Wii Fit Wii

Wii Fit Wii
Nintendo is a games company that prides itself on staying fighting trim, especially compared to the bloated waistlines of Sony and Microsoft. So it should be no shocker that they taken that attitude and applied it to keeping you in shape, too. Though derided as a "non-game” by hardcore cats, Nintendo’s Wii Fit has been a runaway success in North America (selling out its initial 700,000 available units) not least because of our obsession with weight. But what is most interesting about Wii Fit is its strong roots in Eastern, rather than Western, fitness. Some have griped that the title — which consists of the software plus a "Wii Balance Board” upon which one stands — doesn’t get you sweaty enough but they don’t quite get it. It’s not as much about losing weight as redistributing it.

Since (aside from sumo wrestlers), the Japanese are a relatively slim people, their fitness regimes seem to revolve largely around strengthening "core muscles” (abs, back, pelvis) which improves balance and posture and, they believe, reduces all sorts of health issues. So yes, the strength-building and aerobics sections leave a lot to be desired — essentially a grey-scale virtual trainer tells you what to do, but inexplicably doesn’t put together a exercise program like the old PS2 title Yourself! Fitness. Hopefully, they will fix this in future iterations.

But the yoga and balance bits make fantastic use of the ultra-sensitive pressure points on the board. The former teaches you moves while forcing you to concentrate on keeping still, while the latter is where the fun comes in. Slalom, snowboarding, soccer-heading, hula-hooping and ski jumping are a joy to play and great at improving your balance. Wii Fit may not help you lose much weight but it will teach you to stand up straight — and health-wise, that may be just as important. (Nintendo)