The Nintendo Wii: Your Next Exercise Machine?

I was intrigued by the Nintendo Wii when I first heard about it. It sounded like a game system concept with huge potential. (For those that don’t already know, it uses motion and/or light sensors in special controllers to allow you play games with a more realistic range of physical motion.) Though I wasn’t in the market for a new game system at the time, I really hoped it be successful. I could see myself eventually buying one once the price dropped.

A short time later, I ready Scott Hanselman’s post on getting a Wii for his birthday. Between this comments on the system and the video of his wife playing it, I was sold. (Seriously, watching the clip of his wife playing with a big, happy smile on her face has got the be the best Wii advertisement ever. Way better than creepy Japanese guys driving around in a Smart Car.) Ok, so now I want one. I want one enough that I started secretly (i.e. keeping my wife in the dark) scanning shelves to check on Wii prices. I didn’t have to keep my search secret for long. There were no Wiis on shelves anywhere. Nor were there any at any major online retailers. All I could find were scalpers selling their extra Wiis for $450. $450! The original price was $250, talk about a handy profit! (Even now the prices are around $390.)

Well, as if to sprinkle salt on the wound, just this evening I came across the blog for a guy who is using his Wii to lose weight! And it’s working! The latest post on his blog indicates that he’s 6 weeks along and he’s lost 16 pounds. The idea of weight loss or increased fitness had occurred to me when I first heard about the Wii, but I assumed the potential was limited. Anyway, the story is so compelling that it has driven tens of thousands of visitors to his website, has attracted media attention, and most importantly, has me writing a post about it. πŸ™‚

Ah to think what could have been if I had been an early adopter… But for now it’s the waiting game (which doesn’t burn many calories), and my condo’s gym.

UPDATE: I was checking my blogs, and it looks like the story is much bigger than J.R.’s fitness plan, I hadn’t read around enough. Engadget has posts about a guy who lost 9 pounds using his Wii, and a personal trainer who uses the Wii in his fitness plans. Additionally, it looks like Nintendo may be embracing this trend, and coming out with Wii weights. It’s beginning to look like a fitness revolution! Man this just makes not having one even worse…

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  1. Rick Beals said,

    May 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I love my Wii…and you WILL burn calories playing it.
    I can’t wait till they come out with fitness games.
    I ordered wrist weights the other day.

  2. Rick Beals said,

    May 14, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    If you’re still trying to score a Wii, here’s my suggestion.
    Go to a Target store on SUNDAY 1-2 hours before they open. 45 minutes prior to them opening, they’ll come out and give the first 10-15 people claim tickets for 1 Wii system. Then you’re set, as long as you pick it up before noon.

  3. Brian said,

    May 14, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks Rick,

    I am still interested in picking up a Wii- I may have to try out your strategy! I definitely don’t want to pay the ridiculous rates I’ve seen online recently… 😯

    It’d be so cool to be able to play tennis again, and indoors! Since we’ve moved, my wife and I no longer have any nearby tennis courts… 😦

  4. November 5, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    […] It’s a little over a week later, they’ve finished off all of my Sake and have motored down the road, leaving me alone to contemplate my Wii. So now that the rice wine buzz is gone what do I think of it? Is it worth the price? Is it fun? And more importantly, is playing with your Wii exercise? Way back in April I blogged about people using it as fitness regime! […]

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