The Wii Fit workout gaming system for Nintendo's Wii console combines strenuous workout exercises with mini-games designed to keep the player interested in working out. The program ships with the Wii Balance Board, a peripheral that works in conjunction with the gaming console to measure motion, balance and weight. With many fitness activities designed to target the whole body, the Wii Fit system is at once a fun experience and a healthy activity.
When Nintendo created the Wii Fit system as both an enjoyable game and a workout aid, a new peripheral was needed to create a hands-on system for tracking workouts. Enter the Wii Balance Board, a device used with the console that looks like a bathroom scale that swallowed a skateboard. The 8.8-lb. Balance Board works by way of internal scales and pressure-sensitive points used to measure changes in weight, force and balance. The device has a weight capacity of 330 lbs. and interacts wirelessly with the Wii console to detect how quickly and accurately exercises are completed.
The Wii Fit gameplay experience is focused on mini-games designed to be repeated as part of a true workout training program. Wii Fit exercises are divided into three categories: Aerobics, Yoga and Strength. The aerobics workouts include Rhythm Kung Fu, Free Run and Hula Hoop. Some use the Balance Board, while others measure motion via the Wii Remote in the user's pocket. As for Yoga, the user strikes and holds poses on the Balance Board with the system giving feedback for accuracy and balance as the poses become more difficult. The system was designed based on real yoga principles and poses and is more difficult than it may seem. The Strength category is divided into 18 exercises ranging from push-ups to leg and tricep extensions. The Balance Board tracks progress and works in conjunction with the Wii console to provide visual and auditory motivation.
Graphics and Gameplay
Featuring simple, cartoonish graphics and an intuitive interface, Wii Fit does not seek to blow the user away with fancy visuals. The virtual personal trainer, male or female depending on preference, gives encouragement and tracks progress in each workout category. Gameplay is based on unlocking new and more difficult challenges and mini-games as more minutes are logged with the system. It takes a considerable amount of time to unlock all the content, leading to a sense of accomplishment. One notable omitted feature is the system's lack of holistic workout regimen recommendations, leaving the user to seek outside help when building a regular routine.
Wii Fit Plus
In 2009, Nintendo released a program called Wii Fit Plus, which takes the entire Wii Fit package and adds some new enhancements and content. Wii Fit users can import their history data from the original program, and Plus uses the same Balance Board controller. Unlike the original system, all the exercise routines are unlocked from the start, including all the new content. This eliminates the grind factor of the original and provides a more robust experience out of the box. Additions include new yoga poses, strength training games and lots of mini-games having to do with balance, including a skateboarding game.
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