Session: WiiFit: Creating a Brand New Interface for the Home Console

Feb 20, 2008 • 3 minutes to read

Speaker: Takao Sawano

WiiFit Examples

  • Family weighing themselves and tracking health * Father doing push ups on balance board * Mother doing yoga on the board * Games: Kid taking headers playing soccer goalie * Games: Grandfather using ski-jump * Games: Mother walking on a tightrope
  • Sold over 1.4 million units
  • Europe: April 25th * US: May 19th

Wii Fit Package Contents

  • Balance Board and software

Not born of strategic process,

Please don’t post photos (women right next to me took a picture)

Party Play

Wii Sports -

In the center is a section called “Health Pack”

  • Became Wiifit, was at the center of the slide, plans for original Wii

  • body management, health, calorie control, scale

My Miyamoto: “I have fun just weighing myself and collecting my weight data, so this idea is bound to lead to something interesting”

  • “Developers must always approach their projects with the belief they are developing a million seller”

  • Develop a cost-effective scale

  • Start from scratch rather than reuse existing (needs to be more than a scale) * rotary encoder stick from N-64 controller, minimal friction and great precision

Something wasn’t quite right, fear/doubt of project

Japan’s National Sport: Sumo

  • Sumo wrestler’s need two scales to measure “aha moment” * Sample 60x per second * Part of the body test was balance * Show how to visually show how weight is transferred from left/right side * Heart of the weight detector is a rotary encoder * Rumble: Rumble for your legs - just not enough power and would kill battery * Foot controller: Should it detect forward and backward shifts? Devs said left/right was fine, but still wanted.

Checked Nintendo Service Center (returns)

  • How do you keep costs low and keep it simple so that you don’t balloon servicing cost

Strain gauge to measure difference and force. Wiifit ships with 4 sensors

Multiple revisions to incorporate a number of factors

  • Make it wider, shoulder width * larger also means higher cost * build it so that tall/short people can play and have it work worldwide

  • President review feedback: It’s clumsy to plug in a wiimote * Radio interference,

WiiFit - Body test features

  • BMI, balance test, * WiiFit Channel - Add Wiifit bodytest as a channel (so you don’t need the disk) * Training: Yoga (15) , strength (15), aerobics (9), balance games (9) * Use remote to measure balance and players body movements * Trainer can give advice based on their movements (video of European version) * Dynamic coach and ratings (Couch potato) * Wii Fit Island - Running course, doesn’t use balance board, just wii remote * Allows players to switch to broadcast so that you can watch regular TV and use wiimote as a speaker for aerobics * Workout while watching TV * Fit Credits - The time you spend exercising is automatically counted, you can also count external

Balance Board Specs

  • 60 samples/second * measurable weight 330 lbs, max 660 * Weight 7.7 lbs * 4 batteries = 60 hours * Sync to register bluetooth * LED display - flashes when BT is syncing * software can check the battery life * always registered as Wii Remote 4

As a foot controller

  • Control from 360 degrees, wave of a hand arm movement detectable * how much force * can even detect when a small weight is picked up or put down

Highest selling title that requires a peripheral (1.4 million sell through)

Bandai Namco Games - Family Ski

  • video of Japanese comedian playing * Swishing legs * Play to Nintendo’s strengths - easy to show


  • Families * 72% of other family/friends play game

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