Nintendo President Talks Lacklustre E3 Reception, Changing Society With Wii Vitality Sensor

"Honestly speaking, none of us at Nintendo thought that our presentation at E3 was as good as it could have been," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a recent investor Q&A, explaining the company "could not fully convey the charm of our products."

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Four-player platformer New Super Mario Bros. Wii is one such title Iwata feels came across poorly in the on-stage demonstration at E3, as it appeared to be nothing new.

In the past, Wii Sports and Wii Fit were naturally able to convey their appeal on stage since it was something no one had ever seen or imagined before. People seemed to capture the appeal of Wii Sports instantly and although there was some initial confusion with Wii Fit, its appeal did get through to the audience afterwards. This year, however, with the New Super Mario Bros. Wii, four people lined up with Wii Remotes was not a scene that no one had ever seen. Those who actually had the chance to play understood how the game would change with four people playing simultaneously, but we could not address that fun sentiment at the media briefing. Now we strongly feel that we need to look into finding a better way to demonstrate the products' appeal better at E3 in these times where more people are watching it online via web cast not only in the U.S. but all around the world.

The pulse-monitoring Wii Vitality Sensor--which Iwata revealed is slated for release in 2010, "not too late in the year"--was cited as another victim of lack of understanding.

"The Wii Vitality Sensor is a kind of product which we are having some difficulty in addressing its product concept," said Iwata. While it "has great potential for various applications like measuring how horrified a player is in a horror title," Nintendo wishes first to create "a video game with a theme of relaxation... to enrich the users' lives."

What if you were able to visualize how to unwind and relax, or check the condition of your automatic nerve by simply inserting your finger in the device once a day? ... I think you have all had an experience where you are not in tune with how your body is doing or aware of how exhausted you body may be in a busy, strained period, but if you can visibly measure your condition every day, you can start to see how you're doing. It would be like stepping up on a scale every day and seeing the change of your weight. Our new challenge that is different from past software development is to make a video game by using the visible activities of your automatic nerve... We understand everyone wants to enjoy a vibrant lifestyle, so I believe if the product could support that desire, it would make a large impact in society.