May 20, 2008 We've come a long way since VHS was the new kid on the block and sweating it out in front of Cindy Crawford’s “Buns of Steel” fitness training video was all the rage. As the next generation of technology-enhanced personal training, Nintendo has released Wii Fit, a “game” incorporating over 40 activities that challenge users in areas ranging from yoga and aerobics to strength training and balance.
Wii Fit is designed to combine fun and fitness in ways that will have people getting up off their couches, moving around, having fun and even breaking a sweat. It comes complete with the Wii Balance Board accessory, a platform that senses both weight and shifts in movement and balance. The game begins with a simple measurement that calculates an adult user’s Body Mass Index, or BMI. From there, the Wii Balance Board accessory can be used as a platform for twirling a virtual Hula Hoop, shredding on a virtual snowboard, performing leg extensions or doing a downward-facing dog yoga pose.
Using the game and the board players can track their progress to see how they have improved and stay motivated. Virtual trainers in the game talk you through the different activities and make suggestions for improvement. The game can track more than one player’s progress so householder members can challenge each other, whilst caricatures even reflect their fitness levels and change as people become more proficient at the activities. The variety of games and physical activities primarily target the body’s core.
Having sold more than 2 million units in Japan, Wii Fit is available for US$89.99.