Fit software sprints to top of charts

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The Independent Tech

Building on the success of its predecessor, the updated Wii Fit Plus has stormed to the top of the software sales charts in Japan.

Released here on October 1, Nintendo's Balance Board fitness regime game sold more than 340,000 units in its first week, according to local sales tracker Media Create. This new version is scheduled to be released in Europe on October 30.

The original version had a more limited series of stretching and balancing exercises, interspersed with jogging and other work-out routines, but the Fit Plus ups the ante, introducing sessions of Kung Fu, skateboarding and even snowball fights.

Players can bring together several different disciplines into longer workouts lasting as long as one hour. Many of the activities also have scores, enabling a player to set a goal of the number of calories he or she has burned off - but instead of simply providing a number, you are shown how many slices of cake or cuts of steak you have worked off your waist.

And it's not just humans who can benefit from a session on the balance board as Nintendo has added an option to put pets into the database, weigh the creature and keep an eye on its well-being by monitoring its exercise levels.
As well as the software, Nintendo has managed to boost sales of the Wii, thanks partly to the launch of the new title as well as a simultaneous reduction in price to Y20,000 (€151).

Another factor is likely to be the state of Japan's economy, with households continuing to rein-in spending due to concerns over job losses and wage cuts. Many people are no longer renewing their membership of gyms but want to remain in shape, and the Fit Plus enables them to do that in the comfort of their own home.

Officials of the Kyoto-based company declined to comment on the sales performance of Fit Plus, but did indicate that an announcement will be forthcoming when the company makes a financial announcement on October 29th.

It was a good week for Nintendo, with another new title, the football role-playing game Inazuma Eleven 2, in second place on the charts with 281,000 units sold. The latest Pokemon title, Heart Gold/Soul Silver, was in third place with 267,000 sales, bringing its cumulative total to 2.28 million units.