Nintendo can add another victory to its long list: Wii and Wii Fit Plus will now be offered in Sports Authority stores. But does the company's game justify its existence in a sports store?
You might be used to buying your video game consoles only at an electronics store, but all that will soon change. National sports retailer Sports Authority announced Tuesday that it will start selling the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit Plus in its stores.
Aside from being able to pick up a Wii and Wii Fit Plus, consumers will also find Sports Authority stores that boast a Wii "interactive fitness experience." The section of the store will have "knowledgeable fitness trainers allowing customers to try Wii and Wii Fit Plus before they buy."
While it's certainly interesting to see a Wii being used by a fitness instructor in a sports store, Sports Authority said it believes that it will help set it apart in the marketplace. According to the company, users will now be able to "satisfy their fitness- and sports-gaming needs under one roof."
But just how much of a benefit Wii Fit actually affords its users is up for debate. Sports Authority might claim that it helps users "achieve better health," but a recent study (PDF) from the American Council on Exercise found that the game offers a "very, very mild workout."
That could throw a wrench in Sports Authority's plans as it attempts to make the case that the Wii and the Wii Fit Plus make sense next to other products designed specifically to improve the health of its users. As appealing as it might be to some, Nintendo's game might not be able to stand up against fitness-focused products.
Regardless, Sports Authority has thrown its support behind Nintendo's console. The Wii and the Wii Fit Plus will be available in 102 stores starting on Thursday. It will be rolled out to remaining company stores by spring 2010.