As UK retailers report huge a huge surge of demand for Wii Fit following its UK launch, the games creator and all-round Nintendo legend, Shigeru Miyamoto, has sent out a timely reminder that staying indoors all day chained to a games console isn’t really all that healthy.
In an all-too-rare interview with The Times, Miyamoto neatly defined why Nintendo has rejected the ‘my processor’s bigger than your processor’ approach to selling consoles and instead opted for a more innovative approach to the actual games themselves.
“We want to broaden the definition of what a video game is, to create games for people whether they are five or 95, whether they are men or women.”
Miyamoto then went on to enthuse about how Wii Fit was not only part of that strategy, but was also responsible for bringing families together in a new way around the games console:
“In Japanese households suddenly new conversations are springing up between fathers and mothers, fathers and daughters, talking about Wii Fit,” he said. “We would love that to happen in Britain.”
Fun in the sun
However, Miyamoto tempered his remarks with a reminder that staying indoors behind closed curtains to jog on the spot isn’t a solution to maintaining health and fitness in itself, but rather just one small part of a larger jigsaw.
“Spending too long, staying in and playing any video game is not good,” he said. “I always tell my children to get out on a sunny day and I, myself, went jogging in Central Park yesterday. But I do my stretching on Wii Fit. They work together.”
Wii Fit has already become the fastest-selling game in Japan, shifting over two and a half million copies since it was launched in December. Here in the UK, Dixons claimed to be selling a board every four seconds in launch week, while Amazon.co.uk said it had sold out of stock within 24 hours.
Of course, it's hardly the first TV-based motivational trainer to have invaded the nation’s living rooms. That honour would probably belong to Jane Fonda and her 1982 ‘Workout’ video – a video so popular at the time it’s often credited with helping to drive the uptake of VHS. Lounge-based fitness routines never did her any financial harm either.