This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer magazine.
Wii Fit U is going to drive environmentalists crazy. If 2008's 22-million-selling original is any indication, Nintendo's got a lot of plastic to churn out between now and launch later this year.
First, you've got your GamePad. This is of course standard, a console pack-in which here can display more sensitive information in the event you don't want the entire household to see the number of calories you consume daily. In games on a single screen you can throw out the TV altogether, performing aerobic exercises like lunging squats and press-ups while your people in the same room can watch EastEnders on the box and try to ignore the person breathing heavily over their shoulder.
For those exercises, however, you'll need peripheral number two - the Balance Board. Thankfully the one stashed in your loft under the Donkey Konga bongos is compatible. Combined with the GamePad, it gives you 20 brand new games to sink your teeth and bingo wings into, along with returning games from Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. We like hamstring workout Hosedown: step on the board to get the water flowing, and aim the GamePad like a hose to spray targets.
FAKE PLASTIC MiiS
Trampoline Target works the quads: lean on the board to turn in the air (with a side-on view provided by the TV and a bird's-eye one on the GamePad), and squat to bounce. Most strenuous are the bicep-shredding Rowing Crew, where Wii Remotes are used as oars in a sunny boat race around Wuhu Island, and Core Luge, which tightens abs as you lay on the Balance Board and bomb down an icy chute. All minigame collections have filler, though, and this one involves trying not to spill a tray of ice cream sundaes in a crowded restaurant. But hey, if it burns calories...
Plastic peripheral number three is a new one. The Fit Meter is the Pokéwalker by way of Mr Motivator, a pedometer that comes bundled with the game and displays calories burnt, steps taken and time spent along with a monochrome thumbnail of your puffing Mii. It embodies Nintendo's push for cross-platform sharing. Via infrared, information can be transmitted between Fit Meter and GamePad, and existing Wii Fit players can send over saved data and records.
Environmentalists might not welcome all that plastic, but it combines to give gamers a broad selection of mostly fun and very healthy workouts.