Wii Active vs. Wii Fit vs. Life

There is a new fun and fitness-oriented virtual reality video game on the market called Wii Active, from the EA Sports brand. Wii Active is the first fitness game to compete with the highly popular Wii Fit program by Nintendo. Lets compare Wii Active to Wii Fit, and my commentary on the fitness gadget industry...

Wii Fit.
Wii Fit was the first widely successful Wii based video game to use the fun and fitness, exercise as the 'game' theory. Uses a board based program: Wii Balance Board.
Price: Around $90.
Activities: Yoga, Strength Training, Balance Games, Aerobics and tracking features.
Maker: Nintendo.

Wii Active. Wii Active is the new video game to use fun and fitness. Uses a jump-rope like hand-held device based program: the Nunchuck.
Price: Around $60
Activities: Various activities including running, dancing, punching, sports, and a wide variety of movement activities.
Maker: EA Sports, endorsed by celebrity trainer bob Greene.
Notable: Marketed mainly to women. Has an active online community that features weight loss profiles and a motivation center.

Big differences?? I see price as a major point. Yes the Wii Active system is only $30 less, but that thirty bucks can be a significant value when consumers are deciding on which brand to buy. The other difference is the interactive gadget. The Wii balance board vs. the Nunchuck. Arm/hand based vs. bottom/foot based balance board. Depending on your activity favorites, the gadget may also be a determining factor. Those who love boxing/upper body activities may be excited about the Active. While yoga or lower body activity fans may be balance board loyalists. Since the Wii Active from EA Sports is still new, came out on May 19 2009, we will have to wait for the consumer demand to say yay or nay.

*Have you tried either of these? Post your experiences in the comments section.

*I have not personally tried either of these products. I don't own a Wii or any video game console. But I do have an opinion on the philosophy of video game/trend/gadget fitness values....

Fitness Tech Chick.
I'll be the first one to admit that I love fitness technology trends, gadgets and innovations. As a teenager, I was always the first one at my community sports club to try out a new innovative brand of workout machine. The new StairMaster 3000, the latest elliptical machine and that handy new heart/fat monitor gadget. I tried them all and loved them all. Good healthy fun. But as much as I loved those trendy new gadgets, I never stopped to ask myself how trendy workout gear influenced my lifetime wellness. Today, years later, I do not use a StairMaster 3000 or 4000 or a trendy workout machine or even a futuristic heart monitor to keep me fit. My fitness values were not formed by healthy gadgets. My health values were formed by real exercise lessons that I learned in PE class, after-school sports and with my active family.

My lifetime fitness values: A simple pair of tennis shoes, the ability to go for a jog whenever I choose, the ability to recognize my likes and dislikes of certain sports, knowing that I love yoga, long mountain hikes, tennis, skiing and basketball.

Question: Are these Wii Fit and Active programs acting as a crutch for users? Is computer game fitness simply "the latest" gadget that may not stand the test of time? Consumers may use Wii fitness to get a few good years of exercise into their lives, but couldn't you say the same about 'trends' like the thighmaster or 80's home aerobic videos? When their time has passed, what then? I hope that Wii users, especially kids, are getting a wide variety of fitness activities--and not only the virtual reality kind. Onto my values...

Life cycle Fitness Values.
In college I lived in a small dorm. There were only two ways to exercise: 1) Fight for a machine in the crowded gym. or 2) Break out my tennis shoes and go for a jog on the not-crowded track. Yay track. I certainly didn't have a StairMaster3000 in my dorm room. But that was OK because I knew how and where to workout, move and get active without a fancy gadget. And this is my point. We can't teach our kids to rely on technology as the main form of exercise. The point of exercise is to move, run, jump, sprint, laugh, spin, travel, run, hike and swim out and about. To move. To go. And simply jumping around in one place-your living room-might get the immediate results done, but may not be a lifelong solution to building fitness values. Someone could easily say: "I play tennis on my Wii, but I've never picked up a racket." Sounds unauthentic. And almost sad , to me. What do you think?

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