Move your body to Wii Fit

Special to the Star
If you’ve been procrastinating on your New Year’s resolution to exercise more, the Nintendo Wii console might hold the incentive you need to get moving.

Announced on Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, Nintendo’s unique Wii Fit product will be available on May 19.

When used with the bundled Wii Balance Board peripheral, which looks like a regular bathroom scale, Nintendo Wii owners can exercise, stretch and do yoga with on-screen avatars – all designed to help keep you fit and lose weight.

For example, you may be asked to step on and off the wireless board in time with music or keep one foot on the board while lifting another up towards your waist.

Fun mini-games will also be included, such as using your body to ski downhill, leaning left or right to head-butt soccer balls out of a net or rolling marbles around so that they fall into a hole in the floor – without falling off the edge.

Wii Fit will also include access to the Wii Fit Channel, an interactive online channel that lets users check in daily to track fitness progress through weight and body mass index (BMI).

Nintendo has not yet confirmed the price for the Wii Fit and Balance Board bundle.

At GDC, Nintendo also announced WiiWare, a new digital distribution game service set to launch May 12, which allows consumers to download new games directly to the console, including episodic content, while also giving game developers a platform to test out new ideas with lower financial risk.

Xbox opens its doors to developers

Speaking of digitally distributing video games, Microsoft announced on Wednesday at GDC it would soon allow its 10 million Xbox Live members to download, play and rate community-created games.

While Microsoft already offers downloadable Xbox Live Arcade titles over the Internet, opening up the platform to developers will make it the largest library of video games, with more than 1,000 titles available by year’s end.

As a taste of what’s to come, seven new independent games are now available to download from the Xbox Live Marketplace, including the arcade racer JellyCar, action side-scroller Little Gamers and the TriLinea puzzle game.

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