One of the more interesting products Nintendo displayed at E3 this year is the Wii Vitality Sensor, a new accessory which is expected to be available in 2010. The Vitality Sensor is a pulse oximeter which you wear on your finger. Put in to English, this means “the vitality sensor is a little thing which you clip onto your finger”. Gosh, you say, how exciting. What does it actually do? Well, there’s a hint in the name. The sensor takes your pulse. It is essentially something a doctor would use to gather simple information about what’s going on inside your body, only it’s been modified for use in games.
The potential uses of this are quite considerable. No software has been released for it yet, but when it was shown at the E3 conference, it was hinted that games could be developed Vitalflow as a means to help people relax. This would be taking gaming to new places – although there have been games in the past which have been relaxing to play, now that the Vitality Sensor can actually tell how you’re feeling, this concept could be taken to new and very interesting places. It could also of course be used in the other direction, with games designed to increase your pulse rate – and even as a challenge. Pulse rate above 120? Game over.
The Wii Vitality Sensor looks like a very promising piece of equipment, but in the end, it all comes down to the software. Will game developers find a useful purpose for this accessory, or will it find it’s place among the has-beens in Nintendo history, like the Power Glove?