News Article

Could the Wii U Controller Do Full Body-Tracking?

Posted by James Newton

Miyamoto drops an intriguing hint

Nintendo of Europe has just published the Iwata Asks Wii U discussion first made available just after E3, and while it's the same discussion as before something intriguing stood out on a second reading.

Shigeru Miyamoto touches on Wii Fit's future when enhanced by the new controller. Although the original created the fitness game boom all-but single-handedly with the Wii Balance Board, it's been overtaken since by full-body tracking from games like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved on Kinect. As the Wii U supports all previous Wii accessories it's likely the Balance Board will still find a home, but there's something tucked into the new controller that could also help out.

While reluctant to discuss in detail, Miyamoto reveals he's working on a new Wii Fit for Wii U with activities that use the camera to track the player:

I can't really talk about it in detail, but we're working on new ways to do training exercises with Wii Fit, like using the camera, you can place it against something and play while the game looks at your status.

We've seen the camera used for video chat in the Nintendo E3 Wii U video, but nothing with any gameplay applications yet. If the player recognition is better than DSiWare's WarioWare: Snapped! this could be a welcome addition to Wii U's capabilities, though we wouldn't expect anything on the level of Kinect's limb-tracking functionality.

[via nintendo.co.uk]

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User Comments (42)

eviLaTtenDant

#1

eviLaTtenDant said:

Originally i hoped the Wii's successor would control like a mixture of Motion+ / Move and Kinect. But then i thought the camera would be much to weak to recognize your movements accurately enough.
So if it's done well enough it could definitely be cool. :)

pntjr

#2

pntjr said:

I hope to god that the controller costs more than the system itself...

Mandoble

#3

Mandoble said:

They should stop creating useless toys and concentrate on the videogame industry. It has been already published that most (if not all) Wii fit users never use it (including myself), but sadly it is clear that they are trying to keep on the toy/gimicking rails forverer.

NeoRausch

#4

NeoRausch said:

@battletoad

we don't know really anyting about the cam for now and the "old" pads (E3) were not final. i can imagine nintendo to NOT cheap out on the cam this time.
they gona do vieochat as far as we know. so the cam has to be a little better this time around

PALgamer

#5

PALgamer said:

EA Sport Active 2 uses body sensors and hear rate monitor, and it feels better than Wii Fit, which has been relegated as the weighing machine.

Mukkinese

#6

Mukkinese said:

Body-tracking might be interesting, but only as an extra to the already known controls. I'm surprised the camera doesn't flip, it would extend it's usefulness even more, for AR, and taking photos, for instance.

Will-75

#7

Will-75 said:

I can't wait to get my hands on this thing every time I read something about it I want one even more.......

SMW

#8

SMW said:

I'm a bit skeptical about the camera, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

citizenerased

#9

citizenerased said:

While I'd love to get my hands on some Kinect games (Child Of Eden and... nope, nothing else comes to mind), I'd rather Nintendo just does their own thing.

19Robb92

#10

19Robb92 said:

Sure, why not. More gameplay possibilities are always nice. I'm not a big Kinect fan though. It does not work well at all IMO, but it might be good for some smaller games.

TKOWL

#11

TKOWL said:

This could be a cool technology, I could see this being used in a lot of games.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#14

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

OMG STOP COPYING MICROSOFT! ♥ you forever Halo and Microsoft you do everything the best and first ♥♥♥♥

hattrick

#15

hattrick said:

I actually thought about this when I first saw the camera. Using it along with the Wii Remote Plus, could give a similar experience to Sony's Move.

Maggots

#17

Maggots said:

Guy's i really don't think this controller will be that expensive... they're probably using VGA cameras again that they've had around since DSi... the gyro sensors since motion plus... accelerometers since the wii was released... and i bet the speakers and stuff are also the similar to the stuff they already have been making for years at a profit... Only the screen is a major cost and it's not LED or OLED... it's your standard LCD screen (Standard Def too)... at this point i'd be more worried about battery life than anything... but the controller is big enough that it could fit a nice sized battery allacross the back of it and have a nice battery life as well... ... I mean... a wii remote and nunchuck combo is about $60... (and those things cost nothing to make) so you could expect the minimum price to be $60... and max I would bet is $80 ...

Omarzuqo

#19

Omarzuqo said:

Touchscreen: Check.
Accelerometer: Check.
Gyroscope: Check.
Camera: Check.
Buttons: Check.
Microphone: Check.
Speakers: Check.
Body tracking: Check.

It's official, the Wii U controller is the most gimmicky thing in the universe.

OldBoy

#20

OldBoy said:

@Mandoble It has been already published that most (if not all) Wii fit users never use it

Yeah but they don't care whether they use it,only that they buy it (you know ,like you did! :P) .

Maggots

#22

Maggots said:

Nintendo is all about cost effectiveness... you think they would sell a controller that cost that much to make?... either it won't be affordable and therefore not sold in stores separately from the console... or it will be affordable and sold in stores... ... Nintendo has always been in the realm of affordability when it comes to their consoles... even if it cost $10 per part (which it doesn't) it wouldn't total to $100

littlebigplanet

#23

littlebigplanet said:

@SMEXIZELDAMAN you mad bro? Microsoft actually copied Sony with Kinect. The PS2 had a camera, but unfortunantly, it had nothing for it.
And xbox controllers use the same button scheme as GCn/ classic controller. I may be a Nintendo fanboy, but I can easilt admit that Sony is 100% more inventive than XboX. Jack Tretton (who, as a businessman, i have loads of respect for) said at e3 (in responced to kinect):
"It's nothing new, or innovative. You could go pay $150 for this, or you could go pay $60 for the technology WE invented almost 10 years ago"

And look at how awesome kinect is! It has so many classic titles.. like fruit ninja... r u serious?

AVahne

#27

AVahne said:

@ Omarzuqo
Yup, meaning its THE BEST gaming controller ever created so far. Everything about the controller is a selling point, and everything about it will provide awesome gaming experiences.

Shining-Void

#31

Shining-Void said:

huh... well i geuss it would be interesting but i seriously think nintendo has other priorities

Demonic_St33V

#32

Demonic_St33V said:

Wii Fit saw a lot of use in my household. Then my wife got a gym membership and I remembered that people with the form of adrenal disease that I have don't have to exercise to stay lean and mean.

Honestly, I love the WiiU controller, but the touch screen is the only aspect I'm obsessed with. No more in-game inventory screens cluttering up my TV!!!

Mandoble

#33

Mandoble said:

on-TV inventory has many advantages, when you open it, the action stops. So you can take your time to decide what to use, what to drop, what to combine, etc. If inventory is open in a separate screen and action is not frozen, while you keep concentrated in the inventory the bad guys will eat you alive ;)

Maggots

#34

Maggots said:

It sounds to me ALL of the Developers are going nuts with the new controller... so how about you all take a chill pill relax... and wait for the Wii U to actually have games announced for it... Then let it come out... then Play it... and then if it still dissapoints... go ahead and complain... I've actually played it... and held the controller which is suprisingly light and surprisingly comfortable... and guess what when you're playing you don't realize it's a big tablet because its a controller first... then a tablet... trust me it will be fine...

Maggots

#35

Maggots said:

If anything I agree that every control scheme needs to be supported 100%... for a game like metroid prime... or battlefield... I'd rather use Wii remote and Nunchuck.. for a game like monster hunter, or xenoblade I could use the new controller or the classic controller pro... ... for a game like New super mario bros Mii... it would be perfect for the new controller... allowing you to run far ahead of your 5 year old and beat the level without having to carry him around... I want the option of all control schemes... but trust me the controller feels just fine in the hands... it may be a little bigger than we're used to (unless you owned an original xbox) but it's comfortable... i do hope they are able to work the kinks out of it... I also agree with the fact that they need to change the color of it , make it look different or something (the system in general, not just the controller) something to differentiate it from the Wii Slightly...

hydeks

#36

hydeks said:

yes nintendo, keep making the u did with the Wii onto the Wii U, we'll see how long you guys live with that crap coming out _

guydudeperson

#37

guydudeperson said:

@19 if it didnt have all of those (especially buttons) it would just be a rectangle you could hold.

rjejr

#38

rjejr said:

I don't get this part -

"you can place it against something and play"

Isn't Nintendo going to package this with some type of iPad dock stand? I don't want my impossible to replace b/c they aren't selling them stand alone controller just laying around. This should ship with a dock attached to the WiiU with a USB cord like the sensor bar or WiiSpeak so it can be constantly charging and you can use it as a clock or digital picture frame or NintenSkype. "Place it against something"? Really?

Poncho

#40

Poncho said:

The only problem I have with the controller is the placement of the circle pads. They should be under the buttons and D-pad.

SkywardLink98

#41

SkywardLink98 said:

The only problem with this is the price tag. If it has all this stuff built in it'll raise the price a decent amount. It was said it won't be under $250. So... if it does all this it could be $350-$400

erv

#42

erv said:

@45 yep and if it's expensive, I don't want to be getting another round of wii-ish plastick that feels like it could break apart or fail on you.

So there's definitely a sweet point in terms of price/robustness to consider as well if you ask me.

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