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Nintendo: Half a million Japanese people still play  Wii Fit  daily
Nintendo: Half a million Japanese people still play Wii Fit daily
October 31, 2013 | By Mike Rose

October 31, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

"Our survey in Japan shows, for example, that more than 500,000 people are still using their Wii Balance Boards on a daily basis, and we find similar trends in other regions, too."
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes that Wii Fit U is going to be the title that finally puts the Wii U on the map.

Nintendo is trialing a new monetization technique with the upcoming Wii Fit U, giving users a free month trial of the title in the hope that a good portion of those who download it will then go on to purchase the game at a discounted price.

Iwata said today as part of Nintendo's second quarter financial results briefing that, according to internal research at the company, there are still hundreds of thousands of people around the world playing the original Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus games -- and Nintendo is hoping to coax these people into buying Wii Fit U too.

By making Wii Fit U free for a month, Nintendo hopes that many of these daily Balance Board users will choose to upgrade to the Wii U console. "By using the pre-release trial version as a catalyst, we will strive to create and disseminate buzz, and ultimately turn it into an enduring bestseller," he adds.

"As it was the case with both Wii Sports and Wii Fit, this title is not the kind of game whose success hinges on its initial sales," Iwata added. "It is true that its initial sales and profits will suffer as a result of this campaign, but Wii Sports and Wii Fit achieved great popularity and large sales over an extended period of time because they managed to create adequate buzz in society."

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Iwata, I love ya buddy, but if you've got so many people who still use their Wii every day, what makes you think they're suddenly going to drop another 300+ bucks on getting a new version of what they already have?

Patrick Davis
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The same reason people keep paying for the same military shooters and sports games every year. Magic.

Bob Johnson
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CL you have a great point. And Patrick you bring up a good rebuttal.

But I have to go with CL in this case. I think it will be a much harder sell to the exercise crowd than a new console is to the shooter and sports gamer crowd.

I can't say I see it happening with the Wii U and Wii Fit.

And selling into an active user base of hundreds of thousands isn't going to net you many sales no matter what you're selling.

I guess I feel like this akin to Activision coming out with a new Guitar Hero because they found hundreds of thousands still strum their plastic guitars and then asking them to buy a $300 console in order to play the game.

On the other hand this can't hurt the Wii U's appeal to families. If the kids start wanting one because of Super Mario and Mom hears about a new Wii Fit game on the Ellen show then that can only help seal the deal right?