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E307: Get body conscious like the Cho Aniki dudes with Wii Fit


Or maybe not. We're not insinuating anything here, because we love you no matter what. You know what else we love? That's right: Wii Fit.

While it's funny to quip that this is a perfect game for moms across America, we recommend that everyone take a closer look at the versatility of Wii Fit. How many of you own a treadmill or other exercise machine? Those things take up space. Maybe you'd like to own something like that, but you live in an apartment, like many Americans, particularly those under thirty who maybe haven't bought a house yet. Then space becomes a real issue, as this blogger well knows from years of apartment-living. But with Wii Fit and the balance board peripheral, suddenly working out with gear can take a lot less space -- and you get the added benefit of monitored results, which we always thought was an excellent feature.

Working out
with the Wii has already become a popular hobby for many gamers -- the addition of this software just makes it that much easier. Maybe some gamers would have liked to have seen less focus on the title during Nintendo's keynote, but this kind of thing is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of Nintendo's winning strategy, and we all better get used to it. The Wii is to Americans what the DS is to the Japanese, it seems; it's an all-in-one device that can fit anyone's needs, and Wii Fit is a strong part of that.


After all, as gamers age, it's easier for them to handle the Wii than the DS. We've heard that very notion from our own mother unit, who loves the idea of the DS, but prefers the freedom of gaming without squinting at a tiny screen. For many who are just getting into gaming -- or who are returning after a long hiatus -- it's a lot easier, and more familiar, to pick up a remote than it is to get into the idea of a handheld gaming system. The DS is still a gaming system, rather than an extension of the television (like a DVD player), and the concept can be a lot for a nongamer to wrap their nongaming minds around at times, unless, perhaps, they've been using a palm PC of some sort. But the Wii, as the mainstream media continues to crow, is easy for just about anyone -- which makes Wii Fit a frankly brilliant idea, and the execution is beautiful as well. So while in Japan, where everyone (and maybe their pets) owns a DS, and "games" like the yoga, gardening, and walking trainers will probably outsell any other random actual game, in America, the Wii will take on that role, and Wii Fit is versatile enough to handle a lot of different things.

So just what does Wii Fit do? Better to ask what it doesn't do. The title is set to include more than forty different activities, from aerobics to yoga poses to muscle conditioning, and it will even measure your BMI. Plus, as can be seen in the trailer, there are a number of other fun minigames -- yes, we know, minigames on the Wii! -- that also serve to improve balance and coordination. That's crafty right there ... hiding conditioning inside a fun activity. Of course, there's also a Fitness Age, which was to be expected, since we know our Wii Sports Age and our Brain Age already.

Frankly, we welcome our new fitness-monitoring overlords, and we're celebrating them with all this hot new media. But here's the bad news: according to Game|Life's Chris Kohler, we can't expect Wii Fit to hit American shelves until next year. The title will release in Japan this year, but they are still evaluating the proper price point for Americans. It will cost more than $50 with the board bundled, which doesn't really surprise us, but we're very curious as to how much more. Still, considering the cost of a heavy bag, a treadmill, or an elliptical machine -- or, hey, Guitar Hero III -- we won't grumble much so long as the price is reasonable.

For those of you who think this is tiresome, or just more of the same minigames, we implore you to try to watch the trailer with an open mind. Yes, it's more of Nintendo's Perfect Families in Action -- with the Wii, they certainly love the idea of the whole family crowding around the console -- so don't expect anything else. But really look at the possibilities when it comes to space-saving, money-saving, and health benefits, as well as fun factor, and we think that some of you naysayers just may change your minds.

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