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Take a stand with 'Wii Fit' and its new controller

Nintendo announced 'Wii Fit,' a fitness game for the Wii that uses a new controller called the Wii Balance Board.

Nintendo has announced Wii Fit, a fitness game for the Wii game console. The game doesn't center on the Wiimote, but on an entirely new controller, the Wii Balance Board.
Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Ever since Wii Sports got gamers off their couches and onto the floor in front of their couches, the Wii has been a big deal for health-conscious gamers. The Wiimote's motion-oriented controls keep players active as they swing, slash, and roll in different games. Now Nintendo is taking the next step in making the Wii fitness-friendly, and they're not even using the Wiimote to do it.

At a press conference today, Nintendo announced Wii Fit. Like its name implies, Wii Fit is a fitness game for the Nintendo Wii. Like Brain Age used the Nintendo DS to exercise your brain, Wii Fit will use the Wii to exercise your body. The game will offer 40 different activities, ranging from aerobics to balance, to help keep you physically fit. Just like Brain Age and Wii Sports, Wii Fit will record and track various performance statistics, so you can watch your progress over time.

Shigeru Miyamoto introduces the Wii Balance Board. Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Surprisingly, Wii Fit centers on not Wiimote, but an entirely new controller, the Wii Balance Board. The WBB is a flat surface you lay on the floor that wirelessly connects to the Wii, just like the Wiimote. Stand on the board and it will measure your weight and balance, letting the game track just how you're standing, leaning, shifting on your feet, or otherwise moving. It seems like a combination of the Wiimote and a Dance Dance Revolution pad.

Nintendo hasn't announced a hard release date for Wii Fit, though we'll probably see it hit stores by first quarter of 2008, around the same time as Nintendo's other major game announcement, Mario Kart Wii, is scheduled to ship.

Update on Thursday morning: To see a video of Wii Fit in action, click here.