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Nintendo's sleep-tracking device may never wake up

Nintendo's sleep-tracking device may never wake up

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Nintendo's mysterious "Quality of Life" initiative was meant to have launched by the end of this March, but the first product in the program isn't going to make that date — if it ever comes out at all. CEO and president Tatsumi Kimishima made a point of bringing up QOL himself during an investor Q&A session following the company's earnings release this week, saying that Nintendo doesn't have enough confidence that the sleep-tracking device announced in 2014 could become a viable consumer product.

That's not to say that Nintendo will roll back its QOL strategy altogether. Kimishima says he still thinks Nintendo has something to offer in the space, so will consider expanding the company's operations in that direction. But the announcement that the sleep tracker will likely never see release is reminiscent of the notorious Vitality Sensor, a biometric Wii peripheral announced at E3 2009 and shelved by late former CEO Satoru Iwata in 2013 because it didn't work properly. Nintendo was working on QOL with Resmet, a company that has sold sleep-tracking devices for years, so the technological potential of this project shouldn't have been a surprise.

Perhaps Nintendo simply has its hands full. Following the failure of the Wii U and slowing sales of the 3DS, the company is launching an array of smartphone games this year and is expected to unveil a whole new console codenamed NX. A new service called My Nintendo will also land in the coming months, offering cross-platform features and rewards.