It's lots of fun to see all the gaudy and enormous things displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show. But when you see a CEO standing next to a television the size of a roadside billboard that costs more than your last divorce did, you wonder if much of it will ever turn out to be a big hit with the general public. Brier Dudley poked around in the less traveled and decidedly unglamorous corners of the CES, and found what he thinks is the real next big thing: a pile of vinyl mats next to a Nintendo Wii
Computer-monitor covers? Toilet-tank protectors? I had no idea....
... The mats are aftermarket covers for Wii Fit, a new game from Nintendo that uses a plastic step as a controller. The game was released in Japan last month and sold 300,000 copies.
It's coming to the U.S. by midyear, as soon as Nintendo's team in Redmond can finish the complicated translation into English.
Wii Fit extends the sports games bundled with the console. The controller senses the pressure of players' feet as they play aerobics, yoga, ski or soccer games. Wii Fit also tracks activity and body mass index, opening up a new realm of video-game competition.
There's a reason there's a Curves franchise in every single strip mall in America. People want to jump around and enjoy themselves doing it. The Wii really isn't all that powerful as gaming consoles go. The ideas that go along with it sure are, though.