We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
Wii

North America

Wii Fit

by Steven Rodriguez - July 11, 2007, 10:41 pm PDT
Total comments: 19

Even though you play it with your feet, it's not that much different than holding a Wii remote.

Wii Fit has been known to be in the pipeline for some time (as Wii Fitness), but it was still interesting to see Nintendo devote so much time to it at its E3 press conference. After playing it for a good bit, though, I saw why.

The newly announced controller that will be packaged with the game, the Wii Fitness Board, is a very accurate pressure-sensitive plate that detects how far off-center your center of gravity is. When starting up the game a large dot appears on-screen. If this dot is in the dead-middle of the screen, you're standing perfectly straight and level. If it's not, you're standing a bit crookedly. The games I got to try out quickly made it apparent that my balance was not as good as I thought it to be.

First up was a weight-shifting exercise. Two red bars on the screen show how much weight is being distributed to the left or right side of the board. Blue target zones appear, and you've got to shift your weight (any way you'd like) so that the meters are aligned in the blue zone for three consecutive seconds. The first trick is to get the red meters in the vicinity of the blue targets, but then you must keep them inside for the time required. Each time you pass, the targets change location and narrow in size, making the target zone a little more difficult to stay inside. All of this is timed, so the primary challenge is to learn how to get your brain and your balancing muscles to work together as quickly as possible. It's quite interesting.

The next game I played was the soccer goalie challenge. This is the same game mode that Reggie and Miyamoto played during the press conference. Reggie's performance in the mode was remarkably impressive; keeping your balance in this game is hard. The idea is to head away soccer balls from going to goal while avoiding random objects like soccer cleats. The first few balls are easy to stop, but once more stuff comes flying in at a faster speed, you start to realize that your body can't keep up with the constant weight shifts. For instance, if you quickly lean to the right to try to avoid a panda head, you'll discover that shifting back over to the left is not an instant action. Your mind will say “left" but your body is still balancing on the right foot, trying not to fall over. Again, this game is truly an exercise to get the body and mind coordinated in a way to improve general fitness. It's also a lot of fun to play.

The third and final game I played was a ball rolling challenge. By shifting your weight on the board you tilt a play field in the same way as you would in Super Monkey Ball or Kororinpa. The goal is to roll a ball into a hole. Just as I was getting the hang of it, the game throws you off-balance by putting multiple balls on the board. You won't lose if one falls off the edge, but you will lose time while it resets. Clearing a board will give you a time extension, just like how it works in the timed games seen in Wii Play. Again, this is really a lot more difficult than it sounds. Even as you get a ball on the lip of the hole, the smallest shift in body position can ruin you. If you try to adjust and lose your balance, then you're in real trouble.

It was playing this game that I realized the Fitness Board is really no different than the Wii remote as held in the horizontal position. All the games displayed could just as easily be controlled with the Wiimote. People know how to use their arms and hands, so maintaining balance with them would make Wii Fit far too easy, even for the casual market. However, stepping onto the Wii Fitness Board is essentially like stepping onto a Wii remote. Rolling my feet on the board's surface was just like rolling the Wii remote around in my hands. The motions in my mind were exactly the same, but the big difference is that I really didn't know how to translate them into total body movement. That's what makes Wii Fit so intriguing to me.

Long story short, Wii Fit may just be thing that locks up the blue ocean crowd Nintendo is so eager to get to. Nintendo said that if everyone were to begin at the same starting point, no one would be intimidated by games. That's already proven true with the casual market explosion on Wii and DS, and Wii Fit will only make that explosion larger and louder. But you know what I think? Veterans are getting intimidated by “non-game" software that they believe threatens to overrun what they've grown up with over the past few decades. Surprisingly, Wii Fit may be the thing to finally convince the hardcore crowd to embrace the non-game. That is why it could be the first game that is truly for everyone. And that's an exciting prospect.

Talkback

I went from 0 interest to...um... 8 interest after reading this. Also, I predict that if Wii Fit is at all popular (and it will be), we'll eventually see a music game for this pad.

In 7th grade, I ran a 7:30 mile. I did 50+ curl-ups. I did 30+ push-ups. I had a decent 50m dash time too. I was in the best shape of my life.

...That was 10 years ago.

With all the good stuff shown today, Wii Fit was the game most on my mind. I have a real motivation problem when it comes to exercising; physically, my body enjoys it, so it's all psychological. I've always thought a good exercise game would help me, and DDR did for a while, but it gets very tiresome, and I can't play it in my current apartment because it bothers the neighbors downstairs. Wii Fit won't have that problem.

Also, I think the Balance Board can work for a LOT of new kinds of games. I'm sure we'll talk about that on RFN next week.

EasyCureJuly 11, 2007

Wow simply amazing! great write up, its got me really hyped for this non-game. I wasn't excited about it until now.

question though, of any of the modes it offers how many are physically demanding?

i ask because i'm asthmatic and i'm curious if any of will get my breathing heavy to the point i have to stop playing. i've never tried DDR cuz i feel like i'd get too into it and be grasping at my inhaler within mins

UrkelJuly 11, 2007

If nothing else I will be buying this for the Balance Board. The thought of how other games will make use of this makes me giddy.

tiamat1990July 11, 2007

Stupid game...awesome peripheral!! I'm more interested in the implementation of this peripheral in the future! It has HUGE potential.

KDR_11kJuly 11, 2007

I don't think announcing this as a key game at E3 is a good idea, E3 is for the kind of gamer that wants more Mario and more online.

GoldenPhoenixJuly 11, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: KDR_11k
I don't think announcing this as a key game at E3 is a good idea, E3 is for the kind of gamer that wants more Mario and more online.


I really disagree, people know Mario Galaxy, Brawl and Corruption will be great. E3 is a time to show games that wouldn't otherwise get the attention they deserve, at least at the conference. What was the key game last year? Why of course, it was Wii Sports. Wii fit has potential to be a killer app for Wii, and hopefully through making it their key game at the show it will filter into the media like Wiisports did.

MashiroJuly 11, 2007

I think the board has huge potential and from a gamer standpoint I would have rather seen another game as it's "key" E3 game.

With that said Nintendo has already proven that there is a huge market for non-gamers and they are playing to that crowd. It was said somewhere before but this will be all over the news papers and stuff and in the media at large and will open up the Wii to even more potential buyers.

It's a brand new era of gaming and Nintendo knows that in order to keep expanding and staying on top it has to keep appealing to the new audience.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJuly 11, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: KDR_11k
I don't think announcing this as a key game at E3 is a good idea, E3 is for the kind of gamer that wants more Mario and more online.


You have to remember, E3 is, and always has been, for retailers. It's not for gamers (even more so this year). This show is designed for game companies to show retailers what's up their sleeves for the next year/year and a half.

And WiiFit is something retailers should be interested in.

theratJuly 11, 2007

the rat asks: when will this be turned into a snowboarding game?

ShyGuyJuly 12, 2007

Everyone seems to be giving positive responses to the Wiifit. I think this will be another huge hit.

Ian SaneJuly 12, 2007

"But you know what I think? Veterans are getting intimidated by 'non-game' software that they believe threatens to overrun what they've grown up with over the past few decades."

Boy is that statement dead on.

The more I read about Wii Fit the more interested I am in the board and the more I think of what significantly cooler ideas Nintendo COULD have had for it and how frustrating that Wii Fit was what they came up with. I'm imagining some futuristic game where you surf on a hoverboard and shoot enemies with the remote. It's like Mach Rider on a skateboard. And Tony Hawk is a given.

I find non-games that are designed to keep me fit, improve my vision, teach my different languages and increase the size of my brain are like programs everyone would be forced to use every morning in a dystopia dictatorship to make us all "perfect".

"Nintendo said that if everyone were to begin at the same starting point, no one would be intimidated by games."

The problem with this logic is that a starting point is by definition where things start which suggests moving forward. Since everyone wasn't born at the same time where people start with videogames is always going to change. To ensure that everyone starts at the same point means either no evolution in game design or rebooting things every few years. The starting point was Pong and it was released in 1972.

JensenJuly 12, 2007

Ian Sane, why are you a Nintendo fan instead of a ps3/360/pc fan? Is it because you like mario, metroid, zelda and such? The Wii version of all those games look awesome (but the "drag the view around by the edges" MP3 is hard to watch)

"WiiWhatever" games are easy to make, and seem to be expanding market share and interest in Nintendo in general. I see articles about the Wii all the time in the mainstream media, I can't say that about the other consoles. Nintendo is in the business of making money, not just games for you

Sony's system has some creative games coming to it, like LittleBigPlanet... why not get a ps3?

I would like to see a new franchise from nintendo that isn't a non-game. But maybe they are just taking their time on it.

Quote

Originally posted by: Jensen
Ian Sane, why are you a Nintendo fan instead of a ps3/360/pc fan?


Because believe it or not, Sony and MS are destroying gaming.

MashiroJuly 12, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Kairon
Quote

Originally posted by: Jensen
Ian Sane, why are you a Nintendo fan instead of a ps3/360/pc fan?


Because believe it or not, Sony and MS are destroying gaming.


QFT.

Just imagine for a moment, a video gaming industry without Nintendo . . . ::shivers:: the horror.

Bill AurionJuly 12, 2007

Ian secretly hates all videogames, that's why... =)

IceColdJuly 12, 2007

Quote

I'm imagining some futuristic game where you surf on a hoverboard and shoot enemies with the remote. It's like Mach Rider on a skateboard.
Whoa, that sounds like fun.. they should have made it able to rotate around a fixed spot, so if you get hit it leans to one side, and you have to shift your weight to re-balance.

Wait, that's not a feature of the board already, is it?

Quote

Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
Ian secretly hates all videogames, that's why... =)


Well, if that's true at least he's an equal opportunity hater.

Quote

Originally posted by: IceCold
I think we should have figured out by now that deep down, Kairon just doesn't like Nintendo games.

Share + Bookmark





Genre Sports
Developer Nintendo
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Wii Fit
Release May 19, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Wii Fit
Release Dec 01, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Wii Fit
Release Apr 25, 2008
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Wii Fit
Release May 08, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral
Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement