Endless announcements of new games, revamped hardware and lower pricing were made at the E3 gaming event in California yesterday. But one of the standout presentations was of a new kind of controller for Nintendo 's Wii console.

The wireless Balance Board (the name may change) was introduced in conjunction with a new game known as Wii Fit . It looks similar to the Reebok exercise steps used in gyms around the world, but is packed with sensors that monitor the position of anyone standing on it.

Finding a balance

The Wii Fit series of scenarios presents players with more than 40 challenges ranging from matching on-screen yoga poses to heading footballs and twirling hula-hoops. Pressure sensors in the board work out if the real-world posture, balance and movement match the demands of the on-screen task.

As well as that, the software can calculate BMI and fitness age, presumably to help in setting personal-improvement goals. If that sounds more like a chore than a fun gaming experience, then check out the video on Nintendo's E3 site to judge for yourself.

As we reported recently, the Wii has to be one of the more enjoyable ways to get a little exercise . Nintendo has yet to give the Wii Fit and Balance Board a price or a release date, although we expect them to be available before the end of the year.