Wii Vitality Sensor is powered by your "relax fluid". Only slightly less horrible than it sounds

"Relax fluid". What is it? The phrase inspired two very different schools of thought in this morning's meeting. Nathan questioned whether Nintendo's apparently-still-in-development-zzz-wha-we-forgot-all-about-it-wait-they're-seriously-still-doing-that peripheral would come packaged with a watered-down morphine solution. I myself just thought of the product of an evening's shameful self-dehydration.

But whether opiate, the squandered fuel of a new generation, or something else entirely, relax fluid is what's going to be powering the games you play with the Wii Vitality Sensor. Assuming you'll play any. Which you probably won't after reading the rest of this.

Essentially one of those finger-clipped heart rate monitors you get plugged into during a stay in Accident and Emergency (way to keep the cross-generational bond of video games going, Nintendo. Oh the fun we'll have reminiscing over granny's bypass as we stick it on her finger after Christmas dinner), I'm still not entirely convinced the relaxation-powered Vitality Sensor isn't a clever bit of bait-and-switch self-parody by Nintendo, satirising all that's worst about Wii gaming by way of a control scheme requiring the player literally to do nothing.

Self-reflexive joke or not, we now have a clearer view of how it works, via a patent application just unearthed by those sexy folks over at Siliconera. Apparently it measures blood flow by firing a high-powered laser/small light beam (delete as appropriate to your desperation to be excited by this) through the player's finger. A light sensor on the opporite side of the magic thimble works out how much of the beam is being blocked by the haemoglobin between the two. And because stress = higher pulse rate, the Wii then knows how relaxed the player is.

Above: Relax fluid. This guy is full of it. Positively dripping with it

The rating used by the VS to quantifiably guage a person's relaxation rate is, rather unfortunately, dubbed "relax fluid", and can be used in a manner similar to Nintendo's brain age rating to compare yourself to others. So soon whole families will be able to competetively evaluate their fluids in a safe, fun and educational environment. The scripts for the TV ads are going to be incredible.

As for games? So far, we have this:

YEEEEEAAAAAAH! Right? Yeah? No? Well how about if it does this:


Basically, a little wok/spaceship/jellyfish has to navigate a bunch of curvy tunnels (possibly full of relax fluid) without hitting the sides. You use the Wii remote to angle his path, and THE ALMIGHTY POWER OF YOUR VERY LIFE-BREATH to make his hat rise and fall. Breathing in means up, breathing out means down. For some reason. Apparently the curves of the tunnels are rendered to encourage a relaxed breathing pattern. It might simply promote what practitioners of basic meditation have been doing for thousands of years for free, but hey, it has rudimentary visual feedback, so bargain, right?

Thanks Nintendo. Oh how we hope our suspicions of this thing's quiet cancellation are wrong.


Nintendo WTF


  • ShokuaHyuga - October 14, 2010 5:06 a.m.

    Giving people morphine so they lower their stress levels to play a video game; is Nintendo supporting druggies? Seriously, though, which health departments permission did they have to get in order to make this? Now, using my breath to control a video game, seems kinda' backwards to me; video games are make breathing worth it for me.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 11, 2010 9:11 p.m.

  • EnigmaSpirit - October 11, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    This is definitely "old" nintendo. Based on last years E3 I'm sure their in their happy place again. Maybe the vitality sensor will be another case like Milo from microsoft. They said he was in development, but missed an E3 and was dumped eventually. Same thing could happen (hopefully). What I imagine playing this game with friends: "Dude, you have to relax, no more, RELAX HARDER DAMNIT!!!
  • TheWebSwinger - October 11, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    Well this is great news. I've been on sort of a dry spell lately, so I'll have plenty of relaxing fluid stored up in my Wii for the occasion.
  • Gorillaman23 - October 11, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    Fuck all of you, I'm the best person at relaxing EVER!! Honestly, I hope this game includes worldwide scoreboards. Not that I'll play it, but just for teh lulz.
  • Haxorz - October 11, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    Slowly losing faith in Nintendo....
  • Fuzunga - October 11, 2010 6:32 p.m.

    That water bottle will haunt my dreams.
  • Slayer11496 - October 11, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    I thought this was a spoof. But it seems they're for real. HOLY SHIT Nintendo is fucking stupid
  • theintellectual - October 11, 2010 5:11 p.m.

    i say destroy it with fire, crucifixes, and holy water.
  • rabidpotatochip - October 11, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    My relax fluid is at an all-time low after looking at the new Batman screens.
  • BlindMarksman - October 11, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    I hope relax fluid becomes a Meme or something, because seriously, it´s is pure Pasteurized Comedy Gold.
  • n00b - October 11, 2010 3:44 p.m.

    relax guys, this will probably be horrible but will birth something amazing. Like the gravity gun, which was birthed out of shower curtains. So just let nintendo be.
  • Darkhawk - October 11, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    I can't wait to maneuver my relax fluid through through the curving tunnels. I sure hope there's something awesome at the end of the journey for me to insert my fluid into.
  • WickedSid - October 11, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    I'll give you some Relax Fluid.
  • Crypto140 - October 11, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    You will have to be relaxed when you start this otherwise you will fail, and get more mad. Because if you start it unrelaxed, you will fail, get more mad for failing, and then won't be able to win, it's an endless cirlce of fail and rage. But if you start it relaxed, then you kill the whole point of the game.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - October 11, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    Thank you Tymiegie. I do what I can, I do what I can...
  • Tymiegie - October 11, 2010 12:58 p.m.

    I have to complement Dave H. for pulling, not only a few paragraphs out of this, but a few paragraphs of pure comedic gold.
  • matt101matt - October 11, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    And put it out with a fork :P ^
  • EnragedTortoise1 - October 11, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    Kid Katana is right.... 0_o Anyways, why the hell is this still alive? Kill it with fire.
  • KidKatana - October 11, 2010 11:44 a.m.

    ...Anyone else think the spaceship's hat looks like a rudimentary breast? Not a sentence I ever thought I'd type.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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