Wii Fit

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Wii Fit
Wii Fit PAL boxart.JPG
Wii Fit European box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 5
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Hiroshi Matsunaga
Producer(s) Tadashi Sugiyama
Composer(s) Toru Minegishi
Manaka Tominaga
Shiho Fujii
Series Wii
Platform(s) Wii
Release
  • JP: December 1, 2007 [1]
Genre(s) Exergaming

Wii Fit(Wiiフィット,Wī Fitto) is an exergaming video game designed by Nintendo's Hiroshi Matsunaga [4] for the Wii home video game console. [5] It is an exercise game with several activities using the Wii Balance Board peripheral. As of March 2012Wii Fit was the third best selling console game not packaged with a console, with 22.67 million copies sold. [6]

Fitness game, exergaming or exer-gaming, or gamercising is a term used for video games that are also a form of exercise. Exergaming relies on technology that tracks body movement or reaction. The genre has been credited with upending the stereotype of gaming as a sedentary activity, and promoting an active lifestyle. Exergames are seen as evolving from technology changes aimed at making video games more fun.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Contents

The game uses a unique platform peripheral called the Wii Balance Board, on which the player stands during exercise. The Board is not a rocking balance board but a device that tracks the user's center of balance. The game features yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. Matsunaga described the game as a "way to help get families exercising together". [7] Wii Fit has been used for physiotherapy rehabilitation [8] [9] and has been adopted by various health clubs around the world. It has been used in nursing homes to improve posture in the elderly. The game has received generally positive reviews, despite criticism over the lack of intensity in some of its workout activities. [10]

Balance board

A balance board is a device used as a circus skill, for recreation, balance training, athletic training, brain development, therapy, musical training and other kinds of personal development.

Yoga physical and meditative spiritual practices from ancient India typically practiced on a yoga mat

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term "yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga, consisting largely of the postures called asanas.

Strength training type of physical exercise

Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

Gameplay

Wii Fit requires the use of the Wii Balance Board, [11] a unique platform peripheral that the player stands upon during play.The Wii Balance Board can detect and track the user's center of balance (COB),a feature heavily utilized in the game; it will also measure weight in the same way as a bathroom scale. Wii Fit contains more than 40 activities designed to engage the player in physical exercise, which consist of yoga poses, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. [12] Most activities generally focus on maintaining COB and improving posture. Players register and play in Wii Fit via a user profile, assigned with the player's date of birth, height, and Mii character, that keeps track of the player's progress. Physical activities done outside of Wii Fit can also be logged into the profile. Wii Fit allows up to eight different profiles to be registered.

Center of mass unique point where the weighted relative position of the distributed mass sums to zero

In physics, the center of mass of a distribution of mass in space is the unique point where the weighted relative position of the distributed mass sums to zero. This is the point to which a force may be applied to cause a linear acceleration without an angular acceleration. Calculations in mechanics are often simplified when formulated with respect to the center of mass. It is a hypothetical point where entire mass of an object may be assumed to be concentrated to visualise its motion. In other words, the center of mass is the particle equivalent of a given object for application of Newton's laws of motion.

Asana Postures in hatha yoga and modern yoga practice

An asana is a body posture, originally a sitting pose for meditation, and later in hatha yoga and modern yoga, adding reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses to the meditation seats. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define "asana" as "[a position that] is steady and comfortable". Patanjali mentions the ability to sit for extended periods as one of the eight limbs of his system. Asanas are also called yoga poses or yoga postures in English.

Aerobics form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines

Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines with the goal of improving all elements of fitness. It is usually performed to music and may be practiced in a group setting led by an instructor, although it can be done solo and without musical accompaniment. With the goal of preventing illness and promoting physical fitness, practitioners perform various routines comprising a number of different dance-like exercises. Formal aerobics classes are divided into different levels of intensity and complexity. A well-balanced aerobics class will have five components: warm-up, cardio vascular conditioning, muscular strength and conditioning, cool-down and stretching and flexibility. Aerobics classes may allow participants to select their level of participation according to their fitness level. Many gyms offer a variety of aerobic classes. Each class is designed for a certain level of experience and taught by a certified instructor with a specialty area related to their particular class.

Activities

The Wii Balance Board, which is bundled with Wii Fit, measures both a person's weight and center of balance. Wii Balance Board.JPG
The Wii Balance Board, which is bundled with Wii Fit, measures both a person's weight and center of balance.

Yoga and strength training

The yoga and strength training activities in Wii Fit provide the player with an on-screen personal trainer who offers direction and evaluation. While standing or otherwise leaning on the Wii Balance Board, the player is instructed to perform the activity by precisely imitating the trainer's actions. In yoga, the player holds a particular pose or series of poses for a duration of time; while in strength training the player performs a set number of repetitions of the exercise selected. During these sessions, the player is shown a visual indication of his or her COB, represented as a red dot. The trainer advises the player to maintain the COB throughout the activity, requesting that it not move outside a particular threshold usually indicated as a yellow circle. When the activity ends, the player is scored based on how well the player kept their balance during the session: points are deducted if the player's body haphazardly swayed or shook at any point. Wii Fit has 30 yoga and strength-training activities.

Personal trainer fitness professional involved in exercise prescription and instruction

A personal trainer is an individual certified to have a varying degree of knowledge of general fitness involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client's strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. These fitness assessments may also be performed before and after an exercise program to measure their client's improvements in physical fitness. They should also educate their clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and nutrition guidelines. It is very important that a trainer takes their time to evaluate a clients personal life outside of the gym. This way, personal trainers can figure out what kind of stress their client may be putting on certain areas of the body during their every day lives.

YogaStrength Training
Deep Breathing Single Leg Extension
Half-Moon Push-Up and Side Plank
WarriorTorso Twists
Tree Jackknife
Sun Salutation Lunge
Standing Knee Rowing Squat
Palm TreeSingle Leg Twist
Chair Sideways Leg Lift
Triangle Plank
Downward Facing Dog Triceps Extension
DanceArm and Leg Lift
Cobra Single-Arm Stand
Bridge Push-Up Challenge
Spinal TwistJackknife Challenge
Shoulder Stand Plank Challenge

Aerobics and balance games

The other two major categories in Wii Fit, Aerobics and Balance Games, consist of 18 minigame activities that feature Miis as playable characters. Aerobics focus on activities that require more vigorous movement, and are divided into three distinct types: hula hooping, step aerobics, and jogging. In Hula Hoop, the player twirls his or her hips in order to spin a series of hoops, and is scored on the number of spins achieved within a period of time. Step aerobics (simply referred to as "Step" in-game) focus on stepping on and off the Wii Balance Board in a rhythmic fashion. In jogging, which does not use the Wii Balance Board, the player runs in place while keeping the connected Wii Remote in his or her pocket, which acts as a pseudo-pedometer. [13] The game provides variations of step aerobics and jogging (called "Free Step" and "Free Run" respectively) where the user may exercise at his or her own pace and does not require viewing the game screen; the player is able to watch television or something similar while performing the exercise. Balance Games consist of nine activities that focus on directly controlling the game using the player's COB. "Soccer Heading," for example, focuses on leaning left or right to control the player's Mii in order to head incoming soccer balls. Another, "Table Tilt," focuses on directing balls into holes by shifting the player's balance to tilt the platform they rest on. Activities based on slalom skiing, snowboarding, and tightrope walking are also available, and a Zazen-based game (called "Lotus Focus") in which the player sits on the Wii Balance Board and remains motionless for a period of time.

Balance (ability) ability to maintain the line of gravity of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway

In biomechanics, balance is an ability to maintain the line of gravity of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway. Sway is the horizontal movement of the centre of gravity even when a person is standing still. A certain amount of sway is essential and inevitable due to small perturbations within the body or from external triggers. An increase in sway is not necessarily an indicator of dysfunctional balance so much as it is an indicator of decreased sensorimotor control.

A minigame is a short video game often contained within another video game, and sometimes in application software or on a display of any form of hardware. A minigame contains different gameplay elements than the main game, may be optional, and is often smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involve merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity. Some minigames can also be bonus stages or secret levels.

Mii digital avatar

A Mii is a customizable avatar used on several Nintendo video game consoles and mobile apps. Miis were first introduced on the Wii, and later appeared on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch and various Nintendo smart devices.

AerobicsBalance Games
Hula HoopSoccer Heading ("Heading" in Europe)
Basic Step ("Step Basics" in Europe)Ski Slalom
Basic Run ("Jogging" in Europe)Ski Jump
Super Hula HoopTable Tilt
Advanced Step ("Step Plus" in Europe)Tightrope Walk ("Tightrope Tension" in Europe)
2-P Run ("2P Jogging" in Europe)Balance Bubble
Rhythm BoxingPenguin Slide
Free StepSnowboard Slalom
Free Run ("Free Jogging" in Europe)Lotus Focus ("Zazen" in Europe)

Body test

The beta Body Mass Index graph, during the game's production. Wiifitbmi.jpg
The beta Body Mass Index graph, during the game's production.

Players may undergo "Body Tests," in which the player's body mass index (BMI) is calculated and balance control is tested. Each Body Test determines and updates the player's "Wii Fit Age", which loosely suggests the player's physical strength in relation to his or her true age. A standalone application called "Wii Fit Channel" may be installed to the Wii Menu in order for players to perform Body Tests without needing to load the Wii Fit game disc. [14]

Body mass index measure of relative weight based on an individuals mass and height

The body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet index is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of an individual. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres.

Ageing or aging is the process of becoming older. The term refers especially to human beings, many animals, and fungi, whereas for example bacteria, perennial plants and some simple animals are potentially biologically immortal. In the broader sense, ageing can refer to single cells within an organism which have ceased dividing or to the population of a species.

Physical strength the measure of an animals exertion of force on physical objects. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training

Physical strength is the measure of an animal's exertion of force on physical objects. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training.

Development

A Wii Fit demonstration booth at the Leipzig Games Convention in August 2007 Wiifit.jpg
A Wii Fit demonstration booth at the Leipzig Games Convention in August 2007

Wii Fit was first revealed as Wii Health Pack [15] by Nintendo's chief game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, during a conference in mid-September 2006. [7] Then described as a "way to help get families exercising together", [7] the game idea had first been included in Miyamoto's original design document for a core group of games including Wii Sports and Wii Play , the entirety of which was scribbled onto a sheet of paper. [7]

As with other games designed by Miyamoto such as Nintendogs , the design of Wii Fit was influenced by activities in his daily life. [16] He states that he and his family had become more health-conscious, going to the gym and tracking their weight. [16] He found that it had become "fun over time to talk about these things", [16] and as weighing oneself "didn't make much of a game", [16] Nintendo decided to build games around the idea to mesh with the concept. [16] The Wii Balance Board had been worked on for "almost two years", and was inspired by heavy sumo wrestlers' need to weigh themselves with two scales. [17]

The game was announced under its current title at Nintendo's E3 press conference on July 11, 2007, and demonstrated by Miyamoto, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime and other participants. [18] Miyamoto revealed that Wii Fit had been developed with a "full-scale" team for a year at the time, [17] and added that there were no plans to integrate WiiConnect24 functionality into the game. [19] He said there was a possibility to take advantage of WiiConnect24 in the future, such as using the service to keep in contact with a doctor to help with rehabilitation, or with a fitness specialist to help with training exercises. [19]

Successors

Wii Fit Plus , an expanded version of Wii Fit, [20] was released to major markets in October, 2009. Wii Fit Plus includes approximately twenty new Balance Board games and activities.

The series third installment, Wii Fit U, was released for the successor to the Wii, the Wii U. While maintaining most of the overall features of its predecessors, the game utilizes the Wii U Gamepad and can also sync data with the optional Fit Meter, a pedometer accessory which measures activities such as steps taken and altitude. Released on the Nintendo eShop in October and November 2013 to major markets, a retail version, made available in Europe and Australia in December 2013, was scheduled for release in North America in January 2014, and in Japan the following month.

Appearances in other games

The female Wii Fit Trainer, as seen in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Wii Fit Trainer, ssb4.jpg.png
The female Wii Fit Trainer, as seen in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

The gym from the Rhythm Boxing minigame is the same gym from the boxing training games from Wii Sports . The male and female Wii Fit Trainers are playable characters in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the latter gender being the default of the two, fighting in a style strongly influenced by the Yoga and Strength Training exercises as well as the Aerobics and Balance Games, along with a "Wii Fit Studio" battle arena in the Wii U version. The island featured in the Jogging minigame also serves as the predecessor to Wuhu Island, which appeared in Wii Sports Resort , Wii Fit Plus, and several other Nintendo titles.

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings 81.18% [21]
Metacritic 80/100 [22]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.com B+ [10]
CVG 6.8/10 [23]
Eurogamer 8/10 [24]
Game Revolution C+ [25]
GameSpot 7.0/10 [26]
IGN 8.0/10 [27]
ONM 91% [28]
X-Play 4/5 [29]

Wii Fit was well received by video game critics. It currently holds an 81.18% score on Game Rankings, aggregated from the scores of 57 media outlets, [21] and got an average score of 81 on MobyGames. [30] While the playful balance and aerobics minigames have generally been praised as simple fun, [10] criticism for the game is aimed at its limitations in offering a serious workout regime. [29] In 1UP.com's review, one such limitation was attributed to the lack of structure the game imposes on the player, stating that while having "complete freedom to choose what you want to do, you might find yourself cheating, despite your best intentions." [10] X-Play also noted that the brief activities are separated by menus, making it difficult for one to keep up a constant heart rate, [29] with Game Revolution criticizing a serious limitation: "as a stand-alone fitness trainer it suffers greatly by the inability to assemble a full, unbroken workout without the horrible 'fitness interruptus' necessitated by bothersome menu navigation and obtrusive Wii remote usage." Some have also pointed out a lack of Nintendo's usual charm in game design, [23] specifically in the yoga and strength training exercises which take place in a muted setting that one critic referred to as "the world's most lifeless, depressing gym." [10] Despite these limitations, the game's friendly front-end and amount of activities are cited as appealing features to those who are perhaps seeking an introduction to daily exercise. [10] In a review on IGN, Wii Fit was said to create "an environment in which working out is less daunting and as a result enjoyable – fun, even." [27]

According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, the aerobics portion of Wii Fit was not sufficient to maintain a heart rate of the recommended intensity (known in sports physiology as a target heart rate) for maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness. [31]

A study published by Tokyo's National Institute of Health and Nutrition concluded that only 33% of the exercises (22 of a total of 68) qualified as medium-intensity, with the rest as low-intensity. No exercises qualified as high-intensity. The researchers concluded that only one-third of the exercises qualify towards the exercise guidelines provided by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA), and that the exercises offered less benefits "than authentic sports or exercises because playing these active video games involved little horizontal locomotion." [32] However, to reach 30 minutes of moderate activity (5 times a week) as suggested by the ACSM, significantly more time is required, due to the repeated manual navigations of the menus required between each exercise and the inability to program customized exercise routines, repetitions, or time limits (or even personalized intensities—the "trainer" will never modify the speed based on the user's fitness level). [25]

Wii Fit was awarded Best Use of the Balance Board by IGN in its 2008 video game awards. [33] It was also nominated for multiple other awards, including Best New IP [34] and Best Sports Game. [35] Hyper commends the game for its "effective exercise program, its accessibility and its massive novelty value". However, he criticised it for not being a "gamer's game and no good for long sessions". [36]

Cycling Weekly reported that Mark Cavendish, a double Madison World Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medalist bike racer had to stop his training regime when he injured his left calf's gastrocnemius after falling off the balance board while playing Wii Fit. [37]

There was minor controversy regarding Wii Fit in the UK, where two parents complained after the known limitations of BMI led to their daughter being labeled as overweight. [38] Nintendo apologized over any offense caused by the terminology used in-game.

Sales

Wii Fit sold over a quarter of a million copies in its first week, [39] and, despite not being released outside Japan, one million copies of Wii Fit had been sold by January 6, 2008, after being released on December 1, 2007. [40] [41] As of January 4, 2009, it had sold 3,125,000 copies in Japan. [42] In Japan it was also the third best-selling game and the best-selling Wii game of 2008, selling 2,149,131 in that year. [43]

Prior to release, consumer reaction was also positive in the United Kingdom, with some retailers having to stop taking pre-orders due to its increasing popularity. [44] Reports in the United Kingdom state that the Wii Fit launch had seen queues form nationwide. [45] Retailer Woolworths said that the game was selling 90 copies per minute. [46] Nintendo UK said that in April 2008 that it was working hard to ensure that enough stock was available. [47] In its first week of release, Wii Fit was the best-selling video game in the week, topping the all-format chart. Despite the game being sold at a higher price than average (£70, compared to an average of £35–40) it became the UK's sixth fastest selling console title according to Chart-Track/ELSPA and made over £16 million in sales. [48] During the week beginning May 19, 2008, Wii Fit's sales in the UK fell from second in the all-formats chart to dropping out of the top 40 altogether, believed to be caused by Wii Fit being completely sold out. [49]

In the United States Wii Fit was reported to have sold out at pre-launch sales of retailers Amazon.com, GameStop and Wal-Mart. [50] After the initial release, reports showed stores selling out of Wii Fit nationwide. [51] Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, estimated that Nintendo shipped only 500,000 copies of the game in North America as opposed to as many as two million units to Europe. According to Pachter, the Wii Fit units were allocated by Nintendo to maximize profit, by prioritizing Europe over North America, taking advantage of the strong value of the euro compared to the US dollar. [52] According to the NPD Group, Wii Fit sold 690,000 units in the US in May 2008, making it the country's third highest selling title for the month. [53] Wii Fit debuted in the United States at a suggested retail price of US$89.99 for the base system unbundled with other accessories. As with the Wii console itself, the demand for Wii Fit far outstripped the supply. The perceived shortage created a secondary market for people to purchase Wii Fit at retail outlets and sell it on for a profit. In June 2008, Wii Fit was reported to be selling at an average of $175 per unit on Amazon.com and EBay. [54]

According to the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Enterbrain, from January to July 2008 the game sold 1.433 million copies in the United States, 624,000 in the United Kingdom, and 1.547 million in Japan, a total of 3.604 million. [55] By March 31, 2009, Nintendo had sold 18.22 million copies of Wii Fit worldwide. [56] According to the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Enterbrain, in the third quarter of 2008 the game sold 1.283 million copies in the United States, 460,000 in the United Kingdom, and 346,000 in Japan, a total of 2.089 million copies. [57] Wii Fit was the third best-selling game of December 2008 in the United States, selling over 999,000 copies. [58] It was also the third best-selling game of 2008 in the United States, selling over 4.53 million. [58]

Within 18 months, by June 2009, the game helped health games generate revenues of $2 billion, most of which was grossed by Wii Fit's 18.22 million sales at the time. [59] Wii Fit ultimately received a "Diamond" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), [60] indicating sales of at least 1 million copies in the United Kingdom. [61] As of March 2012 the game had sold 22.67 million copies worldwide, and was 6th on the best-selling Wii games list. [6]

Other uses

Wii Fit has been used for physiotherapy rehabilitation, and Gaming rehabilitation [8] [9] and has been adopted by various health clubs around the world.

Wii Fit has also been used for the treatment of balance problems in the elderly. In a study, an 86-year-old woman was unable to walk without close supervision, even with a walker, due to poor balance and a tendency to fall, after a stroke. She participated in four training sessions along with physical therapy. She was tested on the outcome measures of Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Functional Reach and Lateral Reach tests, Timed Up & Go test (TUG), computerized posturography, and the Short Feedback Questionnaire (SFQ). This was done before the first training session and after the last one. From the results and her own feedback, she had improved antero-posterior symmetry of stance. "When released from hospital, she was able to walk with a walker with minimal supervision." [62]

In summer 2009, Finnish Defence Forces support organisation invested in 384 Wii consoles (including Wii Sports and Wii Fit) for military bases around the country, in order to inspire soldiers to exercise more in their free time. The feedback from the conscripts and officers was positive. [63]

Some nursing homes use Wii Fit as a way to engage in gentle exercise. The system is used to give the residents a yoga workout along with flexibility and balance exercises. The game allows those who are unable to perform rigorous daily exercise to increase their heart rate and improve their overall health. Depending on their level of mobility, some can perform the exercises while standing, while others may remain seated. [64]

See also

Footnotes

Notes

^  a: In North America, Wii Fit was launched on May 19, 2008, with an exclusive release at the Nintendo World Store in New York City, two days before the general release. [65]

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