I like my Nintendo Wii, although, so far it's been basically a $200 Tennis Simulator. The most fun is watching people play it for the first time. We had some friends over last week and they mentioned the Wii, and my wife said "you HAVE to try Tennis!" And they loved it, and it was good. However, as much as I try to get into other Wii games like Metroid and Zelda, I just don't.
But, I am a glutton for punishment, and while I spend more time using my Xbox, the Wife and I thought we'd give the Wii one more try with the Wii Fii Balance Board.
Before you read this review, by all means, watch this horrifically brutal and true Wii Fit Parody.
Ok, now that that's over with, YES, I know the Wii Fit is silly and YES I know it's a waste of money and YES I know I could "just go outside." We do go outside, and we walk and hike and run as a family, so that said...
The Wii Fit is a hoot. It's a lot of fun. Ultimately it's just a scale that knows where your center of balance is because each of the 4 corners is an independent scale. It constantly "re-zeros" itself between activities as you step on and off it, so in the week I've had it I haven't had any issues with its accuracy.
It's questionable as a fitness tool as it made my little Mii Avatar quite fat because apparently 187lbs (a number I'm not proud of) on a 5'11 frame is smack in the middle of overweight. (That's 180cm and 85kilos, by the way) After I entered this info in, my little on-screen dude swelled up and will stay there until I hit 165lbs it seems.
Regardless, I can see how the Wii Fit could act as a motivator for folks, like me, who prefer to workout at home rather than at a club. I actually prefer working out while watching TV, such that I'm forcing my self to work to watch my shows. The Wii Fit is fairly cheap, about US$89, and includes the game disc.
There's "over 40 mini games" according to the box, but in reality there's 4 categories with 12 or so games per. There's strength (all isometric), yoga, balance games, and aerobics. There strength and aerobics sections are fine, but not extraordinary. The games are a blast, especially downhill skiing, but the Yoga section is really nice. I think I'll use the Yoga for 30 minutes or so each evening and see how that goes. I have a number of Yoga DVDs, but I find the balance feedback that the Wii gives you to be invaluable for finding correct posture.
A few years back, the CEO of my then company, Corillian, left and started a company that created a game called Yourself Fitness for the Xbox. I thoroughly enjoyed this program, specifically it's crazy intense aerobics sections. It had a HUGE library of exercises that dwarfs the Wii Fit's. It's like 500 to 20. I'd love to see this application ported to the Wii and supporting the Wii Fit - THAT would be something special.
Still, I'm happy with the purchase, it's not that much more than a good quality electronic scale and if your expectations are set appropriately and you remember it's neither a game nor a really good workout system, I think you'll have fun also. Don't take my word for it, go try one at one of the many locations that Nintendo is setting up as the Wii Fit goes on tour.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.