lose weight with wii and nutrisystem


What Watch? 10 Watch! Such Much? 13.03.15

Well, sadly the world of Wii exercise games has all but dried up. The good news is that there’s a very healthy aftermarket, and a lot of the games on our list of best Wii games and best Wii U games are available from Amazon or eBay resellers at very affordable prices.

In looking around for the “next big thing” in fitness gaming, naturally the Apple Watch caught my attention. Now granted there are going to be a huge number of annoying elitist-types who buy the watch just to be seen with it. And Apple is getting just a little annoying with its pretentiousness (really, a 5-minute speech on its space-age “alu-min-ium”?) But looking beyond all that, the one thing I can’t dispute is that Apple’s always helped make my life better, from my first Apple //e in the 1980s to my first Mac SE/30 and Powerbook in the 1990s, to my first iPod in the 2000s to the iPhone I have today. And if spending a ridiculous amount of money on a watch is going to help me track my fitness better and turn my everyday activities into a “video game”, maybe I’ll give it a shot.

apple watch heart rate sensorOne of the more impressive features of the new watch is going to be its heart rate sensor. There’s a reason the doctor uses your wrist to check your pulse. This watch uses different diodes to detect your heart rate and let you view it at a glance on your watch. One of the things I’ve mentioned a lot on this blog is the importance of getting into the “aerobic zone” when working out, and this will help. I’ve held off on Jawbones and Fitbits and Nike+ sensors in the past, but this is one I might finally bite on.

Something else I like about this watch is that it has a built-in GPS. Right now when I’m biking with my phone in my pocket, my favorite apps like Runtastic Road Bike PRO frequently lose their signal, so what should be a nice 3-mile plot of my bike trail ends up being about 20 feet. Hopefully with the open-air watch it should improve the tracking.

The one thing I’m a little skeptical of is the accelerometer. I can see how the Wii Fit U Meter tracks my steps by being on my hip, but will something on my wrist do it as accurately? If and when I get a hold of a watch, I’ll be sure to do a comparison.

apple watch fitnessBut perhaps the most exciting this about this watch how it can “gamify” your life. You can see some examples of this on Apple’s site. Specifically, one of the apps is going to be a bullseye chart with rings called “Move”, “Exercise” and “Stand” that will let you see at glance exactly how sedentary your life is. Simple things like standing up can give you “credits’ that’ll change your profile. Each week, the Watch can suggest a “Move goal” for how much you’ll want to be moving during the week. And if you’re exercising at any pace of a brisk walk or more, that activity will be tracked as “Exercise”, and with 30 minutes of exercise a day you’ll close that ring. Your little watch screen will show things like your goals, updates, and at the end a summary of how much you’ve “worked out” in a day, whether as literal exercise or as part of your daily routine. In other words, your life becomes a video game, with goals, rewards, and statuses right on your wrist.

As much hype as the watch is getting, I also foresee some problems with it. It’s going to be so bulky that you wonder if there’ll be the same backlash against users of the watch that befell Google Glass early adopters. The battery life is going to be woefully short. And of course, a lot of people will find it annoying that you need to have an iPhone 6 to use it. We’ll see if any of that affects its sales.

The Apple Watch goes on sale on April 24, and reportedly goes on pre-sale on April 10. Hopefully by taking orders earlier Apple will be able to avoid the inventory issues it’s had in the past. If I manage to get a hold of one, I’ll of course post the grisly details here about how you can incorporate it into fitness and exercise.

And don’t worry, I still have my Wii and my Wii U, am continuing to play those fitness games, and will continue to do so for the long haul :)

The End of Club Nintendo – How to Top Off Points 20.02.15

Sadly, after many years Nintendo has decided to shutter Club Nintendo, at least in North America. This was the club that let you enter those numbers you find on the red inserts inside Nintendo games and trade them in for prizes and downloadable games.

The North America club was always a bit of a disappointment compared to its siblings in Europe and Asia. For example, you often heard of those clubs giving prizes like gold controllers and trophies which quite commonly resell on eBay for hundreds of dollars. In the US, I’ve been qualifying for Platinum status every year given all the Wii fitness games I’ve bought over the years, and yet the best we ever did was a Super Mario statue–the rest of the “prizes” were mostly forgettable calendars and nicknacks.

Perhaps because they realize that their North America fans haven’t gotten the best of treatment, they went all out and have a ton of physical goods and downloadable games to choose from to use up whatever points you have. Of particular interest to this blog is Wii Fit U, which is available for 600 points.

If find yourself short on points, the good folks at Reddit have identified a few demos on the 3DS and Wii U that are free but will still net you points. They are:

  • Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
  • Pokemon Bank (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
  • Steel Diver: Sub Wars (3DS) – 5 points for registration, 10 points for post-play survey
  • Lucadian Chronicles (Wii U) – 10 points for post-play survey
  • Zen Pinball 2 (Wii U) – 10 points for post-play survey

Since points earning ends on 3/31 and it takes about a week for the post-play survey to appear after downloading, you need to get in by around 3/20 to get these points locked in before it all ends. If you’re in a 3DS make sure it’s linked to your Club Nintendo account.

Unlike in the past, the physical goods aren’t disappearing right away–they did a smart thing and instead of producing a limited inventory that gets wiped out right away, they let people pre-order the goods so they can manufacture them to demand. What a concept, eh? The good news is that if you’re a fan you’ll definitely get a physical good (I ordered a Mario T-Shirt); the bad news is that if you want to resell it on eBay there’ll probably be a glut of these so the resell value will be lower than the exorbitant resale values of other physical goods.

Sorry to see it go, it was a nice program. But hopefully they’ll replace it with something better.

Punch-Out on sale for $9.99 on Nintendo eStore this week! #wii 23.01.15

Back in 2009 (which, can you believe it, was SIX years ago), I wrote my review for Punch-Out on the Wii. It’s funny, I almost forgot I’d ever played the game, but the video shows that sure enough, I played through every fighter before writing my review.

The game is one of those that’s become a classic–and a collector’s item if you have an original copy. The original version is selling on Amazon for almost $60 and even the cheaper Nintendo Selects version is going for over $70 new, over $40 used.

These few weeks have been full of news from Nintendo. They announced that Club Nintendo was ending, that the new 3DS XL was being launched, and that a bunch of classic titles were going on sale in the Nintendo eShop these next few weeks as they convert classic games to run natively in the Wii U.

This week, one of the titles for sale is Punch Out, for $9.99. Great deal on a classic game that can give you a bit of a workout, and because it is native to Wii U there’s no need to go into Wii mode to play. But hurry–it’ll be back to $19.99 at 11:59 eastern time on January 29!

If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s my victorious moment from six years ago.

Wii Fit Meter only $10 at Amazon 13.01.15

The Wii U Fit Meter is priced to go at Amazon at $10. Word is that at some Best Buy locations, it’s on clearance for $7.99.

If you’re a user of Wii Fit U, this might be a good opportunity to stock up on Fit Meters. Get one for the husband, the wife, the kids, and even the dog! While most people have focused on this as an accessory for individuals, there’s actually a ton of utility when you use it as a family. Everyone can “compete” against each other to see how far they’ve walked. It’s a shame that Nintendo didn’t build games into Wii Fit U that allowed families to compete against each other in this way, as it could have been something that really would have helped the same sell more than it did. But even so, you can be creative and make your own games. See who can make it to the top of Mount Fuji first, for example, under their own individual profiles.

Grab it while you can–the price is almost certainly going to go back to its full retail price as soon as they’ve cleared out their Christmas inventory.

Confirmed: The Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter will not work on DDR, Active Life, or Cyberbike 13.12.14

Over the past few months, Nintendo has been a little cagey about whether their GameCube Controller Adapter for Super Smash Bros. would work with other games. For purposes of those of us who use the Wii for exercise, that would open up a whole lot of Wii games for our use–the Dance Dance Revolution series, Active Life series, and Cyberbike games.

For a brief period of time they were hinting that it’d work on everything, but in recent months they’ve been very, very careful to say that it would only work with Super Smash Bros. Still a lot of us had been holding out hope that this was just an exercise in “CYA”–that the adapter would still work on other games but they gave us these disclaimers so they didn’t have to support them if they didn’t.

Yesterday, my some miracle I got my hands on one at the Nintendo Store in New York.

gamecube controller adapter box

Sadly, but not surprisingly, I confirmed that it’s true–for the time being at least, it will NOT work on games other than Wii U games that have a GameCube icon, and right now that just applies to one game: Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Officially, here’s what their manual says:

gamecube adapter manual

This accessory is only for use on the Wii U console with Nintendo GameCube or Nintendo GameCube WaveBird wireless controllers. It cannot be used with any other controllers, accessories, or devices such as computers.

You must use Wii U software that supports Nintendo GameCube controllers or the WaveBird wireless controller. Look for this icon on game packaging for games that are designed to be used with this accessory. This accessory is not compatible with Wii software.

So unlike other “adapters” like the one you use to convert, say, HDMI to DVI or USB to Ethernet, it looks like the GameCube adapter isn’t capable of having a simple adapter that just plugs and plays. Support for it needs to be written into the software.

Here’s specifically how I went about testing:

First, the adapter itself looks like it’s really well made. It feels solid and is black with an embossed Wii U logo. On one side are four GameCube controller ports, while the other side consists of two USB plugs, one grey and one black. The additional plug is needed the enable things that need extra power like rumble and WaveBird wireless ability.

wii u gamecube controller adapter

You start by plugging the USB plugs into the Wii U.

gamecube adapter USB plugs

One thing I found interesting was that if you have two GameCube adapters, you can actually plug one of them into the two USB ports in back and the other into the two USB ports in front, and you’ll support up to 8 players for games that support that (which, again, is only Super Smash Bros. for Wii U right now). Of course, that’ll use up all your USB ports, but there is a line in the manual saying that “A standard powered USB hub may be used if there are not enough open USB ports on the Wii U console.” It also points you to their site for more information.

Then, you plug your GameCube controllers into the other end.

gamecube adapter with plugs

I put the Wii U into Wii mode and tested it with Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2. As expected, there was no response at all when I tried to use the DDR dance pad.

I then tested it with Active Life: Outdoor Challenge. Again, no response at all, just this message:

gamecube controller does not work with active life

And again with Cyberbike. Again, just a greyed out controller.

gamecube adapter doesn't work with cyberbike

Now, it’s obvious by now that they simply didn’t touch the Wii emulation portion of the Wii U system to support this device. It’s a shame, because from a technical point of view it really wouldn’t be that difficult (heck, just a few days after the product was released, some enterprising hackers figured out how to get it to work on PCs). But I’m guessing that the executives at Nintendo didn’t want their customer service department fielding support calls for 20 year-old games and decided to keep support disabled.

What’s ironic is that, judging by the masses of people clamoring to get their hands on one of these (heck, they’re being resold on eBay and Amazon for over $100), Nintendo would have a money-printing machine if they managed to produce enough of them AND build reasons for users to keep using them. As much as building Wii emulation helped Wii users adopt the Wii U, I have to think building support for the GameCube controller into Wii Mode and Virtual Console games would also help win over a good chunk of the 21 million GameCube owners out there.

For my final test, I attempted to use my Cyberbike with Mario Kart 8, a Wii U game. But because Mario Kart didn’t build support for the GameCube controller, this didn’t work either (if you look at the back of the Mario Kart 8 box, you’ll see it supports every other controller out there–the GamePad, the Wii Remote, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, the Wii Classic Controller, and the Wii U Pro Controller. One can only hope that some day, they’ll release a patch that enables it to support the GameCube Controller.

For a lark, I started up Super Smash Bros and plugged in my DDR dance pad. And there the pad “worked” perfectly–I could use my feet to select menu options by using the directional buttons, and selecting things using the “A” button with my feet–with no lag and amazingly quick and precise responsiveness. Now before you get too excited, remember that the players in the game are controlled by the joystick, so even though Smash Bros allows you to customize your controllers to a certain extent, you can’t map the directional buttons to control your character. Still, it was a small victory seeing that the controllers at least “worked”.

We can only hope Nintendo will get the hint from the huge demand for the GameCube controller and release a patch that’ll allow us to use any GameCube controllers in Wii Mode, and that they’ll release or retrofit new and existing Wii U games like Mario Kart 8 to support the controller.

In the meantime, if you’ve been thinking of buying this adapter in hopes that it’d work with some games other than Super Smash Bros for Wii U, I can tell you unequivocally that it’s not worth it. As for those who do want to use it with Super Smash Bros, I know there have been a lot of rumors lately out of the UK that Nintendo will not be making more of them. This is absolutely untrue–Nintendo is definitely making more of them and everyone who wants one will eventually be able to get one at $19.99…some say by Christmas, others day definitely by February. So unless you absolutely, positively need one before Christmas, I’d resist the urge to go to Amazon or eBay where they’re currently selling for over $100.

 

Great Deal on Wii Fit U from Groupon #wiiu #wiifitu #balanceboard 16.11.14

Heads up! Groupon has a great deal on Wii Fit U, a new Balance Board, and two Fit Meters. Normally just the game itself sells for $40, but for just an extra $10 you can get a new Balance Board and another Fit Meter.

Granted, Apple has gotten a lot of attention lately after their release of iOS 8, which includes the pretty spiffy Health application that tracks your steps, stairs climbed, and walking and running distance. But for all of Apple’s advancements, Nintendo still offers two things that Apple doesn’t–the ability to measure weight and activities that are a lot of fun and offer exercise and balance.

Considering that not so many years ago the Balance Board itself was selling for well north of $100 on its own, this bundle is a great deal. While Nintendo is clearly starting to plan for a post Wii U world as it ramps up its “quality of life” business (more on that later), Wii Fit U, the Balance Board, and the Fit Meters still stand at #1 of our list of Wii Fit U games, and would make a great gift for someone in your life who happens to have a Wii U.

Review of Just Dance 2015 #justdance 28.10.14

just dance 2015 boxIt’s been a while since I reviewed a Wii fitness game and for good reason–seems that over the last year the genre has all but dried up. Just a few years ago it seems that I couldn’t go by a week without finding a new Wii exercise game, and Sony and Microsoft were falling over each other trying to get into motion controls. Today, third party developers have fled the Wii, Nintendo is focusing on trying to recover from its Wii U missteps by releasing traditional games like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros Wii U, Sony has all but abandoned the Move, and Microsoft paid dearly for trying to force the Kinect onto users.

But one thing is as sure as the dawn: Ubisoft coming out with yet another Just Dance. I admit, when it came time for me to try out Just Dance 2015 (or if you’re keeping score, what should be “Just Dance 6″), I wasn’t particularly enthused. As someone who’s played every version of Just Dance since the first one in 2009, I was admittedly getting “Just Dance Fatigue”. Sure, it’s been a lot of fun over the years, but I wondered if there was really anything more that Ubisoft could add to the franchise that hasn’t already been done?

After playing Just Dance 2015, I’m happy to say that Ubisoft yet again has pushed the franchise forward. And this time they did it with the online play, which they finally got right.

Before I talk about the online play, I’ll review a lot of what I like about the rest of the game.

You start out Just Dance 2015 by creating a “Dance Card” which will be your identify throughout the game. You start by choosing an avatar from a selection of cute cartoon faces. There are 227 avatars in all to choose from. You’ll start out with only 14 but can unlock additional ones by spending “Mojo Points” (the in-game “currency” you earn each time you dance). You also enter a nickname, your country (choosing from 135 country flags), and your age range (which again to the chagrin of us older adults only goes up to 40+).

Once your dancer card is set up, you can track a bunch of statistics, including the number of songs you played, the number of calories you burned, the number of avatars you unlocked, the number of stars you’ve earned, your online level, and the amount of Mojo Points you earned. It’s definitely addicting to come back to the game to try to earn more points

As for the features, most of these are features Ubisoft perfected in previous versions of the game and wisely decided to continue in this version.

The Song List – Once again, the song list is fantastic and has something for just about everyone, from this recent hits like Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando”, One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” and Pharrel Williams’ “Happy. For the nostalgic among us, there are old songs like Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” (complete with authentic moves)…

…and Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding OUt for a Hero”. And for the real old-timers among us, there are classics like Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and a cover of “Only You” by the Platters. For the kids there’s the song we all can’t get out of our head: Disney’s “Let It Go” from Frozen…

They even have the theme music for the video game “Tetris”.

Choreography - The choreography, once again, is fantastic. As they usually do, they did a great job of capturing the spirit of the songs, in some cases using actual moves from the original artists’ video. While 1-4 players can dance to any song, certain songs are choreographed for 2, 3 and 4 players and the moves can get pretty intricate and interactive (making it as much fun for people watching as it is for the people dancing).

Overall, the steps are simple enough that newbies can play along, but complex enough that they’ll look impressive on a real dance floor if you master them. As a bonus, as you play you’ll be able to unlock alternate choreography for many of the songs. For example, “Happy” has a “Sing Along” mode and “Diamonds” has a “Seated Dance” mode.

Motion Controls - Ubisoft pretty much perfected the motion controls a few years ago, at least as well as they can be on the Wii. Even though you still hold a single Wii remote in your right hand, they’ve gotten really good at detecting whether you’re truly doing the dance moves correctly. A lot of people felt over the years that Microsoft would own this category with Dance Central, but as the dust has settled the king of the hill is still Just Dance on the lowly Wii.

Artwork - Again, Ubisoft stuck to the formula of using simple cartoon drawings and backgrounds, and it still works. Some of the artwork is beautiful, others are hilarious, and the animations that build up as you dance really keep you engaged during the game.

Workout - With Just Dance 2015, Ubisoft did away with the confusingly named “Just Sweat Mode”, and simply allows you to turn on calorie tracking for any song as you play the game. Similar to “Just Sweat Mode” in past games, there’s also a Playlist mode that lets you select songs to dance to for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or non-stop. Unfortunately, you still don’t have the capability to save playlists.

Community Remix - There’s a feature for the Xbox and Playstation that allows you to record your dances with your console’s camera and share it. While this feature isn’t available on the Wii, you will be able to play remixed videos that feature montages of actual people around the world leading you with their moves. Currently, there’s a version of Pharrel’s “Happy” that’s a lot of fun, and there’ll be more.

If that were it, I’d probably give this game 3 1/2 or 4 stars–it’s a solid game, but up to this point there wasn’t much new. But what blew me away with Just Dance 2015 were the vast improvements in online play.

You might recall that Ubisoft tried their hand at online play with Just Dance 2014 and did a pretty bad job of it. Just to participate in online play, you had to sign in with your Nintendo ID, then sign in again (or create) something else called a “Uplay ID”, agreeing to a bunch of disclaimers on the way. And even after going through all that, chances are their server would kick you out or crash on you.

It’s a world of difference with Just Dance 2015. First of all, there’s no setup nor “Uplay account” necessary. You can just jump right into online play in two ways:

World Dance Floor - On the lower right-hand corner of the main Just Dance 2015 screen, you’ll see the words “World Dance Floor”, along with the number of dancers around the world currently dancing and the song everyone is dancing to. Click on it and within seconds you’ll see a single button that says “DANCE NOW”, along with the avatars of everyone who’s online at the moment and what country they’re from.

Once you click on it, you’ll be placed into a “Party” of about eight dancers. You can compete against each individually, and also choose a “side” (Dog vs. Cat, Sun vs. Moon, etc.).

As you dance to the song, you’ll see how well you’re doing vs. the others in your party. As you hit moves and improve your score, you’ll see your avatar’s position rise against other players. I have to admit, it’s addictive trying to beat your fellow dancers and get that #1 spot. And even if you can’t keep up with the top players, the better you do the more you’ll be helping your “side”.

Once you finish dancing, you’ll see whether your side won, and you’ll also see how you compare not just to your own party but to everyone around the world dancing at the moment. Similar to Wii Sports Club, you’ll also be able to use your Wii remote’s buttons to communicate short, pre-programmed phrases to the community (like “Lol” or “I love it” or “Oh no”). In some cases you’ll be able to vote on the next song to dance to. When you decide to stop, you’ll see your current “online level”, how many minutes you danced, and how many different dancers you were dancing with from how many different countries. I love how they simplified now just the process of joining in the World Dance Floor but the gameplay as well.

Dance Challenger Mode - With typical Just Dance songs you can dance with up to four players holding four Wii remotes. For the first time, you’ll also be able to activate “Dance Challenger Mode” which will fill up any empty slots with online players OR against your best performance from the past. Unlike with World Dance Floor, you’re not competing against live players, but you are competing against real people’s performances.

There’s only one major glitch I encountered; at a certain point when I was configuring avatars, the game crashed my system, resulting in a freeze that required me to unplug my unit and plug it in again. Hopefully that has just a one-time thing.

In addition to continuing to be one of the most entertaining video games you can play at family gatherings or parties, Just Dance 2015 is still one of the best ways you can get exercise while playing a video game. Ubisoft did a great job of carrying over the best things about previous versions of Just Dance, but it’s the updated song list and the improvements in online features that make Just Dance 2015 worth buying.

Here’s the complete track list, along with the number of dancers each song is choreographed for:

Problem – Ariana Grande Ft. Iggy Azalea and Big Sean (solo)
Happy – Pharrell Williams (solo)
The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) – Ylvis (3)
Love Me Again – John Newman (1)
Dark Horse – Katy Perry (3)
Love Is All – The Sunlight Shakers (2)
Me And My Broken Heart – Rixton (2)
I Love It – Icona Pop Ft. Charli XCX (1)
Tetris – Dancing Bros. (4)
Walk This Way – Run-DMC & Aerosmith (4)
Let It Go – Disney’s Frozen (2)
Built For This – Becky G (1)
Bailando – Enrique Iglesias Ft. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona (2)
Summer – Calvin Harris (1)
Don’t Worry Be Happy – The Bench Men (3)
Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – The Girly Team (4)
Black Widow – Iggy Azalea Ft. Rita Ora (1)
SING ALONG – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (2)
Get Low – Dillon Francis & DJ Snake (2)
Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj (4)
Fatima – Cheb Salama (1)
Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler (1)
Birthday – Katy Perry (1)
Only You (And You Alone) – Love Letter (2)
Diamonds – Rihanna (1)
She Looks So Perfect” – 5 Seconds of Summer (4)
XMas Tree – Bollywood Santa (2)
Best Song Ever – One Direction (4)
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga (3)
Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor (1)
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead Or Alive (1)
4×4 – Miley Cyrus (4)
Epic Sirtaki – The Bouzouki’s (3)
It’s My Birthday – will.i.am Ft. Cody Wise (3)
Burn – Ellie Goulding (1)
Mahna Mahna – Frankie Bostello (3)
Speedy Gonzalez – Los Pimientos Locos (2)
Maps – Maroon 5 (1)
You’re On My Mind – Imposs Ft. J. Perry (4)
Addicted To You – Avicii (1)
Till I Find You – Austin Mahone (1)
Video Remix

4 of 5 stars

p.s. quick favor…if you liked this review, could you go over to Amazon and “like” my review (titled “Still one of the best video games for groups or workouts, improved by a great song list and vastly improved online capabilities”) over there? It’s a silly thing, I know, but I kind of like having my review rank there :) Thanks!!

GameCube controller Adapter will not work with DDR, Cyberbike, or Active Life :( 10.10.14

The good news is that Nintendo has FINALLY confirmed a launch date for Super Smash Bros., November 21.

While I’m certainly a fan of the game, as I’ve mentioned on previous posts, the thing I was most looking for was the release of the GameCube Controller Adapter. Early indications from Nintendo was that this would allow you to use the GameCube controller (and presumably other devices that used the GameCube connector like the Cyberbike, DDR dance pads, and Active Life controllers) with the Wii U. Even as recent as last week, their Web site proclaimed that the adapter would let you use a GameCube controller with “any game that already supports the Wii Classic Controller, Wii Classic Controller Pro, and Wii U Pro Controller”.

Very quickly, Nintendo scrubbed that from all of its Web sites and released an announcement to the media reiterating that the adapter would work only with Super Smash Bros for Wii U, and would NOT allow other games to use GameCube controllers, nor would it enable GameCube controllers to be used on later versions of the Wii that ripped out the GameCube sockets.

Obviously, this puts a damper on all of us who had hoped to breathe new life into their Wii U consoles by playing old Wii games from the golden age of motion control games. I’ll still plan on buying one and testing it with my legacy controllers, just to see if Nintendo’s converter fares any better than Mayflash’s attempt. So still stay tuned…but don’t get your hopes up. :(

Wii Fit U and Balance Board and 2 Fit Meters Bundle on Sale at Groupon #wii #wiifit 05.10.14

Have you been putting off buying Wii Fit U, the Balance Board, and Fit Meters? Your procrastination has paid off! Groupon has a deal where you can get a hard copy of Wii Fit U, a brand new Balance Board, and two Fit Meters for only $50.

Just to break down the price, the Wii Fit U + Balance Board + 1 Fit Meter bundle usually goes for $89.99 retail (street price around $79). An extra Fit Meter usually runs you about $19.99 retail (street price around $17). So you’re paying $50 for something worth at least $96.

Some of us spent well over $100 for this same thing, so if you haven’t gotten one yet, this is a great opportunity. But hurry, this is only good for the next week!

Wii Fit U, Balance Board and 2 Fit Meters bundle on Groupon.

 

 

Wii Fit U Update to Version 1.3.0 03.07.14

For those of you who missed it, 2 weeks ago there was an update to Wii Fit U. There were the typical updates of bug fixes and UX improvements.

For those of you who, like me, use the Fit Meter every day I can, you’ll be happy to know that there are a bunch of new Fit Meter Challenge Courses.

For the walking courses, in addition to the existing courses:

Chicago – 26 miles
New York – 13 miles
London – 26 miles
Hawaii – 133 miles
Tour of Italy – 653 miles
Sydney – 23 miles
Berlin – 26 miles
Tokyo – 26 miles

You’ll have these new trails to conquer as well, complete with new cultural and historical information.

Vancouver Island Trail – 409 miles
John Muir Trail – 211 miles
Appalachian Trail – 2160 miles
Florida Trail – 761 miles
Via Augusta – 1108 miles
Orient Express – 1799 miles
Romantic Road – 228 miles
Tour of Crete – 298 miles
Kyushu – 249 miles
Shikoku – 746 miles
Tokaido – 306 miles
Hokkaido – 511 miles

Similar, in addition to these old Altitude challenges…

Statue of Liberty – 305 feet
Grand Canyon – 7260 feet
Eiffel Tower – 1062 feet
Pyramids – 446 feet
Mont Blanc – 15780 feet
Burj Khalifa – 2716 feet
Mount Everest – 29028 feet
Mount Fuji – 12388 feet

You’ll get these new ones.

Mount McKinley – 20236 feet
Half Dome – 8835 miles
CN Tower – 1814 miles
Machu Picchu – 7972 miles
The Shard – 1017 miles
The Matterhorn – 14692 miles
The Eiger – 13025 miles
Mount Olympus – 9573 miles
Mount Yari – 10433 miles
Yatsugatake – 9511 miles
Tokyo Skytree – 2080 miles
Mount Bandai – 5968 miles

Rather than stuffing everything on one map, they’ve kept the original world map but created new maps by region that you can scroll to. Here are the hiking trails in North America:

wii fit u map of north america

Here’s what the Appalachian Trail looks like. I do like that as you hit each checkpoint, you can read information about the location that can even help you plan a real-live trip. Unfortunately, if you’re doing a lot of miles at once, you won’t see these pop up for each checkout. But if you enter a little bit of data at a time, you can vicariously relive the experience of hiking the long trail. There’s something cool about taking your normal walk and “applying” the miles to a real-life hiking trail.

IMG_1734

It’s been a while since I input my altitude data, so I decided to relive my visit to Tokyo Skytree last December.

tokyo skytree on wii fit u

Lo and behold, I got a new hat out of it!

new hat!

 

The timing of these improvements to Wii Fit U couldn’t be better for me, as I’ve recently started on yet another experimentation in changing daily habits and weight loss. I signed up for New York City’s oft-maligned bike share program. I decided while there’s a lull in fitness video games, I might as well start doing a little blogging about my Citi Bike experiences. Feel free to take a gander if you’re interested…if not, stay tuned for a review of a new Wii U fitness game shortly!