Miyamoto uncertain of Wii Fit's US fate

Mario creator says differences in culture, family lifestyle make success tough to predict; suggests incorporating DS compatibility in future balance board games.

With Wii Fit set to arrive in the US May 19, Nintendo is bringing out the big guns for its public relations and marketing blitz. Yesterday the company held a media roundtable in New York to give the press an introduction to the physical fitness game, courtesy of Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

Miyamoto shows how it's done.

One of CNET's Crave bloggers was in attendance to watch the Nintendo figurehead do some yoga stretches and field questions. In addition to discussing where he got the idea for the game, Miyamoto talked about Wii Fit's success in Japan, where it has already sold more than 2 million units. When asked what he expected the American response to the game would be, Miyamoto admitted it was tough to predict due to cultural differences.

According to the blog, "Miyamoto noted that on average, American families are apart more often than those in Japan. A lot of families have parents who have separated or divorced, so it's tougher to predict the role family will play in the American response to Wii Fit."

Miyamoto also teased the group with the possibility of Wii Fit interacting with the DS. The designer said he had "flirted" with the idea of having the game work in some fashion with the handheld, and he left the door open for connectivity down the line--raising the prospect of a DS calorie counter or fitness tracker.

As for what the developer would like to work on next, Miyamoto said he's looking forward to working on the Wii some more. He also reiterated his desire to make another entry in the Pikmin series of action strategy games.

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114 comments
yoh126
yoh126

I picked up wii fit and loved it!

yoh126
yoh126

Pikmin Wii not DS.... ahh throwing your pikmin with your own fist. LOL

bannermanner
bannermanner

This is Nintendo's "killer app" of the year? At least I know I'm not getting it, it's not offering false promises like the Wii did (and I unfortunately bought into it.) Flame away.

Dualmask
Dualmask

I really don't think it's going to do as well in America as it has in Japan. It's pricey (especially given our shaky economy), and when something is pricey, a potential buyer needs to know that the investment is going to be worthwhile for some reason. I'm not entirely sure that's the case here, but I could be wrong. I need to read some reviews of the balance board before I make a decision.

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

I really want one, but I don't know if I will use it enough to justify the price. Why can't it be $70?

muscled_arbiter
muscled_arbiter

Why does Miyamoto look like a baked potato to me? I must be hungry.

PS_Family
PS_Family

@niket527 I heard Nintendo is using titanium for the U.S. Wiifit board.

-Squirrel-
-Squirrel-

When I go to pick up my copy of Mario Kart Wii I'm putting my reserve down for Wii Fit. The game looks cool, but the balance board looks amazing. Maybe with the help of the balance board I might actually want to buy another Tony Hawk game, or even a snowboarding or surfing title. I think once the balance board gets out there with third party support, it will have a bigger influence than the Wiimote did.

PS_Family
PS_Family

I hope it fails miserably. Play DDR instead or better yet: go outside and make some exercise.

niket527
niket527

the people here are too fat and will break the wii fit board as soon as they step on it, rendering it useless, and the fat will get fatter

Trashcan_Man
Trashcan_Man

It'll do all right...at least a whole helluva lot better than that Capcom game with the giant controller*. * [EDIT: Steel Battalion]

Slaughtahouse
Slaughtahouse

wii fit is going to do great here in north america , i think that the game it self is so-so but the balance board gives many oppturnities to 3rd party developers ... wait oh no 3rd party developers are going to make mini game games using this board, wow straight down hill from there. But what i want to see most is a new pikmin game!! There going to announce a new game from a main stream franchise at E3 this year said reggie , hopefully its pikmin or f-zero or mamby star fox?

Ernieboii
Ernieboii

YEA! MORE PIKMAN!!! (Even though I've ne ver played one, but it looks cool! ;))

destrozz
destrozz

I would get one but it dosent support a 6' 5" 370 pound man :)

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I'm a surroundtyper. (5.1) not a stereotyper (2.0) ;)

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

I'm sure it'll do just fine. I would love another Pikmin.

KingSigy
KingSigy

PIKMIN!!!!! Please bring it back!!!!!

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

people who can't read look retarded too. I'm sure he can play DDR like I said.. he's the in the 2% of non asian people who play ddr in the arcades (ok, just to be fair.. 10%). The wii fit has almost sold 2 million over there.. it'll be lucky to see a million in sales in it's lifetime here in the states. First week sales here will probably be about 10k.. whereas it was 250k in japan. But hey... maybe sterotyping is wrong and my assumption is wrong and the wii fit is going to sell more over here than in japan, and it's going to sell more than 100k units in the first week.

Harerazer
Harerazer

That's funny cause my son (half Puerto Rican/half Black) has no known Asian in him and he plays DDR using both pads. Stereotypes only make the stereotypers look stupid. Or is that a stereotype also?

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

works in asia.. won't work here. Same reason why you see only asian kids playing DDR in the arcades.. and maybe that 1 or 2 american kids.. those will be the ones who 'might' buy wii fit

mark_unix
mark_unix

as many of nintendo's products it's going to bomb. and in 10 years going to be on the list of things like the Powerglove.

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

Yes Pikmin Please. If he makes another Pikmin I will have to buy a Wii.

Santhin
Santhin

I'm getting one. I have no idea why I'm getting one, it may just collect dust in my closet, but I'm getting one. Why does a super scale interest me so? The world may never know.

zoe256
zoe256

He's obviously seen how many burgers Reggie chomps down, and had second thoughts...

thestickman
thestickman

I think it'll do pretty good. Most families that have had the opportunity to pick up a Wii have taken a great liking to it, and I'm sure they'll pick up WiiFit as soon as they have knowledge of its existence. I guess we'll see for sure in about a month...

xblane
xblane

hmm, well, I've pre-ordered my copy.. I think there is real potential in the balance board idea beyond WiiFit.

hazuki
hazuki

Make wii fit 60$, and I'll consider it. But paying that, for whats essentially a balance scale, some mini-games, and a few pre-set exercies isn't worth the price. 70$'s pushing it, but I'd be willing to pay it. 90$? I'd rather that go on a full on game.

1357900
1357900

I don't think I'll be buying this, as per it's pricetag. However, I do think this will be a good thing for people who can't get outside, due to medical problems, & such. I'm related to, & know people who, have breathing problems, & allergies. They have to be a little more, than slightly careful, when choosing to go out, or not. If the pollen doesn't aggravate their allergies, the cold air will aggravate their asthma. I was originally pondering, but only slightly, of getting it. then came the price tag. So, no for me, thanks. But that's just me. That doesn't mean it's not a good thing, because it is a good thing.

bardkieran
bardkieran

I was talking about WiiFit to two coworkers, and they were extrememly interested in it, and one of them said "Id get a Wii for that for sure!" ..Makes me wonder if Wii Fit is actually going to raise Wii sales higher. Could prove interesting to see the impact of Wii Fit.

jerseynut2004
jerseynut2004

Another Pikmin sequel would be a dream come true!!!! It's one of the best series of all time in my opinion!

ranman1990
ranman1990

im interested in wii fit but im not %100 on it. It is better then sitting on the couch and playing a game. I mean what other game tells u to do push ups.And it will deffinatly spark more video game ideas with the balance board.

nate1222
nate1222

As a gamer, I actually appreciate what Nintendo is doing with the Wii. NO I'M NOT A FAN BOY! I still play my PS2 and PC games -- and I love'em! I still rock out on Oblivion (PC), Quake 3 (PC and PS2) and UT2004 (PC). But I'm 32 years old. And after almost 22 years of gaming, I acknowledge that current-gen gaming is in a high-tech rutt! I think that Nintendo realizes this, too. They're a "gaming" company. That means if there are cliche's, stereotypes and redundance in this medium -- they're bound to notice and grow weary sooner than most. This probably explains their strategy with the Wii, Wii Fit, downloadable Old School stuff, etc... The lack of (or half-assed) BC, price, dev costs, mega-publishers promoting clones and failing to sign or market variety, everything is "kill something"...this is going to destroy gaming. Nintendo is trying NOT to play into this. Don't get me wrong: my relationship with Nintendo wavered severely during N64 and a good deal of the GC era. They've only recently gotten on my good side. But I acknowledge their effort and I applaud it. Gaming needs balance. For every Halo there needs to be a Mario Kart. For every CoD4 there needs to be a Sims. I enjoy "blood and gutts" as much as anyone else. But I also need a break from it once in a while.

nate1222
nate1222

@Baruch_S Of course Wii Fit doesn't have the same audience as GH3 nor Halo. But there are STILL people who'd like Wii Fit that'll hang out together and play it. Some of them are families. Some are soccer moms. Some are "boomers" who like quircky party games. Yes, Wii Fit has a potentially LARGE audience. I'm NOT in it, but I acknowledge that there are more minds in this world than my own. How about you? Do you acknowledge minds OTHER THAN your own?

Gravidtron
Gravidtron

"Mustard on a hamburger", Swordsman_Stram? It's not that I don't agree with you, but if they naturally don't go together, then why do I always have to ask for plain hamburgers lest they be covered in yellow offal? SOMEBODY must be liking it!

robinnwa
robinnwa

Odds are the boys will not buy this, but I have pre-ordered mine, and I bet many a gal will do the same. My sister is not a gamer, saw the fun of Wii Sport and just had to have it. I am sure she will buy this too. She surprised me by buying Metroid, and only after owning the Wii two months and she is older than me!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I predict that it will be just as successful accross the rest of the world as in Japan. My resons for this are: that it is being hugely advertised and hugely advertised games have shown to be great sellers. Also it appeals to the side of normal people which really want to be fit but can never find the motivation to have a heavy workout from a DVD, go to the gym or go runnning.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@onequarter - Do you even know what you are talking about? It is the non-gamer type games that are the biggest sellers on the Wii and also the DS. If Nintendo concentrated solely on gamers, the same gamers that adandoned them for Sony and Microsoft, then they would be bankrupt by now. It is non-gamers that have given them the success they now have.

TheLordMagnus
TheLordMagnus

Wii Fit is a massive success in Japan. It might not do as well in the U.S., but if the media markets hype it like they do the Wii, it should do relatively well.

onequarter
onequarter

Look, we don't need non-games. It's not those that make an impact on the wii, but games like twlight princess, super smash brothers, and even party games like rayman raving rabbids. People buy wii not because they want to have a ton of peripherals that work with interactive exercise videos, but because they want to see nintendo make real games that use the strengths that the wii has. Sony tried similar with the eye toy already, and it was a flop.

Dudeman480
Dudeman480

PIKMIN 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!! IT'S TRUE!!!!

Vash67
Vash67

I don't think Wii Fit will hit it big in the US. I'm not saying it will bomb completely but don't expect Nintendo or anyone else to be talking about it after 5 months. It'll turn into yet another support-less peripherial Nintendo has given us over the years.

EnozmeH
EnozmeH

i feel tat this game is going to do great here in the US. People love to try new things, and all Wii owners are set to experiment with the new board. Gaming experience and a form of exercise seems like a shoe-in :)

majidok
majidok

1 . I think it will probably sell really well , definitely more than 1 million and most probably much much more and it will begin a new age of these types of games by third party developers/publishers and maybe even nintendo . 2 . Its good thats hes not retiring anytime soon . 3 . Scores are already coming up on www.gamerankings.com and www.metacritic.com with an average of 80/100 . 4 . Why was that photo so low-res ?

Icehearted
Icehearted

This got me thinking about those NES fitness games they came out with way back. There was a running one and one that could be fixed to a stationary bike. How well did those do? I don't remember, but I remember seeing quite a few news stories about them.

tastycasey27
tastycasey27

condemned100, thats a bit silly saying what you said as your not just paying for the game you also paying for the balance board, what you are saying is there are no games on the 360 that cost that much but there is, what about rock band and guitar hero, they are expensive cos of the stuff that comes with the game, all that stuff isnt free.

kamicolo
kamicolo

I don't see the game making many sales stateside...

Yea, Americans are lazy... It's cool to put Fitness together with Gaming, but ppl don't really exercise. Folks always say, "Yea, I need to lose a couple pounds." "I need to go to the gym" We know what we "need to do" yet we're not doing anything about it. Look at studies such as "Super Size Me" (yea, it was a movie, but still it was a study). Folks want to eat and do whatever they want (this is the idea of autonomy) and then they blame someone else.