Nintendo’s Wii Fit has finally launched in the US today, and we practically snatched it from the hands of the mailman (he’s pretty used to it) to shoot a video unboxing for you. We’ll be attempting to recover our sense of balance and put the innovative controller through its paces for a review later, but hands-on first impressions are good. Rated for up to 300lbs, the Wii Fit may be plastic but it feels sturdy and reassuring and the four non-slip feet are promising for use on wooden floors.
Check out the Wii Fit unboxing video after the cut
Nintendo include the necessary batteries and a copy of the Wii Fit companion game, together with a thin printed manual. It hooks up wirelessly to your Wii, and when you first start you need to enter your height, tell it whether you’re wearing particularly heavy clothing, and then go through a weigh-in and a test for your centre of gravity. After that, the software works out your BMI (Body Mass Index) and tells you whether you’re fat or not (Nintendo are keen to point out that this is aimed at adults, and that children’s bizarre and lumpen bodies may not be correctly represented by the calculated BMI).
Tell Wii Fit what weight you want to lose, and how long you’ve got in which to achieve it, and it’ll set you weekly goals and offer up the different exercises. They’re broken down into four categories: yoga, muscle workouts, aerobic exercises and balance exercises. Aerobic, for instance, includes a virtual hoola-hoop, a “step” class and jogging on the spot; under balance there’s a particularly tricky game in which you have to guide a virtual ball around a table covered in holes, by shifting your weight on the board. All the achievements are recorded under your Mii profile, and doing particularly well at a certain activity unlocks new exercises.
We’ve not long had the Wii Fit in the office, but already we’re impressed. It’ll be interesting to see how long the batteries last, and whether it’s actually a good way to lose weight or more of a gimmick, but – misrepresented BMI aside – anything that gets kids off the couch and moving around has to be A Good Thing. If it does some good for some lazy tech journalists too, all the better…
We’ll bring you more on the Wii Fit when we’ve put it – and ourselves – through its paces.
Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear, Android Community and the other network sites. Based in London, UK, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.