I must admit I am a bit of a late starter when it comes to the World of Wii (which I guess is like World of Warcraft, only without the elf ears). I know full well that the system has been out over two years, and even though I write for this site which deals with gaming, technology and such like, I seem to be very behind the times when it comes to consoles.
So after having a long overdue huge fix of Wii Glee over Christmas thanks to my sister and her fiancé’s console, and having recently, after many weeks of searching (and not getting ripped off), got my own grubby mitts on one, I am now hooked. And I’m on the constant look out for more fun packed party themed goodies to play with.
I am a lazy sod and have to be dragged to the gym, and when I heard about one particular new release for the Wii I rubbed my chubby hands in glee: fitness…in front of the telly? It doesn’t get better than this. My friends, let me introduce to you to the world of ‘Fit-utainment’ or ‘exer-gaming’: it’s Wii Fit.
A friend of mine’s partner is from Japan, and when visiting over Christmas, he was raving constantly about playing Wii Fit. At first I thought he was joking and having a bit of a laugh. However, with a bit of research I found he was indeed telling the truth and that within a few months us consumers here in the UK can throw out that Salsa-size DVD we got for Christmas and instead share the joy of doing exercise in front of our consoles.
Wii Fit’s accompanying hardware looks very much like a ‘stepper’. You know, one of those things that are in gym classes and sit un-used in garages everywhere. Notorious for causing many an accident and twisted ankle, these little blocks of plastic are step size and used I guess to tone your bottom half and behind. I personally have never used one, but guess by seeing all the many, many ladies in the gym voraciously stepping up and down on them that they are popular and do the job.
But hey! Now that we can do it at home, and it has a technology angle and these steppers can now be, er, enjoyed by everyone.
Unveiled last year, Wii Fit is a gym style game, similar in many ways to Wii Sports, where the user does not passively play a game but rather interacts to play a series of games that actually gets you to move around and do physical exercises. I’m afraid that sitting in a darkened room playing Doom and eating Wotsits by the bucketload is now a thing of the past, with Wii Fit developer Shigeru Miyamoto using the family gaming experience that the Wii has given to us to further develop the ideas that games can exercise your body and well as your mind.
Wii Fit tracks the player’s ‘Wii Fitness Age’ in a similar style to the Brain Training games, and through a series of four categories that includes aerobic exercises, muscle conditioning, yoga (!) and balance you can up your fitness level as well as getting a decent workout (and also saving you a pretty penny in gym membership).
How popular is this game? Well Wii Fit was released in Japan in December and sold over a quarter of a million copies in its first week and over a million as from the beginning of February.
Whether the novelty will wear off in a month of two after buying one and it gets bunged in the shed with the fitness DVDs and set of weights you bought ages ago remains to be seen.
However it seems that for the time being Nintendo has seen the future of gaming and provided gaming fans with something new, innovative and most of all, fun. Blimey.