Wednesday, February 25

Wii Kicked

The measure of Wii's success

I have said in more than a few previous posts on this blog that the Wii is a great boost to the exergaming world and does well in raising public awareness. I have also warned the exergaming field and industry that this awareness needs to be built upon, or the genre will die with Wii Fit's waning sales.

Looking at the sales figures for last year, Wii Fit sold 8.31 million copies (and this gives you a clue as to how value of the exergaming market is predicted!), second only to Mario Kart Wii as the most popular title for 2008. Mario Kart hitting top spot amused me slightly, as this makes Gamercize games more popular than Wii Fit (see How to make Mario Kart Wii Fit)!

I think it's safe to say that the majority of the 6 million people new to video gaming in 2008 have been voting with cash for Nintendo, and have been sold to.

There's no doubt Wii is a sales success but now there's little advertising or promotion coming from Nintendo here, the cracks are starting to show. In two papers (The Times "Wiiii - What fun this isn't" and The Independent "The World's Most Pointless Inventions") last week, Wii has started to takes some kicks.

This was to be expected really, the genre has been mis-marketed to maximise sales and has little to do with actually using an exergame to get fit. If you think that's unfair, this is not my view, but the view of the game designer for Wii Fit (see Nintendo says Wii Fit won't make you fit).

Does this leave exergaming as a dying fad? Not in the slightest. Gamercize is going from strength to strength, of course, but the big news of the moment is from our friends at Electronic Arts - and the imminent release of EA Sports Active! This is how Wii Fit should have been, so now we can expect to hear exergaming in the news a lot more, and solve the misconception that exergaming = Wii.

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