Nintendo President Satoru Iwata stepped onto the stage during the company's press conference. His big news? He wants to take your pulse.
The crowd in the Nokia Theater hushed when the jovial Nintendo President Satoru Iwata walked onto the stage. For good reason: Iwata helped usher in the sales phenomenon known as the Nintendo Wii. But despite the console's success Iwata revealed he's still concerned by gaming's inequality. There's still a gap between the novice and veteran game player, he said. He called for an entirely new way of thinking about games.
This, of course, is similar to the introduction of Microsoft's Project Natal, so I expected Nintendo was preparing to counter Microsoft's announcement.
Instead, Iwata unveiled the Nintendo Vitality Sensor. Like the Wii Nunchuck, the device plugs into the butt of your remote. And like a medical Oximeter, you slip the device over your index finger so it can read your pulse and other "signals being transmitted by [gamers] bodies."
The premise sounds similar to some of the stress- and emotion-sensing head gear created by companies like Emotiv.
Iwata suggests this device could be used as a relaxation aid. We suggest it's another sign that Nintendo has eclipsed the core gaming demographic (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different).
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