’t sound fun. But I have to admit I’m intrigued with the prospect. No, I don’t particularly care for a Wii game that helps me fall asleep. But I would be thrilled if a savvy developer starts using the Vitality Sensor to send a Wii game real-time feedback about my anxiety, fear, and interest levels. Imagine the power of that data. If used right, a game could respond to your current state of mind, and adjust the play experience or difficulty accordingly (e.g. by sending more enemies if a gamer becomes bored).

That’s the kind of Vitality Sensor I could give the finger. Unfortunately, it seems doubtful that Nintendo will take the peripheral in that direction. Remember, Iwata unveiled the peripheral right after talking about products to encourage “maybe” gamers, persons who have yet to respond to even the recent casual phenomenon. But maybe third-party developers could come to the gamer rescue.