I've been waiting patiently for news of the new Wii fit application and was delighted to read reviews about this week in the new editions of Edge and Nintendo Magazine. Some time ago David Muir sent me a link to a parody of the new Wii Fit product on You Tube and since then it has made mer look at it in a slightly comical fashion, however...the reviews it has received has dismissed this and I now await it's release with real anticipation and dare I say excitement!
Wii Fit is a 'game' or lifestyle application that enables the player/exerciser to engage with a comprehensive exercise programme via a balance board that communicates with the Wii. Have a look:
Nintendo Magazine have written an extensive review of the product and although they feel they still need time to work with it they gave it a decent review.
"...after an hour or two playing it we realised that we were quite tired...we could feel the strain on our backs and legs, as if we had been walking for quite a while."
...and Edge magazine said:
"...unlike much of Wii Sports, the Balance Board necessitates that they (the games) cannot be played in half measures. You have to stand; you have to articulate your body into positions in order to move your centre of gravity. There is clearly more exercise than play....an intimidating repertoire of lunges, press-ups and yogic positions await. However, simply as a fitness product it has the advantage over Cindy Crawford and her ilk in that it can communicate feedback very effectively plotting achievable targets tailored to the individual."
The Wii Fit programme has 48 activities that are split into four different categories. The main training games fit into Cardio and Yoga type exercises with balance and mini-games making up the rest. One of the mini-games sounds like great fun and it sees your Mii dressed up in a penguin suit, stood on the Antarctic ice-flow. Various fish jump up on to the on-screen board and you have to lean left and right to make them slip off the board! Imagine how much fun that will be if you play it with a penguin suit on.
I'll be interested to see how this game could be used a s part of a fitness programme within the home but as a tool in school that can be used to focus on fitness - then I'm not so sure. However, no doubt the growing body of 'gamer' teachers out there will be able to come up with innovative ways to apply its use in teaching and learning.
When my Wii Fit arrives I plan to carry out a 28 day Wii Fit programme to see if it impacts on my health. Weight, heart rate etc. Mind you, when you have Olympian standard of fitness and musculature, I'm not sure that this new device will make much difference! ;-) Irrespective of this I'll keep you posted with the results.