Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has said in an interview that despite its name, Nintendo's upcoming Wii Fit is not actually designed to make people fit.
According to a GameDaily report, the latest edition of "Iwata Asks" on Wii.com features a discussion between Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and Miyamoto about the design process for Wii Fit. The game was originally inspired by Miyamoto's obsession with his weight, which he records and graphs daily, but eventually grew well beyond that. "We couldn't decide on what the next step would be and work came to a virtual standstill - until, that is, a staff member bought two scales, and found that it was pretty good fun to step on both of them at once and try to balance on them evenly," he said. "At that point, I asked the programmer to connect two scales to a computer and set it up so that your balance would be displayed on-screen numerically in a way that would be understandable even at a glance. When we did so, we decided to attempt to make measuring one's balance a theme for the software. We were sure there were methods of keeping fit involving balance, and when we looked into it, they did indeed exist."
But later in the interview, Miyamoto reveals that maintaining physical fitness isn't actually the point of the game. "I forgot to mention something earlier: I don't think Wii Fit's purpose is to make you fit; what it's actually aiming to do is make you aware of your body," he said.
"If you're standing still, and it tells you "Your body is swaying," you can see on the training results screen that your body has been shaking. But I think you'd never realize that your body is shaking in day-to-day life. I think becoming aware of things like this about yourself is quite interesting."
Wii Fit, which makes use of the Wii Balance Board controller, was released in Japan on December 1, 2007, and has since sold over 1.1 million copies. No official release date has been set for North America, although Nintendo has said the game will ship sometime in the first half of 2008. Nintendo President Iwata's full interview with Miyamoto is available here.