Tuesday at the E3 video game expo, the company showed an add-on that wraps around the finger to takes a player's pulse.
Though no specific games or uses (or price or availability) were revealed, the Wii Vitality Sensor is "another entirely different way of thinking about games," says Nintendo global president
Iwata sees one potential use for the Sensor as a relaxation tool: "Maybe everyone under pressure in our stressful society can use this to relax with video games."
But acknowledging that the main role of gaming is to get the heart pumping, Nintendo also unveiled the Wii Fit Plus with new exercises and games, due this fall, and two new titles starring company mascot Mario:
The company has led the way in attracting newcomers with the Wii, which has sold 20 million in the USA alone, and with Wii Fit, with more than 15 million sold worldwide. "We still have a long way to go in expanding the video-game population," Iwata says.
The new Wii Fit software (no price yet) uses the balance board for activities but gives users the ability to "customize their routines more and choose" workout lengths, says Nintendo's Cammie Dunaway. And for those who already own Wii Fit, "your data will transfer and you will now have more customization and more exercises."
One of the new exercise games is a first-person activity that "essentially has you acting like Mario, and you are running and jumping on an obstacle course," Dunaway says.
At another E3 presentation, competitor
And a new PlayStation Portable device called the PSP Go ($250, Oct. 1) can download games, music, video and photos.