No more is the games console in the realm of the couch potato – Nintendo is launching a game for its Wii console called ‘Wii Fit’ which is essentially a home fitness program in a game format that encourages users to exercise regularly and test their results.The new game, which goes on sale on 1 December in Japan for US$75 features a pressure-sensing mat called the ‘Wii Balance Board, which looks like a set of bathroom scales and can sense when a person moves and leans, enabling players to ‘head’ virtual soccer balls and experience ski jumping on a TV screen, according to a report from Reuters.
The board can also be used for such activities as yoga and aerobics.
The game will launch in time for the critical year-end shopping season, sending its shares to a record high.
The announcement comes just a day after Sony Corp said it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by 10 per cent in Japan and launch a new, lower-priced PS3 model, to battle Nintendo’s dominance.
“This is our most important product for this coming year-end,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
“With ‘Wii Fit’, we will be aiming to expand the definition of videogames as well as our user base.”
The new software is likely to be the next major sales driver for Nintendo’s Wii game console after initial demand was stirred by popularity of “Wii Sports” software, which lets gamers play a virtual tennis match in the living room, analysts have said.
The Wii has far outsold Sony’s PS3 since the two consoles were launched late last year as Nintendo’s strategy to offer easy-to-play but innovative games expanded the gaming population beyond young males to women and the elderly, said Reuters.
Sony has packed its cutting-edge technology such as a Blu-ray high-definition DVD player in the PS3, enabling lifelike graphics.