Wii Fit U for Wii U is out now, sort of. Nintendo, which seems to be looking for creative ways to sell more Wii U consoles, has an offer that is good from now till the end of January: if you already own a balance board from the original Wii Fit, and buy the new (okay, repurposed) Fit Meter pedometer for $20, you can download the full version of Wii Fit U for free.
If you’d rather buy the bundle with board, meter and game disc, it is coming next month.
My daughter loves her Nintendo 3DS, the handheld game console that succeeded the Nintendo DS, and I agree that it’s a nifty little gadget. Among many other features, it has a pedometer built right in, and an Activity Log on the main menu automatically records your daily steps if you go for a walk with your 3DS. The built-in pedometer means that games can also have the ability to give you bonuses for getting up and walking around. No need anymore for 3DS games to have peripheral pedometers like the Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver Pokewalker or the pedometers that came with Personal Trainer Walking or My Weight Loss Coach for DS.
So there should be more 3DS walking and activity games than you can shake a walking stick at, right? Doesn’t look that way. Even though there were several walking and general health and fitness games for the old DS console (see the list here), my active game list for 3DS remains empty. You can play any DS game on the 3DS, and it is easier to have a tiny pedometer clipped on than to carry the 3DS console in your pocket all the time, but it would still be great to have more games that take advantage of the built-in pedometer technology. Besides, you’re less likely to put your pants in the washing machine with the 3DS in the pocket.
It’s not easy to even find which 3DS games give you bonuses for walking. One that does is Nintendogs + Cats, a fun simulation game in which you adopt and pamper a virtual puppy. You can take Rover for a fake walk by just steering with your stylus, but if you take the console for a real walk with the game turned on, not only do you burn real fat and gain real fitness, you also get presents from your dog, and not the kind you have to scoop. Gifts depend on how many steps you take; according to the list at Nintendogs Wiki, they range from a dog biscuit for 10-99 steps all the way up to a gold bar for 99999+ steps.
The Street Pass feature built in to the 3DS is another feature that might encourage walking, or at least getting out of the house. With Street Pass, you leave the wireless internet detector on in the 3DS as you walk around, and if another wireless-activated 3DS is in the vicinity, your Mii avatars will “visit” each other and sometimes exchange gifts, or show off their Nintendog or Nintenkitten. We’ve walked extra loops around crowded malls just to try to collect Miis.
Do readers know of any other 3DS games that encourage walking?
There’s a lot of excitement in the gaming world about the upcoming successor to the handheld Nintendo DS, the 3DS (named for its glasses-less 3-D screen). Now exergamers have reason to be excited also: according to Kotaku, the new device will have an on-board pedometer, and as you walk around with it, you’ll earn virtual coins that will help you power up games that support it, such as fueling your Pokemon with watts, buying Mario a snazzy flying raccoon tail, etc.
This means you won’t need a separate device like the pedometers that come with Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Personal Trainer Walking, or My Weight Loss Coach.
One more giant leap to keeping gamers active and fit! I just wish the 3DS was as compact as a pedometer – it’s supposed to be the same size as the current DS Lite – but you can be sure they will come out with holsters, belts or even deep-pocketed walking shorts for it.
It’s a little too late for Christmas shopping, but if you want to start on those post-holiday resolutions by just getting up off your glutes more, Amazon is currently selling Personal Trainer: Walking for Nintendo DS for under $20.
This game comes with 2 pedometers, so you and a friend or SO can play, or you can even attach a pedometer to your dog’s collar. It also lets you import a Mii from your Wii. I don’t have it, but if I get a little Christmas loot, I might consider it. Here’s the official website to learn more about Personal Trainer:Walking, and here are more fitness-related games for your DS.