Wii Fit Launched In U.S. - InformationWeek

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5/19/2008
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Wii Fit Launched In U.S.

The Nintendo video game encourages physical fitness by letting users ride a virtual snowboard, do yoga, twirl virtual hula hoops, and do other exercises.

Wii Fit, which measures users' body mass index and scores players on various workouts, is available in the United States.

Nintendo has sold more than 2 million Wii Fit units in Japan. Its American launch came Monday at the Nintendo World store in New York. The system will be available through U.S. retailers beginning May 21.

Users can ride a virtual snowboard, do yoga, twirl virtual hula hoops, or do other exercises on the Wii Balance Board. The board connects with the console through wireless signals. Mii caricatures reflect players' changing fitness levels as they improve.

"Wii Fit will get you moving whether you've been playing video games for years or this is your first time," Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive VP of sales and marketing, said in an announcement. "Wii Fit is easy for anyone to try and is yet another example of how Nintendo continues to expand the world of video games to new audiences."

The system offers more than 40 activities and stores users' records. Virtual trainers guide users and make suggestions for improvement.

A real celebrity trainer, Ashley Borden, provided personal demonstrations and training at the launch.

"We're looking for everyone to 'get on board' and get excited about their fitness," she said.

The American debut of Wii Fit coincides with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Wii is the first video game system included in the President's Challenge, a program backed by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to encourage Americans to engage in daily physical activity.

The suggested retail price for Wii Fit is $89.99.

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