Tribute Thursday: Wii Fit

With the Wii U getting the biggest releases this week (Armikrog and Super Mario Maker) it's time to look back at one of the biggest hits of all time for Nintendo. And no, I'm not paying tribute to Super Mario Bros.

It's time to look back at what was one of the best selling games in Australia for months on end. The game that everyone apparently bought but barely played.

Let's get fit. Wii Fit.

It's weird to think in this day and age that a marketing pitch involving a balancing board would actually get off the ground, but that's precisely what Wii Fit did. Maybe the console's mass-market appeal made it possible to target families and those ordinarily interested in gym equipment and household exercises.

The Wii U version of Wii Fit — which understandably didn't sell anywhere near as well.

Either way, Nintendo's balancing act worked. Along with millions of gamers, Wii Fit was also picked up by nursing homes, physiotherapists, health gyms and even the Finnish defence force. It's sixth on Nintendo's list of best selling Wii titles with 22.67 million units sold, while Wii Fit Plus is seventh with 21.11 million sales.

Over 18 million copies of the game were sold by the end of March in 2009, which isn't a bad return for something that Nintendo didn't package with a console.

Wii Fit came with over 40 activities, although I always found it difficult to go past heading the soccer ball and the ski slalom. It probably helped that most of the mini-games were far from intensive, making it possible to play several in a sitting without becoming too fatigued (although this ran counter to the idea of the game doubling as genuine exercise).

Perhaps the game's greatest contribution to the internet, however, was its capacity for mockery, with millions of viewers tuning into the more comedic elements of Nintendo's mini-games.

And then there are the "accidents" that occurred as a result of overbalancing on the Wii Fit board.

God I'm glad I never bought into this crazy phase of video games.

What was your experience with the Wii Fit like — and what gaming purchases in general have you regretted as the years wore on?


Comments

    It's funny this article came to my attention just after I got it from Target tonight. Wii Fit U's on special for $39 with both the balance board and pedometer. Also comes with 350 Club Nintendo stars for those inclined.

    I bought Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Fit U all at launch. I still use Wii Fit U.

    Certainly I am not doing the activities every day, but the daily weigh in helps keep track of things and the pedometer helps encourage me to be more active.

    I don't see it as a fad. It's a helpful piece of software and hardware which helps keep me accountable in areas I need to be more accountable in,

    I was working in video game retail when these things were shit hot. On one hand, it was great seeing people buying something that was going to help be active where they might not otherwise be able to (such as retirement homes and rehab facilities - that was excellent), but on the other hand, it was awful the number of times people called back to complain that they needed a Wii to go with it (despite the box and staff saying as much).

    I never understood this, but then again I don't understand gyms etc. Plenty of beautiful places outside to run, ride and mess around with mates. Lot's of exercise that can be done for extra cost.

      Part of it is chievo's keeping you motivated, the other part is not everyone has mates or a nice place to easily run around and exercise in.

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