Last night Nintendo dropped a mysterious trailer for some new software and bit of kit that has the internet buzzing. A Nintendo Direct presentation was broadcast less than 48 hours ago, but there's more?! The fact that this 'new experience for Nintendo Switch' wasn't included in the Direct is noteworthy, suggesting that this won't be a 'game' in the traditional sense. It's possible that the new peripheral is linked to patents filed before the Switch launched and, in fact, all that stretching and activity has lots of people assuming this is the Switch equivalent of Wii Fit.
Those comparisons are certainly understandable, although after taking a closer look at the trailer we're not so sure. It seems Nintendo is focusing on fun, social gameplay here, while admittedly also evoking the 'fitness-lite' gameplay that went down so well in the Wii era. Our initial impression - based solely on this trailer - is of something closer to Wii Sports Resort or 1-2-Switch than the health-focused phenomenon that had people the world over doing the Hula-Hoop challenge on a Wii Balance Board a decade ago.
Let's take a closer look at the trailer and speculate as to what it all means...
It starts with a group gathering, and focuses on the shared, social experience - we're surprised they're not on a rooftop. They're all saying 'Ooo, What's this fun thing?'
Cut to Paris:
Here we see a woman in relaxed attire discovering the 'ring' (for the purposes of this article, we'll call it that) for herself. It's flex-y, it's fun - which way up does it go? The right Joy-Con slides and clicks into it, and she straps another to her thigh before engaging in some stretchy-type activity, and possibly some form of archery. Are there sensors in those grips?
Straight from the start, Nintendo is emphasising universality - everyone wants to have fun and be fit, whether you're alone or with friends. The 'lifestyle' approach is loud and clear and immediately signals why this product was kept apart from the games in the Nintendo Direct.
We then cut to Madrid:
A group of friends are egging each other on and having fun. The tension and flexibility of the ring is highlighted here - it really looks like a Pilates ring, although they're certainly not exercising. Note that there's only one ring here, and throughout the entire trailer. That might just be to keep things simple for the reveal, but the emphasis is on how this thing brings friends together.
Next stop on this city hop: Rome...
Again, not a sweatband in sight. Instead we see middle-aged Italian men goofing around and having fun with family and friends. It's a similar story in San Francisco:
The guy in the t-shirt might look like he's toning his triceps, but we doubt he's getting much of a workout. Also notice that the focus is very much on the TV. "Oh, I did a backflip!" the man in the shirt exclaims. We can safely assume he's referring to his onscreen avatar, whatever that may be.
We than jump to yet another fabulous living room, this time in Kyoto, Nintendo's home city. We're back to emphasising the yoga-like health benefits as the players here stretch, rotate and balance. 'Fun' is still the focus, although the core-muscle ability demonstrated here arguably exceeds that of the Italian man wiggling his legs in the air.
In Dallas the hats have come off, so things are getting serious. Again, Nintendo is highlighting the social fun of the ring here (and that it's for all ages). Notice that in one shot the ring is on the floor with only the thigh-holstered left Joy-Con sending data to the console. Just as with Wii Fit, it seems a variety of games will require different inputs. Ah, we can see those warning splash screens already!
So, what should we make of this? Is this Switch Fit? Well, on the strength of this mysterious reveal, we're not convinced. The Parisian woman is the only person wearing anything remotely gym-worthy (doing a sit-up while wearing the belt buckle sported by the guy in Dallas could cause some serious internal injuries), and while it's significant that Nintendo cuts to a lone player after introducing the ring with the initial group shots, the fun, social aspect is the clear focus. It's highlighted from the beginning that there's a solo experience to enjoy, with a possibility of health and fitness benefits, but they're clearly de-emphasised in comparison to something like Wii Fit.
It appears that Nintendo may be trying to have its cake and eat it by combining the fitness-lite aspects of Fitness Boxing with the party gameplay of 1-2-Switch. While neither of those titles are going to get core gamers' pulses racing (exactly the reason why this wasn't part of the Nintendo Direct presentation), Fitness Boxing has been a big hit. Although that game might have 'fitness' is in the name, it's just as much a rhythm game as something to shed a few pounds, so widening the appeal of that sort of content with a broader 'social' context seems like a sound plan to expand Switch's audience further. If this simple peripheral evokes memories of Wii Fit in the minds of the casual audience, that's just dandy, but crucially this flexible hoop appears to function with just the Joy-Con. That should keep it cheap enough for curious gamers to investigate, even if they're not sold on keep-fit software. Everyone's a winner.
It's important to remember that the landscape for health and fitness aids is very different to how it was when Wii Fit briefly caught the world's imagination. Fitbits, Apple Watches and other wearables with health-monitoring applications are utterly commonplace and nobody's going to put down 100 notes for a pair of overblown bathroom scales in 2019. By reframing this as 'social' software and de-emphasising the mild health benefits, Nintendo gets to wear two different hats and, potentially, attract the widest possible audience.
Whatever this ring turns out to be (and we'd expect a name that highlights how it brings people together - the Switch Ring or Circle or some such thing), we'll find out more on 12th September.
What do you make of this flexible little peripheral? Is it simply Wii Fit for a new generation or is Nintendo hoping to win over the social crowd as well as the health-conscious? Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings below, and give us your best guess at a name for this peripheral. We're going with the 'Halo' - nobody's got that trademark tied up, right?
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I'll wait for a sale just like I did with Wii Fit U and the balance board.
A lot of people seem to be speculating that it'll be for Mario and Sonic Olympic Games but I feel like they should have teased this weeks before now if that was the case. I am so genuinely curious and excited about what goofy product Nintendo will make this time.
Looks like another fitness thing that will get rare use from a bunch of people, my mom bought a Wii Fit she used it once lol. Also this thing just does not look very exciting even.
I was burned by Labo.
I was burned by the Balance Board.
I was burned by the Wii Zapper.
Hell, I was even burned way back in the 80’s when I bought a ROB and it ended up utilizing 2 whole games. I still have it.
I’m not buying any more “unconventional” controllers. I appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking, but no thanks.
The only “unconventional” controllers I absolutely love? DK Bongos. Bring back my Bongos, Nintendo!
Edit to add that these peripherals just aren’t my thing. I think they are almost always half-baked and leave a sour taste in my mouth. If you like them, great. More power to ya.
Nintendo rented the Getty Images people for this lol.
I'm probably the one left, but I still use my Wii Fit weekly. I cannot wait for this!
How were you burned by Labo and the Balance Board?
Wii Fit is a more than competent body weight tracker, and can give reasonably feedback on the quality of Yoga poses.
Labo kits are brilliantly crafted feats of mechanical engineering. Not meant to be controllers for all games, just toys that work their specific software.
Either way, you should have known what you were getting before buying, and thus would not have been burned.
Hurrah for a company who tries different things.
Don't care if it fails. You have to try things before succedding.
@Keyser815 did it make a difference in your fitness?
For Pete's sake, just give me Windwaker.
@KIRO Yes, I'd say so. I usually do a 30-min warm up/stretch/weights with it before going running.
@justin233 yeah the bongos were ace. Loved DK Jungle Beat!
maybe spend some time updating the dashboard instead of coming up with stupid stuff, labo was a flop why kept trying to come up with this stuff
There's just one thing that puzzles me and that's the emphasis on global playing. Yes, we have seen Nintendo Switch played in every corner of the world (even in space), but why suddenly show where this ring is played? Is there an emphasis on not just sociality but global sociality perhaps?
in Kyoto they stop goofing around... and do straight Pilates stretching moves. My cousin is a physical therapist - they have tons of these. Resistance training is actually really good for people.
@k8sMum You felt that was a relevant comment because....?
Think the crazy name.
2. SWiitch & TWiitch
5. Nintendo O
6. Nintendo Rei (Zero)
7. Black Hoole
@jockmahon maybe spend some time on interersting R&D instead of fannying around with a perfectly functional user interface, Switch was a roaring success so keep trying to come up with this stuff!
I get it now. That “ring” represents the circle in the inferno for bad joycon. Eternal damnation for those that drift.
Either that or it’s some medieval torture device for them.
That’s my best guess.
If it confirms archery then I am in. Still play Wii Sports Resort for that and basketball.
I prefer crazy games like that rather than typical mainstream games.
@justin233 tend to agree. Tho I think at least part of it is because I didn't have anyone else to play with. I overdid it with Wii Notes too.
"Instead we see middle-aged Italian men"
Middle aged? Did @damo approve this article, I think he's older than all of them. How old is Glavin, 14? 😊
@Agramonte The guy in Dallas looks like he's using a Thighmaster. (3rd times a charm)
@danemord Maybe they'll have global leaderboards for scores that require NO? Or maybe it's an Olympics tie-in?
@k8sMum Every generation needs their pet rock.
I reckon this will have multiple uses / ideas. The labo team seem to be really creative.
Btw, from what i saw about usage for that peripheral, looks like the ring was actually a redesign of Wiimote but using the rubber ring to play.
I can do archering, steering a car, dance off, etc.
It's definitely not aiming for simulation of actual sports because if that's meant to be "archery"... holy moley, she's barely dragging the string back. You wouldn't do that with a real bow.
Another faux fitness game that’s sure to flop like Labo
@smashboy2000 I agree, which is why it’s so sad that Nintendo is trying to still get the attention of all the grandmas that bought a Wii.
They should be investing in more western IPs to take some of that PS4 market.
All hail the ring
@LUIGITORNADO people are just fed up now of all these gimicks. Toys life rubbish like this future are all in the landfill
@rjejr The Guy in Dallas needs to try A LOT HARDER before he shows up at the Gym
They do Hardcore Switch RING there - it even got PokeBalls Plus 😅
I will find out on the 12th.
Unless this is a core accessory for a game based on The Ring, I can't imagine wanting to get this.
I saw the video on YouTube and thougt it was an April's fool... Then I watched again... It's not the first of April, so... I don't really get this. Glad they didn't put it in the Direct
@Agramonte eSport training.
@rjejr AGAIN with the Thigh Master video? Should we report you to the spam filter, or what?
What with all the negative comments about this thing already, the only following article slogan I can think of, is "O-ring Blowout".
Don't look that up, though. No, seriously: don't. Especially not with the kids or the missus around...
I hope it's an equivalent or even a direct continuation of the Wii Fit.
Really hoping they are making some sort of compatibility for the Fit Board.
Nintendo: Get ready for a new experience!
Everyone: iT's Just A wIi Fit sEqUeL fOr CaSuAlz. I wAnT muh HaRdCoRe GaMeZ iNsTeAd.
Will need more info but will unlikely get it. I have all this cardboard on top of my wardrobe gathering dust and takes a lot of space. The vr glasses are small and fine but the other cardboard crafts.
Sorry just had to get this out of my system
Looks More Like the old wheel controller from the wii.
@ThanosReXXX I posted the vid 3 times. It's like one of those My Nintendo Rewards games where you have to find 3 ghosts on the Luigi's Mansion website. 🤣
I’ll admit laziness and waiting for niece to be older has made labo worthless for me, but the wii zapper was great if you got rail shooters (like Ghost Squad, House of the Dead, the Cabelas Hunting games) and worked as just a compact plastic shell for the mote and nunchuck combo.
Balance Board worked across systems to the wii u (so did the zapper, honestly) worked for punch out (major bonus) and an actual decent number of fitness games.
Honestly the nintendo peripheral I only remember using for one game was the track and field mat. And I don’t care, that thing was awesome. Even the Super Scope had two Battleclash games (though I didn’t have that peripheral anyway).
I think I might just like peripherals more. Especially DK bongos! Jungle Beat is highly underrated.
@Anguspuss It's so true. Just more pollution. At least you can recycle Labo.
This actually looks pretty neat. I think this will do a lot better than people imagine. I myself will tune in to see more next week.
@LUIGITORNADO You do realize you can allocate the budget to both right?
It's yet another pointless Nintendo thing that will be ignored 5 minutes after going on sale if it ever does.
I hope this is a B team thing and the A team is working on the Switch 2 and better online services.
This looks kinda gimmicky and I have no desire to own one
Good thing this can't be review bombed on Metacritic lol
Pretty obvious thing will be much more than an existing pilate ring since, ya know, a video game is involved.
Wii Fit Balance boards werent actually just bathroom scales despite the memes.
@westman98 Your... comment... has... WAY... too... few... likes...
@TheMisterManGuy I’m not Nintendo, so why don’t you ask them. They own Retro, but I think that’s it. NLG seems to be independent.
Honestly wish they’d give NoA some freedom, so they can invest in more western game devs. Instead Nintendo acts as though they can’t compete with Sony in this market.
Thank God. I really need to loose weight. I remember the wi fit board. It couldn't measure my weight because I was to heavy and it broke. I'm a little bigger now, but luckily nintendo is coming with something new that doesn't need to support my weight.
I still think it is Wii Fit, or at least that this hoop is going to be used in a new Wii Fit. Wii Fit was more than yoga, it had some wacky games as well as some intense ones. This fits the bill for me. Come on, Switch Fit!
Also don't hate on the balance board. It wasn't just a scale.
@LUIGITORNADO I would like Nintendo to invest in more Western Games too. But let's not pretend that stuff like this will take away from that.
@TheMisterManGuy honestly. I know they have the capacity...problem is I don’t see it happening.
@LUIGITORNADO The Switch doesn't have the casual stigma that the Wii has. It's a more versatile system. You see Nintendo releasing stuff like Astral Chain, an all-out, hardcore action game, alongside stuff like Labo.
looks really lame. I rather have more games.
I'm convinced this "Nintendo is returning to the casual grandma Wii era" mentality is nothing more than "hardcore gamer" fearmongering.
As far as "blue ocean" titles on Switch, Nintendo has published 1-2 Switch, Labo Kits 1-4, Fitness Boxing, and this new thing over the last ~3 years; that's 4 games (7 if you count each Labo kit separately).
Meanwhile, Nintendo has published Mario Maker 2, Marvel's Ultimate Alliance 3, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Dragon Quest Builders 2, and Astral Chain (aka all "traditional" games) in the last 3 months alone.
@jockmahon Imagine if that was said about the Wii (which guess what, it was) "the power glove was a flop, stop trying to do this stuff".
And then the Wii became Nintendo's best selling console. Again with the Switch, it's the fastest selling console of all time in the U.S.
This definitely evokes Wii Fit, despite the emphasis on social gaming. I saw mild exercise and yoga. Wii Fit did those things too. Looks like activities that can be done alone while easily being passed to a friend without all of the calibration stuff the Wii Fit Balance Board required. This looks a lot cheaper as well. I guess only time will tell.
...can we use this as a nintendo noose?
Im not saying its bad Im just making fun of the appearance
Nintendo's been drinking again.
It looks so unnecessary.
@Mycroft Exactly. I saw the headline, I knew there would be crying. Was I disappointed? Not in the slightest. No need for people to complain. It's not for them, keep moving.
Others got it. I'd rather get Windwaker than another gimmick.
In the 9 years I've been here I don't remember hearing the rule saying we need to justify posts to you. Just be something new.
I've loved Wii Fit U, had fun with 1 2 Switch, been liking Fitness Boxing, and I like all the Labo projects, so I'm pretty hyped for this. I can't wait to mess around with the Joy Hoop, or Stretchy Circle Con, or Switch exercise infomercial fitness loop, or whatever name they give it.
Anybody with even remote idea of fitness will know that a game will not make you fitter. This requires hours per week of activity/ies, breaking a real sweat, pushing yourself to the limits in order to grow and become better at whatever you are training; not to mention proper nutrition, lifestyle changes to reduce stress and improve sleep quality and so on. I am all for fun games that require more than just sitting on a couch; love my Beat Saber, loved Wii Sports back in the day, it is for fun though, not fitness.
@k8sMum never mind "justifying to me" how about making it "relevant to the article"?
"Nintendo are developing new hardware"
"I want retro games"
Where's the connection?
If all you're saying is "I'm not interested" you can acheive the same result by not posting.....
@finalstan an article published today in the guardian reporting that even a tiny amount of exercise has beneficial effects (soz, dunno how to link from here....)
So...how is your whinging about what you see as a non-relevent post related to the article? It was a short, flippant remark, many of which are made at NL every day.
Tell you what: you ignore me and I'll ignore you and all will be right with the world.
@Sabroni Of course it has beneficial effects. However, when general population thinks about those they think: I will lose 10 pounds, get a six pack and transform my physique ('tone'), and will be able to run a marathon - all by playing a game once a week for 10 minutes (and replacing 10 with 30 here will not make a difference). They don't think: my insulin resistance will improve ever so slightly; even though that is what happens.
From what I have gathered about this new game...
> It will obviously involved fitness and exercise, but it will not be Wii Fit
> Though it is not Wii Fit, the Wii Fit Trainer may be an in-game character
> It is more akin to Splatoon or Arms rather than 1-2 Switch or Labo
> It will launch this year, possibly in December
Judging from the many poses I saw in the teaser, it seems there will be sports as well, from Archery to Bowling. Maybe it will have elements from both Wii Sports and Wii Fit, all contained in a completely new experience.
Also, expect this to have really polished graphics
@k8sMum sweet! Ignored! Now don't go posting anything article related i might actually want to read, ok?
(Rhetorical obv, i can't see your posts!)
No problem. I haven't actually clicked the button to ignore you, just won't bother doing anything but quick scan your posts if the subject interests me.
But you won't see this, so you'd probably consider it non-relevant.
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