Points: 25
Cover Story: It Came From Outer Space!
1UP's E3 2009 Coverage

Satoru Iwata Announces Wii Vitality Sensor

Sensor reads your pulse, and then... well, we're not quite sure.

Wii Vitality Sensor

Nintendo's penchant for new Wii add-ons has ventured into the realm of the surreal: During their E3 press conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the latest device to plug into the bottom of a Wii remote: the Wii Vitality Sensor.

Essentially, it sort of looks and acts like a finger pulse oximeter: A player sticks their finger into the device, and it detects and monitors that player's pulse. As Iwata explained, if the Balance Board was about detecting a player's "outer balance," then the Vitality Sensor is about detecting their "inner balance." He went on to explain that "Games have been used for stimulation, but maybe it won't be long until games are used for relaxation and even to fall asleep."

And that's about all we know about the Vitality Sensor. Iwata's presentation of the device was cryptic at best, and we really have no idea what the practical uses of it will look like. We also don't know when Nintendo plans to release it, as Iwata described the presentation as "a look into the future." So it seems we'll have plenty of time to find out just what exactly this device will be used for (...other than putting us to sleep?).

E3 2009 -- the game industry's most important convention this year -- is happening all this week! Check out E3.1UP.COM for news, previews, podcasts, videos, blogs, and more direct from the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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Comments (18)

  • anything_gamer_018
  • Huh?

    Posted: Jun 03, 2009 12:00AM PST by  anything_gamer_018

    On the good side, if someone you know you think they are lying, pull out the vitality sensor, and put him/her through a lie dector test.

    "Did you smoke pot last night?"


    The Wii says "LIAR!"


  • Epic Greenman
  • Maybe

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  Epic Greenman

    In the next Zelda you have to keep yourself calm while playing or an evil spirit within Link will take over. XD

  • juan_time
  • Extreme Nintendo

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  juan_time

    One hour. Slam some Red Bulls. Play some hardcore waggle. Record your blood pressure. Don't die. High score wins.

  • Maeloch
  • It's 62 days late. . .

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  Maeloch

    I had to double check the date on this announcement, because it looks like an April Fool's prank.  Maybe Nintendo has some brilliant idea for this accessory, or it will just be an additional peripheral for WiiFit (or WiiFit++).

  • mezentius
  • Good idea

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  mezentius

    But seemingly poor execution.  This device doesn't look inviting at all.  If I wanted to play Wii Zen, or an adventure game where I have to fake a polygraph, or the already mentioned survival horror, using this device would be enough to draw me out of the experience; I would most definitely feel and notice it.  When I saw the device, I connected it with negative experiences in hospitals.  Why not incorporate the same functionality into the strap on the Wiimote, one that can measure pulse, the eletrical conductivity of the skin and perhaps changes in moisture.

  • nobleeskimo
  • hahahaha this is the worst thing of all time

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  nobleeskimo


  • rob61920
  • Everybody here

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  rob61920

    seems to be taking a guess on what this could be used for. I wonder what it could be used for and these predictions are helpful. this was a surprising announcement

  • tsioc
  • horror

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  tsioc

    I'm imagining a horror game that can adjust to you(scaring you when you are most relaxed, easing up when your pulse gets too high, etc...).

  • flaabs
  • Bat-shit insane

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  flaabs

    This is the stupidest thing ever.  Thankfully Nintendo also showed off a slew of quality first and third-party titles for both their systems.

  • ZenAlchemist
  • gdamn it Nintendo

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  ZenAlchemist

    Stop trying to make us healthy and give us some games!!!!

  • ErikWaters
  • God allmighty...

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  ErikWaters

    How did you write this one with a straight face, Pigna?

    As soon as I heard "we've got the mental part with Brain Age and the physical part with Wii Fit" I began praying that they weren't moving on to spiritual or emotional. Looks like my worst fears are realized and will be sold in tiny pieces of gimmicky plastic now...

  • techbot3
  • no sound, same clarity

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  techbot3

    I was wondering if I was missing something while watching Iwata present the vitality sensor, primarily becuase I was watching without audio (computers in class for some reason are sans-soundcard)  but apparently the clarity I got (which was nill) is about the same had I been listening intently.

    Maybe there will be a "trauma center 3"  player 3 plays as a patient? :P

  • vaterite
  • hmmmm

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  vaterite

    I'm just sitting back trying to imagine what a survival horror game could do if it knows whether it's scared you or not.

  • blanebishop
  • cause of whack shit like this

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  blanebishop

    as you look in a any big chain store  the wii can be found everywhere  the fever is at a slow down .

  • C_GloVe
  • what?

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  C_GloVe

    if i wanted my pulse checked, i'll go to the doctor... this is weird... but nintendo does have a way of making the weirdest things work in good ways so i'll keep an eye out on it

  • BlueBowser7
  • I don't get this one

    Posted: Jun 02, 2009 12:00AM PST by  BlueBowser7

    He wasn't clear enough about how or when it will be used, but so far makes no sense, I get the Wii Balance board, I get the Motion Plus, I get the Nunchuck, I get the Mic/Speker thing, I get the Wii Wheel.... but this one??? WTF??? I hope it becomes more clear soon

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