GDC '08: Wii Fit, WiiWare hitting US in mid-May

Balance board peripheral-based game and independent development and digital distribution channel are just three months away.

SAN FRANCISCO--On the morning the Game Developers Conference has begun to shift into high gear, Nintendo has stolen some of the thunder surrounding anticipated announcements by Microsoft. The company has announced release dates for two of its most anticipated projects for its wildly successful Wii console--Wii Fit and WiiWare.

According to Japanese game giant's US arm, Nintendo of America, Wii Fit will go on sale on May 19 across North America. (It will hit the UK and Europe earlier, on April 25.) The game, which has not yet been officially priced, will have players engage in exerciselike activities--including yoga and low-impact calisthenics--via its balance board peripheral. Players can track their health and exercise progress through a new Wii Fit channel, which will launch alongside the game.

Despite some debate about exactly how much exercise the game will actually entail, Wii Fit has sold over 1.4 million units in Japan to date, much to the pleasure of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Nintendo also said that third-party publishers are already working on games which use the balance board, such as Namco Bandai's snowsports title Family Ski. In an article printing this morning, the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that the game, which is already available in Japan, is coming to the US later this year.

One week before Wii Fit sparks another retail run on the still-hard-to-find console, Nintendo will launch its eagerly anticipated WiiWare channel. The channel will offer a series of all-new games developed by both independent developers, such as Frontier's LostWinds, and major publishers, such as Square Enix's fantasy-monarch lifestyle sim Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King.

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo will be touting the development side of WiiWare during a GDC Panel devoted to the subject tomorrow. Though the WiiWare toolset has remained largely out of the public's eye, NOA is playing up how its "combination of low development barriers and unique game experiences found only on Wii should enable developers to try new ideas with lower risk in a quicker, more creative and affordable way."

GameSpot will have more updates from both the WiiWare and Wii Fit panels direct from the 2008 Game Developers Conference.

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Discussion

75 comments
mitchman_93
mitchman_93

Wow europe gets it before USA?! I guess nintendo is trying to cover something up. What is that mario kart is coming to europe in may-june and ssbb is coming in fall?! Today my life is getting better allright

FstrthnU
FstrthnU

Personally I'm still waiting for the DS Demo Channel (forgot the name) that allows you to download demos from the Wii for the DS.

zoe256
zoe256

Wow, Nintendo must be trying to make it up with Europe, for once we will actually get something EARLIER than the US!

Stabby
Stabby

This article implies that it works because it sold lots in Japan... by that logic tabacco, booze and greasy foods are good for you... right? I'll stick to the traditional Nintendo games on my Wii, because despite what is advertise, very few games actually require lots of movement. Its just the ones that do (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wariowear etc) are advertised all the time.

Lunar52
Lunar52

not gonna buy wii fit because A) my wii is in my room and my room is small because i gotta crapload of stuff. B) It looks boring C) im not into working out seeing as im a teenager

bleux7
bleux7

what about download channel O_o sure there is wiiware but the ds and wii download channel is that still for march.

monkeyd_93
monkeyd_93

".....and coming out in january next year wii drive, learn to drive safley or drive around like a pro" xD imagine if that will happen

eezzy_rider
eezzy_rider

I'm glad i dont do retail anymore, it was hard enough keeping all the darn wii accessories in order, let alone this........thing

Trashcan_Man
Trashcan_Man

"exerciselike activities" ...go out and do the real thing.

thattotally
thattotally

Wii Fit?.... This looks really stupid... I'm definitely going to get it

PacoL250
PacoL250

The WiiWare channel is supposed to be like XBLA and/or PSN's downloads, I assume?

asian_pride69
asian_pride69

Im getting it for the whole family. Wii fit should be fun as well as WiiWare Channel....hope theyre free lol

bgres077
bgres077

Are the WiiWare Channel/games going to be free?

lanmanna
lanmanna

Yay! WiiWare Channel! Snore! WiiFit!

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

OK, wait a minute... The article said there was some debate as to how much exercise would actually be in the game... and then immediately mentions that the game is already available in Japan (and has sold 1.4 million). Here's an idea GameSpot, why not check out an import copy and settle the debate? That doesn't sound too hard.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

@YunalescaFFX: I don't think people need a videogame to realize they need to be fit, it's just another piece of exercise equipment, one that is fully interactive at that. You might as well say people don't need exercise bikes or running shoes. I for one am looking forward to it.

TissueShoe
TissueShoe

YES can't wait for WiiWare couldn't care less about Fit.

HALCONAZUL
HALCONAZUL

Wii Ware you are welcome Wii fit.... my mom wants you XD o and where is the HD? we need it

zeecorner
zeecorner

I can't say what I want to say about these games bc I know that the mods will dock my level again...

couggod
couggod

External HD support PLEASE...... I would like to switch the game I'm playing without a 5 minute interruption for it to re-download because Nintendo didn't think I would need external HD support

ocdog45
ocdog45

wonder how many people will buy this

MexRoy10
MexRoy10

great now we just wait about like 2 weeks for SSBB and then 2 months later WiiFiT!

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

i can't wait for wii fit. I hate going to the gym. I like the idea of doing some workouts at home and having fun doing it.

Mystearical
Mystearical

Dun get me wrong the Wii Fit is a pretty cool idea - and I MEAN It - very original too (I know there are about XXXXXXX fitness DVDs out there but I'm talking about it in terms of a game)... but man LOLOLOLOLOLOL I can't help but laugh at those idiots who need to video game to realize they need to stay "fit"

taboo
taboo

"Have fun storing your Wiiware games to memory cards and swapping back and forth to play them because Nintendo won't produce a HD." Um, all right, that's not really a big deal as much as people make it out to be.

Elbowsmash
Elbowsmash

Have fun storing your Wiiware games to memory cards and swapping back and forth to play them because Nintendo won't produce a HD.

scotty74
scotty74

Looks like I'll finally find use for some of the SD cards I have lying around.

LivingDeadNinja
LivingDeadNinja

WiiFit is lame to me. But i can't wait to see what happens with WiiWare.

towelie892
towelie892

@Everybody concerned about memory space Yes, the Wii has pathetic memory, but if it can hold several N64 games as well as quite a few NES or SNES games, I think we have enough space.

Simpsonsfan2
Simpsonsfan2

PENGUINKK: 2-D mario's and Zelda games would be awesome! Imagine N64DD games were released over WiiWare or the VC...

PENGUINKK
PENGUINKK

Yes! Wiiware is going to be amazing. I just read the preview for LostWinds, and it looks great. I think it would be an excellent idea if the developers creating WiiWare games would start to move back into the 2D realm. Yeah, it seems like a step backwards, but 2D games are still cool. Imagine new 2D Marios, Zeldas, and Metroids, or even 2/3D games. This is great news, but I'm still waiting for the Everyone's Nintendo Channel to get a US release date.

ghost867
ghost867

I don't really think it's fair to compare XNA to WiiWare. XNA is being used not only to get real talent into deals with Microsoft to be put on XBLA, but they're also being used to guys to get their games out there and get themselves exposed to the mainstream. If the Community Games channel works out the way it should (not so sure it will) then people will be able to download free XNA games from Marketplace. WiiWare on the other hand, is a closed development kit, that Nintendo is giving to developers so they can make small games that can be sold on the WiiWare channel through the Wii. I highly doubt Nintendo will do ANYTHING user created. So this is strictly them just coming very late to the party against stuff like the PS Store's downloadable games and Marketplace's XBLA games. Could it be good? Maybe, we'll see. Though I'm not too sure with some of the obstacles they have to overcome. They need to come out with a USB hard drive of some sort, or at least let us use flash cards to store games on. At a certain point, you just run out of room and you need some other form of storage. As far as Wii Fit is concerned, if I want to gain muscle or get more fit, I'll go to a gym. I'm a skinny guy, so I don't need to loose weight, but if I did, I wouldn't trust a low impact game to do that for me, I find that kinda lazy. And by saying that it'll help you loose weight or be fit, they can really under deliver on the actual game aspects. Hopefully this wont be over priced, but knowing Nintendo, I have a bad feeling it will be....

Willy105
Willy105

Took long enough! And UK gets the game first.

funky_muzic
funky_muzic

I can't wait to pick up Wii Fit. Another great Nintendo innovation! While I think the "Fit" part of the game is a nice side effect, I'm really looking forward to how you actually play the games. I probably won't do the yoga part of the game, but the skiing and snow boarding mini games look cool. That screen shot of the boxing mini-game looks interesting too.

merch
merch

wii is getting alot wiifit/brawl/mariokart/wiiware/downloadchannel :D

muffinduck01
muffinduck01

to yoshi_64 its possible that the wiiware games are not gonna be totally internal they may infact stream stright from the net as it is needed does anybody know if this is NOT true becouse i think that may be the way nintendo does it

elozl
elozl

Great!! i cant way to see new developers working on games for the wii board!!

pro_gamer12345
pro_gamer12345

Man WII Fit sounds so good. I'm hoping I could pick one up in May.

ninjavelmor
ninjavelmor

to yoshi_64 it does seem like smash and mario kart are going to take up alot of space, but most of that stuff can be saved to a SD card.

AirDog80
AirDog80 moderator

I tested this out at work mostly playing standing and balance type games. I thought it was fun and after say a half hour felt a slight soreness in my quads and calves. You do a lot of leaning sort of similar to what you do on a snowboard but way toned down. The Wii Fit, from what I've seen so far, is more of a stretching yoga game; I have yet to see cardio application. Basically if your heart rate isn't above 120 beats per minute playing on your Wii then go for a run or bike, seriously.

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

both of these will be in my collection come Mid-May as i have been looking forward to these since they were first announced

yoshi_64
yoshi_64

I would like Wii Fit... mainly for the board and for hopes that EA makes Fight Night for it. WiiWare still has me concerned... Memory limits are the biggest... and quite frankly... We have no answer to that and games like Brawl and Mario Kart which sound like they'll hog up tons of data for save files like levels, ghosts, etc.

ralphikari
ralphikari

Guru Meditation #8400000E.48454C50

Kaystall
Kaystall

I'm excited for WiiWare...Wii Fit, ummm...not so much.

Zacek
Zacek

Nintendo is keeping the momentum very good, I should congratulate them...