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Wii Vitality Sensor launch is still 'pending' because it didn’t 'work as expected,' Iwata says

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Nintendo's Wii Vitality Sensor is still a "pending" product because the company couldn't get it "to work as we expected," president and CEO Satoru Iwata said during an investor Q&A.

The Vitality Sensor was announced at E3 2009 and was intended to measure pulse and autonomic nerve functions via a fingertip peripheral. According to Iwata, however, the prototype proved to be inconsistent.

"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," Iwata said. "We wondered if we should commercialize a product which works as expected for 90 people out of 100, but not so for the other 10 people.

"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," Iwata added. "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."

The CEO added that the sensor's launch "has been pending" because Nintendo feels with its current results, it's subpar for a commercial product.

"We would like to launch it into the market if technology advancements enable 999 of 1,000 people to use it without any problems, not only 90 out of 100 people," Iwata said. "I actually think that it must be 1,000 of 1,000 people, but (since we use the living body signal with individual differences) it is a little bit of a stretch to make it applicable to every single person."