Monday, June 16, 2008

Wii Fit

We were finally able to get a copy of Wii Fit a few days ago. Nintendo pulled off another fantastic achievement by bringing exercise to video games.

Wii Fit comes with a new component: the balance board. This is essentially a new controller that interacts with the game. You step onto the board, and it’s sensitive to pressure. It’s more advanced than a bathroom scale in that it can detect differences in where your weight is applied, so it “knows” if you’re leaning forward or to the side.

Wii Fit offers a variety of exercises from strength training to flexibility and endurance. It also focuses a lot on balance and posture, routinely testing you and evaluating your progress. I especially enjoy the balance games offered that help you to learn balance in a fun way, like skiing or heading soccer balls (watch out for the shoes).

The yoga and strength training areas use a virtual trainer who demonstrates the moves and comments on your performance (positive and negative). The screen will usually display a real-time indication of your balance, and this gives you something to focus on when you perform the moves. Everything is very straight-forward. For example, I know nothing of yoga, but I was able to perform some of the moves pretty easily after watching a demonstration (but I will probably never pull off some of the moves that require more flexibility than I can muster).

I was surprised at how much fun this game really is, considering that the whole point is to get you to exercise. Perhaps the humor of the “Body by Nintendo” shirts will soon be lost if people play this game enough to get in shape. Or perhaps the shirts will be used more for bragging than joking.

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