Wii Fit

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Wii Fit

Wii Fit European box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Hiroshi Matsunaga[1]
Series Wii Series
Engine Wii Sports (modified)
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) JP December 1, 2007[2]
EU April 25, 2008[3]
AUS May 8, 2008b[›][4]
NA May 21, 2008a[›]
Genre(s) Fitness game
Rating(s) CERO: A
PEGI: 3+
Media Wii Optical Disc
Input methods Wii Balance Board, Wii Remote and Nunchuk

Wii Fit (Wiiフィット Wī Fitto?) is a video game developed by Nintendo for the Wii console.[5] It is an exercise game consisting of activities utilizing the Wii Balance Board peripheral.

The Wii Fit package includes a Wii Balance Board and a Wii Fit game disk for the Wii console containing 48 fitness training-related games and activities.[6] The Wii Balance Board is a wireless peripheral for the Wii console and communicates with the console in the same manner as the Wii Remote. The sensors on the board can measure players up to 150 kg (330lbs) in mass. The balance board measures a user's mass and center of balance. The software can then calculate the user's body mass index when told of his or her height.

Wii Fit was released in Japan on December 1, 2007, and in other regions in April-May 2008.[3][7] As of December 2008, Wii Fit is the Wii's third best-selling game, with 14 million copies sold. At a retail price of $89.99 USD (and equivalent in other regions), Wii Fit has generated over $1.26 billion in revenue for Nintendo.[8]


[edit] Gameplay

The beta Body Mass Index graph

Wii Fit uses a unique platform peripheral called the Wii Balance Board. The game consists of 48 different sub-games and activities,[9] some of which are not available until being unlocked by building up credits in the "Fit Bank", including yoga poses, push ups, balance games, and other exercises. Furthermore, Wii Fit allows its players to compare their fitness by using Wii Fit's own channel on the Wii Menu.[10]

Wii Fit tracks a user's "Wii Fit Age" through a body test basing the result on the user's current age, weight and athletic ability.

Like the rest of the Wii Series, Wii Fit integrates Miis into its presentation and gameplay.

According to Shigeru Miyamoto when speaking to IGN during an interview at E3 2007, there were no plans to integrate WiiConnect24 functionality into Wii Fit.[11] He did note, however, that there could be possibilities to take advantage of the WiiConnect24 in the future, such as using the service to keep in contact with a doctor to help with rehabilitation, or with a fitness specialist to help with training exercises.[11]

[edit] Activities

Training on Wii Fit is divided into four categories: yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. The activities provide a core workout, emphasizing controlled movements rather than overexertion. Activities include:

  • Yoga - Work on your balance and flexibility with Yoga poses and activities
  • Strength Training - Put your strength to the test with muscle-toning exercises
  • Aerobics - Get your heart pumping with fun, interactive Aerobic exercises
  • Balance Games - Get into the action with fun, balanced-based games

New activities can be unlocked by gaining "Fit Credits", which are accumulated in the "FitBank", a small piggy bank dedicated to keep track of time spent on Wii Fit. Minutes of Fit Credits are equal to the number of minutes doing an activity rather than the number of minutes of overall game play. At certain stages, new yoga poses or muscle workouts are unlocked based on the total time spent working out. Being the best at an activity with a 100% score, or playing an activity a certain number of times unlocks more rigorous versions of that activity.

[edit] Activity log

Wii Fit also allows a player to keep track of activities outside of the game, which are then added on to the player's activity log, but not included in the daily exercise time. These are divided into three categories:

  • Light — guitar, piano, stretching
  • Medium — cleaning, gardening, walking, painting
  • Heavy — sports such as soccer, tennis, swimming, cycling, and dancing

The time allotted to these are given a multiplier to show how they should affect the player. Light activities are multiplied by 0.5, medium activities by 1 and heavy activities by 2.

[edit] Units

The Australian, European and North American Wii Fit releases contain support for both imperial and metric units. In the Australian and European editions, if the user location is set to the United Kingdom, imperial units are used, with weight shown in the traditional British style of stones and pounds, otherwise metric are used. In the version for the Americas, US customary units are used if the language is set to English. If it is set to Spanish or French, then the metric system is used. There is no way to change the unit set of the game without changing these Wii localisation settings.

[edit] Development

A Wii Fit demonstration booth at the Leipzig Games Convention in August 2007

Previously revealed under the name Wii Health Pack,[12] it was announced under its current title at Nintendo's E3 press conference on July 11, 2007 by famed video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.[13]

At Nintendo's media briefing, it was demonstrated by Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime and other participants.

Wii Fit was first revealed as Wii Health Pack, by Shigeru Miyamoto, during a conference in mid-September 2006.[14] Then described as a "way to help get families exercising together",[14] the game idea had first been included in Miyamoto's original design document for the whole Wii Series, the entirety of which was scribbled onto a sheet of paper.[14]

As with other games designed by Miyamoto such as Nintendogs, the design of Wii Fit was influenced by activities in Miyamoto's daily life.[15] Miyamoto states that he and his family had become more health-conscious, going to the gym and tracking their weight.[15] He found that it had become "fun over time to talk about these things",[15] and as weighing yourself "didn't make much of a game",[15] they decided to build games around the idea to mesh with the concept.[15]

In an interview with Game Informer at E3 2007 Miyamoto revealed that Wii Fit had been developed with a "full-scale" team for a year at the time.[16] The Wii Balance Board had been worked on for "almost two years", and was inspired by sumo wrestlers' need to weigh themselves with two scales.[16]

[edit] Reception

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 80%[17]
MobyGames 81/100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B+[19]
Computer and Video Games 6.8/10[20]
Eurogamer 8/10[21]
GameSpot 7.0/10[22]
IGN 8.0/10[23]
X-Play 4/5[24]
Game Revolution C+[25]
Official Nintendo Magazine 91%[26]

Reviews were generally positive. Wii Fit holds an 80% score on Game Rankings, aggregated from the scores of 52 media outlets,[17] and got an average score of 81 on MobyGames.[18] It was named the best game of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly.[27]

While the playful balance and aerobics minigames have generally been praised as simple fun,[19] criticism for the game is aimed at its limitations in offering a serious workout regimen.[24] In 1UP.com's review, one such limitation was attributed to the lack of structure the game imposes on the player, stating that while having "complete freedom to choose what you want to do, you might find yourself cheating, despite your best intentions."[19] X-Play also noted that the brief activities are separated by menus, making it difficult for one to keep up a constant heart rate.[24] Some have also pointed out a lack of Nintendo's usual charm in game design,[20] specifically in the yoga and strength training exercises which take place in a muted setting that one critic referred to as "the world's most lifeless, depressing gym."[19] Despite these limitations, the game's friendly front-end and amount of activities are cited as appealing features to those who are perhaps seeking an introduction to daily exercise.[19] In a review on IGN, Wii Fit was said to create "an environment in which working out is less daunting and as a result enjoyable -- fun, even."[23]

There was minor controversy regarding Wii Fit in the UK, where two parents complained after the known limitations of BMI led to their daughter being labeled as overweight.[28] Nintendo apologized over any offense caused by the terminology used in-game.

[edit] Sales

Wii Fit sold over a quarter of a million copies in its first week,[29] and despite not being released outside Japan, Wii Fit reached the one million unit sales milestone by January 6, 2008, after being released on December 1 2007.[30][31] As of January 4, 2009, it has sold 3,125,000 copies in Japan.[32] It is the also the third best-selling game of Japan in 2008, as well as the best-selling Wii game in Japan of that year, selling 2,149,131 in that year.[33]

Prior to release, consumer reaction was also positive in the United Kingdom, with some retailers having to stop taking pre-orders due to its increasing popularity.[34] Reports in the United Kingdom state that the Wii Fit launch had seen lines form nationwide.[35] Woolworths claimed that the game was also selling at a rate of 90 copies per minute.[36] Nintendo UK have stated they are working hard to ensure that enough stock is available.[37] In its first week of release, Wii Fit was the best-selling video game in the week, topping the all-format chart. Despite the game being sold at a higher price than average (£70, compared to an average of £35-40) it became the UK's sixth fastest selling console title according to Chart-Track/ELSPA and garnered over £16 million in sales.[38] During the week beginning the 19 May, 2008, Wii Fit's sales in the UK fell from second in the all-formats chart to dropping out of the top 40 altogether, believed to be caused by Wii Fit being completely sold out.[39] Subsequently, Nintendo UK promised to rectify the stock problems plaguing Wii Fit and vowed "We will end Wii Fit stock shortage".[40][41]

In the United States, pre-launch sales of Wii Fit have been reported to have sold out at retailers Amazon.com, GameStop and Wal-Mart.[42] After the initial release, reports showed stores selling out of Wii Fit nationwide.[43] Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, estimated that Nintendo shipped only 500,000 copies of the game in North America as opposed to as many as 2 million units to Europe. According to Pachter, the Wii Fit units were allocated by Nintendo to maximize profit, by prioritizing Europe over North America, taking advantage of the strong value of the euro compared to the U.S. dollar.[44] According to the NPD Group, Wii Fit sold 690,000 units in the US in May 2008, making it the country's third highest selling title for the month.[45] The Wii Fit debuted in the United States at a suggested retail price of $89.99 for the base system unbundled with other accessories. As with the Wii Game Console itself, the demand for the Wii Fit has far outstripped the supply. The perceived shortage has created a secondary market for private sellers to purchase the Wii Fit at retail outlets and sell the product for inflated prices. In June 2008, the Wii Fit was reported to be selling at an average of $175 per unit on Amazon.com and EBay.[46]

According to the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Enterbrain, the game has sold 1.433 million copies in the United States, 624,000 in the United Kingdom, and 1.547 million in Japan, respectively, for a total of 3.604 million copies sold from January to July 2008.[47] As of September 30, 2008, Nintendo has sold 8.76 million copies of Wii Fit worldwide.[48] According to the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Enterbrain, the game has sold 1.283 million copies in the United States, 460,000 in the United Kingdom, and 346,000 in Japan, respectively, for a total of 2.089 million copies sold in the third quarter of 2008 (July–September).[49] Wii Fit was the third best-selling game of December 2008 in the United States, selling in excess of 999,000 copies.[50] It is also the third best-selling game of 2008 in the United States, selling in excess of 4.53 million.[50]

[edit] Awards

Wii Fit was awarded Best Use of the Balance Board by IGN in its 2008 video game awards [51] and the Innovation Award at the British Academy Video Games Awards 2009. It was also nominated for multiple other awards, including Best New IP[52] and Best Sports Game.[53]

[edit] Wii Fit Experiment

Nintendo provided noted gamer, Mickey DeLorenzo, with an advanced Wii Fit package to see if he could lose more weight and body fat then DeLorenzo did while using Wii Sports as an exercise workout routine during his "Wii Sports Experiment." Mickey DeLorenzo went on to lose 15 pounds during 45 days of using Wii Fit.

[edit] Notes

^ a: In North America, Wii Fit was launched on May 19, 2008, with an exclusive release at the Nintendo World Store in New York City, two days before the general release.[7]

^ b: New Zealand's release was delayed until May 29, 2008, although EB Games there sold the game from the original release date of May 8, 2008, having bypassed the local distributor.[citation needed]

[edit] References

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  3. ^ a b Phil Elliott (2008-02-20). "Wii Fit set for April release in Europe". GamesIndustry.biz. Eurogamer. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=33321. Retrieved on 2008-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Wii Fit". Nintendo. 2008-03-17. http://games.nintendo.com.au/title.php?id=1691. Retrieved on 2008-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Wii Fit: Exergaming the World," GamePro 235 (April 2008): 19.
  6. ^ http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/31788/review/wii_fit.html?tk=rel_news
  7. ^ a b "Nintendo’s New Wii Fit Makes Fitness Fun". Business Wire. Golin Harris. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/template.NDM/news/more/?javax.portlet.tpst=0b2c9a4dd5f89b80977dd367cc87b42f_ws_MX&javax.portlet.prp_0b2c9a4dd5f89b80977dd367cc87b42f_viewID=news_view_popup&javax.portlet.prp_0b2c9a4dd5f89b80977dd367cc87b42f_newsLang=en&javax.portlet.prp_0b2c9a4dd5f89b80977dd367cc87b42f_newsId=20080519005400. Retrieved on 2008-05-19. 
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  13. ^ Stay Fit with Wii Fit "Console Watcher"
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  27. ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20162677_20164091_20248081_9,00.html
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  35. ^ Queues form nationwide for Wii Fit from VideoGamer.com
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  37. ^ Wii Fit Sells Out in UK from Wired
  38. ^ UK CHARTS: Wii Fit takes £16m as it hits No.1 from MCV
  39. ^ Wii Fit drops out of UK Top 40 from MCV
  40. ^ Gaming - News - Nintendo: 'We will end Wii Fit stock shortage' - Digital Spy
  41. ^ Where on earth is the Wii Fit stock? - Den of Geek
  42. ^ Nintendo's latest game wants you off the couch from Associated Press
  43. ^ Schiesel, Seth (2008-05-25). "Resistance Is Futile". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/arts/television/25schi.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-29. 
  44. ^ Pham, Alex (2008-05-31), "Breaking a sweat just to find Wii Fit; Nintendo's careful approach makes the fitness video game tough to track down", The Los Angeles Times: C.1 
  45. ^ Kohler, Chris (2008-06-12). "May NPD: GTA IV, Wii Top Charts Again". Game|Life. Wired. http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/06/may-npd-gta-iv.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-31. 
  46. ^ Wii Fit selling for more than doube MSRP from The Industry Standard
  47. ^ NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, Enterbrain (2008-08-21). Leading Market Research Firms Join Forces to Provide First Multi-Continent View Of Video Game Software Sales. Press release. http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_080821.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-23. 
  48. ^ "Financial Results Briefing for the Six-Month Period Ended September 2008" (PDF). Nintendo. 2008-10-31. 6. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2008/081031e.pdf#page=6. Retrieved on 2008-10-31. 
  49. ^ NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, Enterbrain (2008-11-10). Third Quarter 2008 Sales Results From Top Global Video Games Software Markets Released. Press release. http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_081110a.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-14. 
  50. ^ a b "NPD: Nintendo Drives '08 Industry Sales Past $21 Billion". Game Daily. 2009-01-15. http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/news/npd-nintendo-drives-08-industry-sales-past-21-billion-/?biz=1. Retrieved on 2009-01-15. 
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