Saturday December 1st
“Get up/get out of bed/drag a comb across my head”.
Today is the Japanese launch of Wii Fit
, so I’m up a bit earlier than usual. I'm still bleary-eyed as the wife tells me to get a move on because she’s heard on the news that some people are queuing for the game and its hefty Balance Board accessory. As I hadn’t bothered to make a reservation, there’s no time for breakfast.
I cycle down to the train station and board a train bound for central Kyoto, where I plan to get Wii Fit
from our nearest electronics megastore (a shop called Bic Camera).
I arrive five minutes past opening time; any queues that were here have already dissipated. But there’s still plenty of stock, so I walk out of the store 8,000yen/£35 lighter – Wii Fit
is already helping me to lose pounds.
Back home at last after a rotten return train journey – rotten because it was full of compressed people and lacking in oxygen, as everyone was heading out of Kyoto to see the autumn colours at Arashiyama
. Plus, the return leg of my bicycle journey was uphill all the way; plus, I was riding like some kind of foreign circus performer with a 4.5kg package hanging from the handlebar. I must have looked like a genuine clown.
I’ve recuperated from my early morning exercise (the irony isn’t lost on me). I’m pepped up on the sporting Englishman’s energy drink of choice (a mug of Earl Grey), so it’s time to get Wii Fit
and the Balance Board set up and operational.
It takes a few minutes to unwrap the thing, position it in the middle of the living room floor and sync it up with the Wii (the Balance Board has a red button, just like the Wii Remote).
The build of the board is impressive, there’s no way you could send this skidding across the floor because it weighs more than four kilos and has ‘grippy feet’. There are no moving parts either, so it’s less like standing on a seesaw and more like standing on a breezeblock.
There’s a note on the packaging to warn that the Balance Board can only support individuals who weigh less than 136kg, although it seems strong enough to withstand even heavier users.
Surely this limitation could be a problem in, say... America or the UK or anywhere else with a high obesity rate? Perhaps Nintendo will manufacture an even tougher Balance Board for the benefit of portly gamers worldwide?