Nintendo Wants Gamers to Play Through Breathing


New member
Oct 29, 2009
That looks a lot like the style of sensor used in the biofeedback game/exercise Wild Divine - interesting that Nintendo got a patent for it.

Graphical biofeedback exercises can be a surprising amount of fun - my husband and I had a party hijacked for the better part of the night while our normally Halo/Portal/Call of Duty-playing-type-friends filed in and out of our study trying to light a fire, shoot an arrow or make it rain by sustaining the proper mental state.


The Butcher On Your Back
Apr 25, 2010
I love the idea of trying to get a high score on a game about relaxing.

'Come on! If I relax more than last time I can beat my high score godsdammit!'


New member
Mar 24, 2010
I'm not really buying into this idea. I do agree that if working into horror games, that would be quite interesting, but I don't think there are many more places it could go (aside from the generic game that will undoubtedly be sold in a bundle). Unless more options are made for this idea, I think I'll be giving it a miss.

Tom Phoenix

New member
Mar 28, 2009
Gerhardt said:
Tom Phoenix said:
Xanthious said:
Tom Phoenix said:
People mindlessly proclaiming this to be a gimmick in 3, 2, 1...
Wait, are you claiming otherwise?
What I am claiming is that it's stupid to call something a "gimmick" just beacuse it is of no interest to you (not necessarilly you specifically, but anyone insulting the Vitality Sensor). It's not like standard controls are going to disappear just beacuse this is being developed. All it does is open up more gameplay options as well as introduce gaming in general to people who normally would not be able to play (like, for example, people with physical disabilities or the very elderly).

It never ceases to astound me how people are willing, at the first opportunity, to mindlessly insult anything in gaming that doesn't fit their needs and desires, as if they were the sole centre of the universe. If you don't like it or need it, fine...don't buy it. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be developed and made available for those people that just might be interested at the possibilities it opens up.

If we want gaming to grow (which it needs to in order to survive), it is necessarry to expand ways for one to interact with games. The Vitality Sensor isn't going to cost you anything and isn't going to be the death of traditional control methods, so why would you hurl insults such as "gimmick" at it?

Here's the thing... while I do understand and even agree very much with what you're saying, we can't say for certain yet whether or not this device will fall into the 'gimmick' category.

Allow me to explain.

As you stated above, if gaming is to survive and flourish as a medium, then it needs to branch out and open new venues. I couldn't agree with this sentiment more. New peripherals have the potential to do just this, however that means being implemented correctly.

Right now, the vitality sensor has potential in my eyes. Someone pointed having a thriller/horror genre that changes based on heart rate. Awesome. I also see this as having a huge potential for using a game console for something completely separate from whiz-bang-shooty-fun, say... utility for yoga exercises, or stress and anger management based on monitoring heart rate. This could very well be our version of TV's Discovery Channel, our chance to say "looks, games having real positive value." I'd like to see Jack Thompson try to vilify a game that promotes lower stress and relaxed state of being.

But here's the thing... right now, that all potential. If you detect cynicism from your fellow escapists then, well... maybe there is a reason for it. You said it yourself that gaming is a tricky business, it needs to grow to survive. In the past though, we've seen game companies only grow just enough to keep the cash flow. The Wii itself was a great idea was a huge potential, but fell short because that potential was not reached. That's why the term 'gimmick' gets slapped onto it.

'Gimmick' to me means that it's a thing that all flare and no substance. I think Yahtzee nailed it the best with his Force Unleashed video. The wii control could[/c] have felt like wielding a real lightsaber, but it didn't. Instead of pushing the potential and feeling like a new, immersive way of enjoying our medium, it fell terribly short and was slapped with the brand of a gimmick - a false extra that doesn't add to the whole. An unnecessary feature used in order to increase salability and acceptance.

So what it all comes down to is if this new device pushes it's potential. I hope it does, I really do. I'm always excited to see things being pushed in new directions, but at the same time, I can't blame people for being skeptical. I hope this new toy surprises us all, but that remains to be seen...

First of all, I would like to thank you for a very reasonable response. I thought that I would already have to put up my anti-flame shield, but it is good to see that I was wrong. =)

I cannot deny anything you said, since it is absolutely true that just beacuse something has potential doesn't mean it will fulfill that potential or that there won't be any problems that might get in the way of that potential.

Having said that, I disagree with the notion that motion controls can be deemed a failure. True, most attempts to use them have failed miserably, but that can be attributed to the fact that most third-party developers were either unprepared or unwilling to develop a control scheme specifically for the Wii (or at least do it properly). Considering The Force Unleashed was a multiplatform title, I honestly wouldn't be suprised if Lucas Arts just phoned the Wii port in without much thought.

But anyway, there are examples of games where motion controls were done right. Wii Sports Resort, No More Heroes and Red Steel 2 had no complaints regarding their swordplay (the latter two even being praised by Yahtzee). The controls in the Wii port of Resident Evil 4 were generally praised, some even going so far as to say that the control scheme was superior to the traditional one. And the Conduit, while regarded as mediocre in most aspects, is generally considered as proof that FPS games can be done with motion controls. Either way, the fact that Sony and Microsoft are releasing their own motion controls and the fact that Zelda: Skyward Sword is going to fully utilise them (before anyone mentions the awkward E3 presentation, that really was wireless interference; people who actually tested the game themselves said that it controls perfectly fine) show that motion controls aren't just a fad and that they are here to stay.

To be honest, though, that wasn't really my point. A degree of skepticism is perfectly reasonable....afterall, there have been many "innovations" that ended up crashing and burning either due to poor execution or the fact that they were just plain bad ideas. But to tell you the truth, I don't think a lot of people will criticise the Vitality Sensor out of genuine skepticism. Plenty of gamers have this weird sense of entitlement in that if something isn't being catered towards them, they consider it bad and that it should burn in the deepest pits of hell. You saw it with motion controls and I honestly expect to see it with the Vitality Sensor as well.

Basically, I don't mind skepticism. But I do think it is stupid for someone to shoow down an idea, especially at this early stage (we haven't seen any software for it yet!), just beacuse it doesn't fit their needs and desires.

Lord Beautiful

New member
Aug 13, 2008
Use this for a game based on one of the first two Parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and I might care. Otherwise, I see this as little more than a crap gimmick.
May 5, 2010
Have you ever been lightly arguing with someone, totally calm, just to be a dick they tell you to calm down?

It's ironically infuriating.

Are you wondering why that's relevant? Buy a vitality sensor and find out.