Posted by Dom
You won’t be able to move next week (pun intended) for articles in the mainstream press about Nintendo’s new ‘Wii Fit’ game, which aims to get everybody from 8 to 80 exercising in front of their TV, through a clever mixture of fun games and challenges and the ‘Wii Balance Board’.
This Balance Board allows you to interact with the numerous exercises, workouts and challenges in the game, and ultimately build up your fitness levels from the comfort of your living room – no more long treks to the gym (or interacting with other human beings as well, I guess).
At £69.99, the package doesn’t come cheap – but when you see the size, build and quality of the Balance Board, the price does seem slightly more reasonable. I walked home with a review copy of the game under my arm last night and noticed quite a few enquiring/envious glances – Wii Fit is not out until April 25, and apparently video game stores up and down the country are sold out already of just their pre-order allocation, let alone actual stocks.
This marriage of home fitness and your games console ticks a lot of boxes in a society already gravely worried about a growing obesity crisis. Anything which makes exercise ‘fun’ and accessible, and which can be fitted in to your daily lifestyle easily, should be encouraged, but how well does the game actually work? I’m going to be keeping a diary for the MSN Life and Style channel where I see if the claims behind the title actually stand up in real life. You can read my conclusions on the game’s release date next Friday.
In the meantime, do you think these kind of ‘non-games’ are a worrying development for the console industry as a whole, or a brilliant marketing ploy to get as many people as possible involved in playing games? Will fitness games like Wii Fit encourage you to exercise more consistently all the year round, or will you forget about them after the novelty’s wore off and just go back to playing the latest Mario or Grand Theft Auto?
Leave your comments below – after watching this rather cynical (but witty) American take on the Wii Fit phenomenon (‘Standing in one place has never been so much fun!’)