Sony and Microsoft do a Wii
After the revelations at this year’s E3 Expo you’d think that Nintendo would be getting a bit worried. No sooner had Sony announced a motion-controller for use with their existing PS3 than Microsoft brought out their full-body motion control device ‘Project Natal’.
Until now, Nintendo have been the sole provider of motion-control games with their Wii console but the fact rival companies are jumping into the same pond doesn’t worry Nintendo games developer Shigeru Miyamoto: “The fact that both of those companies are looking at getting the gamer off the couch, taking advantage of motion control, and getting them to control the game by moving their body shows that they have looked at what we have done with Wii,” he told the BBC. “Now they are moving in the same direction. To that end we are very flattered.”
Apart from announcing two new Super Mario Bros games – the all new 4-player ‘New Super Mario Bros Wii’ in December, followed by a bigger and better ‘Super Mario Galaxy 2’ some time next year – Nintendo’s only real moment in the spotlight at E3 2009 was when their president Satoru Iwata briefly talked about the Wii Vitality Sensor.The Wii Motion Plus, it seems, is only the first in a long line of possible devices that will plug into the back of your Wii remote. Iwata wasn’t giving much away about the Vitality Sensor except to say that it’s designed to fit on the end of your finger and is the kind of pulse oximeter you’d wear in hospital to monitor your heart-rate.
“Just as we enable you to see the centre of your body balance with Wii fit, the Wii Vitality Sensor enables you to see the information related to the inner world of your body,” Iwata told the baffled audience. Will this invention be used for stress-relief or games? Or both? Since so little was revealed of this development in progress, your guess is as good as ours. It certainly seems like a concept that won’t see the light of day for a while yet (if at all).