Wii Fit Plus, new Mario hitting Japan in '09 - Report

E3 2009: Nikkei.net's English service says new version of fitness-game phenomenon will ship in fall across Pacific; Japanese version hints at new Mario game during second half of year.

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No word on whether Wii Fit Plus will have a new balance board.
No word on whether Wii Fit Plus will have a new balance board.

Nintendo's E3 Press Conference isn't until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2. However, like its rival Sony, the game giant appears to have had some of its surprises spoiled by the many-tentacled beast of the 24-hour Internet news cycle.

This morning, the respected subscription Japanese news service Nikkei.net issued two reports about Wii Fit Plus. As had been widely rumored, the game will reportedly be a new version of Nintendo's wildly popular fitness title, which ships with the Wii Balance Board peripheral.

According to Nikkei's English-language edition, Wii Fit Plus will arrive this fall in Japan, where Wii Fit went on sale five months ahead of its North American launch. The service reports that the game "will enable users to compete with each other over the Internet. It will also offer gentle exercises for the elderly, and will respond to player inputs more precisely than the current version." No mention is made of an exact date, price, or whether the reference to more precise sensors means that it will come with an improved balance board.

It's probably too soon to hope for Super Mario Galaxy 2.
It's probably too soon to hope for Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Meanwhile, Nikkei's Japanese language service also has an article touting Wii Fit Plus. However, it makes mention of a "new" Mario game arriving in Japan by the end of the year. No details were included about which of the numerous Mario franchises the game belongs to, or when exactly it might arrive. However, the subsequent sentence says that Nintendo is hoping to "bolster" the Wii--sales of which are flatlining in Japan--which hints that the Mario game would be for the console, and not the DS or DSi handheld.

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