2008 is shaping up to be a very healthy year indeed for Nintendo. The company recently announced record financial results, and saw Mario Kart Wii race to the top of the charts after its recent European release. Today, Nintendo has seen its latest product, Wii Fit, not just hit the top of the UK's all-formats sales chart, but also become the sixth-fastest-selling games debut ever in the country.
Wii Fit is the latest extension of Nintendo's strategy to target the mass market, following DS games such as Brain Training (Brain Age in the US) and Sight Training (Flash Focus in the US). Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto told The Sunday Times recently that, "People say video games are a waste of time and are bad for your brain and for your health. We wanted to create something to answer that." Wii Fit, using the new, included balance-board peripheral, tracks each player's weight, and provides a multitude of activities designed to be a part of a daily exercise regime.
Despite the hype surrounding the release of Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 today, Wii Fit has racked up impressive sales in the four days since its UK release. According to UK sales body Chart-Track, Wii Fit was bought by 10 percent of Wii owners, and accounted for over half of the Wii software sold in the past week. Its UK takings of £16.3 million make it the third-largest game launch by value, behind only Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2004 and Halo 3 last year. Whether Wii Fit can hold on to the top spot in the face of GTAIV will be revealed in next week's chart.