Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has explained to investors why they decided to cancel the Wii Vitality Sensor. Iwata says that after conducting a large-scale test of a prototype the company found that the peripheral only worked on certain people. The success rate of the device was around nine out of ten, which was a success rate that Iwata says just wasn’t good enough.
“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 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,” Iwata explained. “Or, to be more specific, how much the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves work as functions of the autonomic nerve.”
“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 1000 people to use it without any problems, not only 90 out of 100 people.”