The Wii Fit: First impressions from our lab

Consumer Reports News: May 24, 2008 02:33 AM

After an intensive few days of bending, jumping, and precarious balancing by Consumer Reports staff, under the watchful eye of expert testers from our Health franchise, we have our first test reports on Nintendo's Wii Fit, the wireless "balance board" that hit the market in North America earlier this week.

You can read on the Consumer Reports Health Blog what our testing experts have to say about the Fit.

Essentially a platform that senses and responds to body movement, the Wii Fit is an accessory to Nintendo's Wii game console, which, since its launch in 2006 has replaced the usual passive, "couch-potato" video-game experience with a more active, "get-up-and-play" activity.

The Fit offers interactive exercises in four areas: yoga, strength training, balance, and aerobics, along with fun "mini-games," such as ski jumping and hoola-hoops. The Fit also tests your center of gravity and registers your Body Mass Index (BMI), storing personal information on the Wii console so you can track your progress.

Says Nintendo's website:

Wii Fit combines fun and fitness in one product. It can change how you exercise, how you balance, and even how you move.

If you're convinced that you've got to have a Fit, a word of caution. Demand for the device is high and many retailers are temporarily out of stock. So before you lace up your sneakers to run out to your local game store, be sure to call ahead. Or, you can take the traditional gamer's approach: Sign up with retailers online to be e-mailed when the Wii Fit becomes available.

—Nick Mandle

May 28, 2008 UPDATE: Several readers have pointed out that the Wii Fit reviewers in our video were wearing shoes during tests of the Fit's balance board while Nintendo's instruction says that owners should be barefoot in order to prevent the possibility of slippage and injury. Because of the discrepancy, we have removed our video. —Ed.

Paul Eng

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