Nintendo's 'Quality of Life' product initiative put on ice

"... we do not have the conviction that the sleep-and-fatigue-themed [device] can enter the phase of actually becoming a product," says Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.

Nintendo's much-hyped "Quality of Life" product initative, which would have become a new pillar for the company's business, seems to be fading into nearly nothing.

At the company's latest investor Q&A, president Tatsumi Kimishima said, “In regards to the Quality of Life [device], which was not mentioned in any of today’s questions, we do not have the conviction that the sleep-and-fatigue-themed [device] can enter the phase of actually becoming a product. We no longer have any plans to release it by the end of March 2016.” 

These remarks, translated by Wired, are a major walk-back from the optimism that marked the announcement of the company's so-called quality of life initiative in 2014. 

"Please note, however, that rather than simply setting health as our theme, Nintendo will also try to expand it in a new blue ocean," its late president, Satoru Iwata, remarked at the time. He suggested the business would be a major new direction for the company: "What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways."

The company later detailed a sleep sensor as its first product. "We have been fortunate to encounter several experts who have been conducting cutting-edge research in the science of fatigue. Together, we are now developing technology to estimate fatigue," Iwata said then.

The intiaitve isn't totally dead, however, even if this product will never come to market, though hope remains faint: 

"On the other hand, we still believe there are things we can do in the general category of Quality of Life, and we will continue to study the possibility of expanding into this field.” 

Though they're not directly connected, this announcement has vague echoes of the scuttled Wii Vitality Sensor -- a peripheral for monitoring the player which also was announced amid much excitement (and confusion) but failed to make it to market. 

If you're interested in finding out what the Quality of Life initiative could have been, read this blog post, which traces a line through Nintendo's advancements in the space. 

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