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Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Nintendo Launches "Wii Fit" Exercise Game

Nintendo's "Wii Fit," which arrives on U.S. store shelves on Monday, is expected to draw new customers to Nintendo's wildly popular Wii video game console.

The "game" aims to get players off the couch and lead them to stretch, shake and sweat their way to a healthy life.

It is forecast to be the industry's latest blockbuster game after last month's "Grand Theft Auto 4," the criminal action title that racked up $500 million in global sales in one week.

Wii Fit is already available in Japan since last December for 8,800 yen ($75), and it will retail in the U.S for $90. The game comes with a shoulder-width "balance board" that senses tiny shifts in a person's posture and is used to control a cartoonish character on the TV screen. Balance board looks like a set of bathroom scales and can sense when a person moves and leans, enabling players to "head" virtual soccer balls and experience ski jumping on a TV screen.

The board can also be used for such activities as yoga and aerobics.

Wii fit is shaping up to be the latest in a string of hits for the Osaka, Japan-based company, which has tapped a rich vein of previously undiscovered mass-market interest in gaming with the Wii and titles like "Wii Play."

"Wii Fit" has sold more than two million units in Japan since its launch late last year, and Nintendo says interest is "strong" in Europe, where it went on sale last month.

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