E3 '07: Wii Fit Hands-On Preview

We check our BMIs and play hula hoop in our first hands-on with Nintendo's newly announced fitness title.

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This morning Wii Fit was announced at Nintendo's E3 press conference, and Shigeru Miyamoto surprisingly took the stage to show off the project. Nintendo showed videos and live demonstrations of the game in action, as well as demonstrating how the game could calculate the body mass index (BMI) of Nintendo US president Reggie Fils-Aime. Luckily, we were scheduled in for some time at the Nintendo booth shortly after the conference for some hands-on time with most of its upcoming portfolio, and Wii Fit was first on the agenda.

As we saw with the Reggie, you can't play Wii Fit without first letting the game calculate your BMI. This figure is apparently a realistic indication of fitness based on height, weight, and age. Once the game has this information, it can set goals to help you lose or gain weight and reach your optimum BMI level. After entering the relevant details, the game takes about 20 seconds to work everything out, and it then modifies your Mii character's appearance to fit. As it turned out, our body posture was bent slightly backwards and our BMI was in the red area, so our little Mii arched his back and grew a little belly accordingly. And as with Nintendo's own Brain Age series, your body is given a "real" age based on its BMI rating. It looked like we had some work to do, given the seven-year difference between our real age and our Wii Fit age.

Click to enlarge!

Still lamenting our lack of fitness, we jumped into the first game, hoop twirl. In the game, you need to rotate your hips to keep a virtual hula hoop going, while two other Miis will stand on the sidelines and occasionally toss hoops toward you. When this happens, you have to stop twirling and point your arms out in the right direction to catch the hoop, then continue rotating again. It's pretty undemanding stuff, but it's a good introduction to the game. The second game is called ski jumping, in which you must re-create the daring actions of many famous sports stars, only in a much safer environment. As you hurtle down the ramp, the idea is to bend your body down and forward to pick up speed, while an onscreen guide shows you your optimum position. At the end of the ramp, you have to jump up slightly to gain height, then bend back down to ensure an optimum landing.

It's easy to see that Nintendo's peripheral essentially just monitors your balance, but Nintendo's game designers look like they've managed to come up with many different ways to exploit it. The third game we played was very different--a marble madness-style puzzle game in which you shift your balance to tilt a maze and try to get balls through holes in the floor. Each ball you sink adds time to the clock, but each puzzle increases in difficulty, and before long you'll be juggling many different balls over some very tricky mazes. Lastly, we played the same soccer-heading game that had been shown earlier in the day at Nintendo's E3 press conference. Shifting your balance to head the flying balls is actually very tricky, and the devious artificial intelligence players soon begin to kick cleats toward your head, which you obviously need to avoid.

As well as "games," the early demo build of Wii Fit includes some yoga and balance exercises. On the yoga side, you need to adopt poses such as the half moon pose, the tree pose, the single-leg stretch, and the sideways twist. The idea is to adopt the postures for as long as possible, stretching more and more as you progress. When you're finished, you can see how well you stayed within the optimum zones with a line diagram that shows how much you shook and stayed within the parameters. On the balance front, there are two-legged and one-legged exercises, as well as an overall body test; but our limited time in the Nintendo booth prevented us from checking these out.

At this point, Wii Fit is already looking polished, and like most Nintendo products, it's very easy to pick up and play. If Nintendo can make a product that's fun but also offers some real-world fitness benefits, then it will surely be on to a winner. The game is set for release in Japan during Q4 2007, while it will make it to the US sometime in Q1/Q2 2008.

Discussion

154 comments
JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

Oh man...I am all for anything that gets lazy sedentary people off their fat asses and I am sure this is useful and fun but come ON. Put down the Doritos. Go outside and get some exercise. The sun's out. Birds are singing. Get some air for God's sake end enjoy the environment while there still IS one. LOL

violet_yoshi
violet_yoshi

The marble game sounds great, for people who naturally tilt when they want the ball to go in a certain direction, in games like bowling. You know like when you're thinking "right right" then you realize, you've tilted right.

e_boulanger
e_boulanger

Looks like "Yourself Fitness!" on the Wii. Let's hope it's going to do better in term of sales than YF!.

kcweezkid
kcweezkid

Very interesting idea and concept. i will definitely be checking it out with hopes of actually getting something more than entertainment out of this game.

booling
booling

The board should support somewhere around 300 lbs I believe.

chainz94
chainz94

How come a dude is doing push-ups,and there's a chick on the screen... LOL

Rockmonix
Rockmonix

I'd like to know how much weight that balance pad can support.

Katosepe321
Katosepe321

I agree with Kagimus, i think this is a really good thing Nintendo's got here. America has the worst obesity problem in the world (correct me on that if i'm wrong. I'm absolutely positive it's really high up there) and this could really help out. Gamers have a really high risk level for obesity and what better way to help fix this than make a video game out of exercise! Great job nintendo! Keep up the good work and hope this game turns out to be a hit!

KagimusMaximus
KagimusMaximus

I'm honestly really intrigued by this. Not only is WiiFit itself a brilliant program that'll increase balance/flexibilty, and track your progress towards healthiness, this could work wonders for games like SSX and Tony Hawk. Imagine having a character in an RPG that you have to use the WiiFit board to improve your character's attributes. There really is some interesting stuff Nintendo could do with this. It's even health beneficial at the same time. I'll have to drink my beer while I play something else.

Fang_lord
Fang_lord

this could totally work with a Star Wars styled dueling First Person game...you use the wii mote as your saber/sword of some descrition, and you can acuratly move your body as you swing...i dont no about u, but i think this could work...if it doesnt...well i blame the government(like every1 else)

Raeldor
Raeldor

Wish I had as much space in my living room as that dude doing the push-ups! :D

toolazyk
toolazyk

By the way, this would blend in perfectly with a surfing game or something.

toolazyk
toolazyk

This is the future. Not losing weight with video games or anything, but using your entire body to play a game. For years, gamers have been twisting their controllers in desperate situations, standing, and getting closer to the TV. The Wiimote was the first step. Wii Fit is the second.

RickWarrior
RickWarrior

Schitzonix congratulations. You must really be a gamer. There is much merit to that title, one in which all people of the world praise. I wish I was a gamer so I could seduce my girlfriends with your gaming skills.

cheddar101
cheddar101

nintendo wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii my mom would love this game i be awesome if other gamees could use the balance board

Dr_Notes
Dr_Notes

i have nintendo disease. i want everything they make.

mergirox
mergirox

Japan should mainly export this periphal to America :) Guys keep in mind that WiiFit isnt only to keep in fit, think of the posibilities that it has thanks to its detectors that can sense weight shifting. Theres probably gonna be an SSX game that entirely uses this to carve, jump and balancing while grinding. Lot of possibilities all we gotta do is wait and see...

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

i might be drunk right now but shut up schitz, commenting on if people are real gamers or not. if someone likes a game who gives a **** questioning iq is just ignorant of yourself. just shut up dude, seriously who cares.

schitzonix
schitzonix

"It looks very promising to most non-gamers." ... Sure... Like to the same retards who buy producs which tagline goes something like "lose weight while doing next to nothing!". As someone said before "Nintendo understands its new audience". Sure thing they do!, and that audience has a very low IQ and CLEARLY are NOT gamers.

Chameleon93
Chameleon93

Fairly interesting at best, we'll see how it does. You should have seen my older brothers face when he saw this, I wish I recorded it.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

As an aging (and widening) gamer, this is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I don't know if this is an "easier" way of losing weight as some have said, but having something that is interactive and tracks your progress is a great benefit to people like me who would rather not go to a gym.

savovic
savovic

Weight loss related products sell, why? because many fat/obese/overweight people are willing to try things that seem to provide weight loss with minimal effort. What would be better than playing a game at home and loose weight at the same time? I think it is still too early to tell if this will succeed here where many other products have not. As to gaming, who know, remember the donkey kong drums? how many 3rd party games where there for it. Again too early to tell in that respect. And unless this controller complements the wii controller in at least some games, it would play identical on any other system.

wallen5
wallen5

I actually had this idea. What they need is a skin or even a whole new Wiimote that's weighted. And some better games.

GaussGoat
GaussGoat

I think this is a great product, and Nintendo clearly understands the unique audience and opportunity the Wii is providing for them. I would definitely buy this for my home.

tommyxx516
tommyxx516

The US product will probably go through a weight testing stage to handle the obese. I don't know how much replay value the games will have though. How long do you think you can virtua hula hoop?

earth79
earth79

"current gamers wouldn't buy it" are you kidding me? i'm a hardcore gamer and everything but this game has got me real excited. it looks fun and it'll get me back into the shape i was a couple years ago. (i stopped taking judo and well, just got lazy...175 pounds is a bit much for a 15 year old if you ask me.) heck i think any gamer that's out of shape will buy it just to get in shape and not have to worry about going to a gym and feeling embarresed cuz everyone else is lifting way bigger weights than you.

ookami-gamer
ookami-gamer

it looks like another innovative way to use the wii's technology and could actually do well. there are many fitness nuts out there that could buy it. the wii focuses on getting more non-gamers interested in games and this would definately help do that. all in all though, the current gamers wouldnt buy it. GL nintendo.

assman137
assman137

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Nerdysimmer
Nerdysimmer

It looks very promising to most non-gamers.

zeo_the_cat_boy
zeo_the_cat_boy

which editor was it that said, bizzarr plastic molds......... it fits the description nicely....v_v maybe this is happening cause its Japanese people who making this thing

zeo_the_cat_boy
zeo_the_cat_boy

this is so damn stupid i cant even imagine what they were thinking, who the f*ck whats to exersize playing this game, and i myself am over weight and know it, i don't need some game to tell me the im f*ckin fat!, this game should be called"lower your gad DAMN self esteem " comes with a pistol and bullet to blow your brains out with, come on Nintendo, i didn't spend all that time on brain age to lower my iq again. get with the game Nintendo, i don't want a family game i need, some hard core games so i can brag to my friend how much better they are then halo 3, or rainbow six. and stop with the friend code crap......... very few worthy Nintendo games

Blackhawk45
Blackhawk45

I think its a great idea in terms of some workout mixed in with some gaming. I work at a gym myself and one of the biggest work out stoppers is motivation, Although dis will never substitute a complete work out its a great start for people that lack complete motivation to do anything. And i deff dissagree woth Tricky because ''Normal'' exercises is something most of America isnt doing so getting a start somewere is never a ''Dumb idea''

Tricky
Tricky

Another stupid gimmick from Nintendo... Oh and rather than spending your time setting up your Wii to do some exercises, why not just do some "normal" exercises without the use of a piece of plastic that not only needs a console to work but a TV too. Dumb idea.

m4573r_n1nj4
m4573r_n1nj4

This looks like a really good idea. If it turns out well I'll pick it up. I think this is a great way to occupy yourself. Face it at least it's beneficial.

ktseymour
ktseymour

Looks like fun in some respects, but to me this seems like a cheap shot over the bow of the multi-million dollar crappersize industry . This ranks up there with Dr. Mario and Harry potter Ecstasy and within a week this will be under the bed with the Thigh master. Nice try Nintendo, but I really don't think we need video games to help us get in shape, talk about an oxymoron.

fissionmetroid
fissionmetroid

I don't need it, but it sounds like a good idea for fatass gamers.

Fourpointo
Fourpointo

This game will probably be tossed aside by most core gamers, but will probably sell very well by people looking for a new way to lose weight. Can't you just see this game fit perfectly in gyms, aerobics classes, fitness clubs, etc.? This game will sneak its way into the entire weight loss community.

msudude211
msudude211

This is a good idea. Fortunately, I don't need it.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I wonder if any of the following issues have been addressed: 1. How much weight can the pad withstand? 2. How much abuse can it take when you're supposed to jump on it? 3. How long will the batteries last? This is why wireless tends to suck! 4. What can this really do that Kinetic and Yourself Fitness haven't already done better?

Superion74
Superion74

Wow, an exercise game that is fun to play? Wii Fit board looks like an ingenious design and the games look a joy to play, and who doesn't want to lose a few pounds? Looks like a good addition to my Wii library.

zell1
zell1

wow now we willl have a bunch of buff kids runing around saying i wanna play the wii mom

Yit810
Yit810

Eh, this could be fun, but the trailers, they've GOT to stop. No one looks that excited playing a wii. Ever.

Grouchy_Dude
Grouchy_Dude

Hey, this is a great idea! I hope the cardio portion gets ramped up because from the videos, it looks like the exercises are geared toward the elderly at the local old folks home.

Stoufzilla
Stoufzilla

I went off Nintendo with the gamecube (I always prefered the PS2) but now I've bought a DS and Wii I'm really loving the interactivity and just generally all the ideas these guys come up with, really looking forward to this and the Mario Kart game, I think the first part of next year's going to be a very interesting time, I'm keen to bet these types of games (if you agree with that term) are going to get some great sales, nintendo never ceases to amaze me :)

Williedude87
Williedude87

BMI is retarded. But other the that, it looks neat.