Santa Monica (CA) – Nintendo’s ideas to reach new customers for its Wii game console have added another direction today: The company introduced the WiiFit software and the Wii Balance Board which effectively create a virtual workout center in front of your TV.
Keeping an expanding the customer base for video games emerges as on of the focus areas of this year’s E3 conference. This expansion targets every family member with games that video game companies believe will attract the non-traditional gamer crowd that never would have touched a joystick or controller before.
Video from the Nintendo Press Briefing
Microsoft announced yesterday first moves in this strategy, with titles such as Scene it and Naruto: Rise of a Ninja. Nintendo already has some experience advantage and advantage here with titles such as Brain Age and today announced its next step: The company will introduce a virtual fitness trainer, consisting of WiiFit and the Wii Balance Board.
The board resembles the look of a common square scale and interacts wirelessly with the Wii console. It serves as a tool to measure body weight, body balance and balance shifts. In combination with the software, the user can go through various fitness workouts such as stretching and general aerobics as well as more entertaining exercises such as sports. All results and measurements can be tracked in a graphical chart over time. For the future, Nintendo promised, that the Balance Board would be integrated in games to allow for full body control of in-game characters.
Nintendo called the new device a key to provide the “ultimate interactive experience”. “There are only 24 hours in a day and there is a very small amount available for video games. We intend to steal more of that time, minute by minute,” said Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing Reginald Fils-Aime during his keynote at E3.