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July 11, 2007 at 9:58 AM

E3: ‘Wii Fit’ turns game machine into personal trainer

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Reggie Fils-Aime described how Nintendo is aiming to improve mental health with a range of puzzle games and educational software for the Nintendo DS handheld device.

The “Brain Age” franchise has already sold 15 million titles and new titles from Ubisoft promise to help improve spelling and even be a virtual “life coach.”

But the big news, saved for the end of the press conference is “Wii Fit.” Fils-Aime said this “effectively takes our big lead in audience expansion and laps it.”

Three fitness trainers are on stage now, each standing on a weight-sensing pad. The game depicts a movement, such as a one-legged stretch. The player, or exerciser, follows along and the pad gives you feedback on how you’re doing.

A video about the game depicted yoga, push-ups, step aerobics and other exercise movements and balance movements. There are more than 40 activities in the game. The game prompts you with tips.

Nintendo

The Wii Fit — a new controller from Nintendo — allows players to perform different exercises or actions.

Shigeru Miyamoto, senior managing director, general manager, of Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis and Development Division — a rock star in the company — took the stage to introduce this game. He said through an interpreter that he’s more excited about this than some of the higher-profile games announced today.

Miyamoto said the device that they were using is the Wii Balance Board. It’s very thin. It can measure your weight and balance shifts while standing on the board. It can be used as a new interface for games that allows you to use your full-body movement for input. It’s wireless and can be used anywhere in the room.

Another feature measures your body mass and graph changes in your Body Mass Index over time

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