Nintendo devices – Health and Fitness

Brief History of Nintendo

  • Started out in 1889 as a Nintendo Koppai by Fusajiro Yamauchi  and sold Hanafuda Cards.
Fusajiro Yamauchi
Fusajiro Yamauchi
  • Then ventured into Toys and started selling video games 1975
  • Now they are a successful game company that does game making (design of consoles), game development, game publishing and game distribution (through their online stores)



Nintendo and Innovation

  • While other game companies strove for better performing consoles that can dish out better graphics, Nintendo focused instead on innovation and creating new forms of game play. This can be seen in the games on their hand held consoles.
Evolution of Nintendo handheld consoles
  • And a look at the design of their controllers show how they are willing to be different.

  • Through Nintendo’s willingness to innovate, they became pioneers in bringing the game world and the health and fitness together. Specifically through the Wii Remote, Wii Fit board, Wii Sports and Wii Fit.


The Wii outdid its competitors in the 7th generation console wars

Wii Controller and Wii Sports

Creation of the Wii Remote

  • The motion based control idea that is central to the Nintendo Wii was also pitched to and turned down by bot Microsoft and Sony by Tom Quinn
  • He thought of the idea “of how a motion controller can create a navigable 3D space that people can use to navigate aircraft more effectively”
  • Thought the idea could take off in gaming and patented the idea covered “any physical motion in the real world that could be translated to linear motions on a screen.
  • Xbox was against the Idea and Sony would only accept it if the technology can be produced with just 50 cents.
  • In September 2001 pitched it to Nintendo. Who were divided at first but licensed the patent in the end and bought part of Tom Quinn’s Company Gyration.
  • Gyration Teamed up with Bridge Design to come up with designs for the Wii Remote.
Early Wii Remote Designs
Early Wii Remote Designs
  • Apparently, early Wii Remote Designs were heavily based on the Game Cube Controller ( the button layout) and it was meant to accommodate for both left handed and right handed users.
Early Wii Remote Designs

How the controller works

Key Components

Components of the Wii
  • Accelerometer : is able to measure proper acceleration (acceleration experienced reference to free fall) along y,x and z axis.
  • Wii Motion Plus – 2 Gyroscope (dual axis and z axis) : used to measure Pitch, Yaw and Roll
  • By combining the linear axis movement and angular readings from the gyroscope, the Wii can react to any degree of movement. (converted through the Data Converter and transmitted through Bluetooth Chip)

Wii Motion plus, Cross Section
  • Infra Red Camera : Used to read the infra red the lights emitted by the sensor bar to read the position of of the Wii remote relative to the position of the screen to create a cursor
  • Speaker & Audio Amplifier: to give audio feedback
  • Audio Translator:  So that the controller also works as a micorphone
  • Powered by 2 AA batteries.


Wii Sports

  • Started out as a series of tech Demos for the Wii Remote.
  • Initially was only intended to include 3 games but was expanded to 5.
  • Became one of the highest selling console games of all time
  • Was being used for rehabilitation in hospitals.

Predecessors and Successors

Nintendo Power Glove


Wii Balance Board and Wii Fit

Balance Board


Wii Fit board disassembled
  • We Balance Board measures your weight and balance.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto got the inspiration from constantly using his bathroom scale and wanted to turn it into a game.
  • Sent to his developer team who got the inspiration to use multiple sensors from seeing sumo wrestlers use two weighing scales.


How does it Work ?

  • The Wii fit Board contains four Load sensors (which consist of two strain sensors on a strip of metal that measures the strain applied to the metal) to measure weight. (100kg, the strain gauge will only bend by 0.1mm, but the sensors are able to pick this up.)
  • Can support up to 150 kg for in game functionality and the sensors must be placed on a flat surface to be able to work properly.
  • Communicates this data to the Wii using the same blue tooth wireless technology as the WiiRemote (60 signals per second)
  • Initially wanted it to be connected to the Wii Remote but they were afraid that the wires would get tangled up and that it would be dangerous.


Wii Fit

  • Is a series of exercise games that were meant to be played with the Wii Balance Board
  • There were a mixture of Yoga and Strength Exercising, all them were directed by the Wii fit trainer



Results of the Wii Sports and Wii Fit

Statistics and sales — compare to Mario Kart




Nintendo Financial Result Briefing September 2009
  • From the sales it is obvious that the Wii Sports and Wii fit did really well (even though Wii sports was bundled with the Wii in most states, but in Japan where it was sold separately, it was still one of the highest selling games in the region)
  • The Wii was created to appeal to the mass market and not just the gaming market. As such the Wii was designed to be easy to use by non-gamers and gamers alike
  • Wii Record Bowling Holder for most number of perfect games. Held by John Bates at the Age of 85
  • Disadvantages would be the Wii was scoffed at by “serious” or hardcore gamers as being too casual. But data showed that most gamers had a Wii and either a Sony Playstation or an Xbox but never all 3.
The Wii outdid its competitors in the 7th Generation Console Wars.



Cohen, D. S. (2019, June 24). The History of Nintendo: How Your Favorite Video Games Came to Be. Retrieved from


DidYouKnowGaming? (2016, March 18). Wii Sports – Did you know Retrieved from


Rothman, W. (2013, June 19). Wii-mote Prototype Designer Speaks Out, Shares Sketchbook. Retrieved from


ClanOfTheGrayWolf. (2011, February 13). The Way Games Work – Wii Remote & Motion Plus. Retrieved from

Chad Tower . (2008, April 6). How the Wii Remote Works .Retrieved from

Did You Know Gaming (2016, March 18). Wii Sports – Did You Know Gaming? Retrieved from



Neuroscience Research Australia (2012, February 2). Wii-based Movement Therapy for stroke rehabilitation.

Retrieved from


Jacquot, Jeremy. “How the Wii Balance Board Works.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 22 Feb. 2010,


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