The bloggers over at joystiq have raised an interesting point, what does the Wiis optical sensor do, and is it really needed?
The Wiimote's motion-sensing chip detects x-, y- and z-axis movements, along with acceleration, and then transmits the data to the console in real time via Bluetooth.
Is this data not enough to determine where the pointer is positioned on screen?
They point out that there is a correlation between the optical sensor and the Wiimote's pointer because games that don't utilize pointing functionality aren't limited by the sensor's range.
Their main point is why couldnt Nintendo develop the technology to exclude the optical sensor altogether?