Nintendo announced Wednesday that its exercise-oriented Wii Fit game, complete with Balance Board controllers, will go on sale in North America on May 19.
The Japanese maker of hot-selling Wii video game consoles revealed the launch date as it showed off Fit at a major Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
"We are here to show developers what can be done with the Balance Board," Nintendo of America president Reginald Fils-Aime told AFP after finishing a virtual giant slalom ski race on Wii Fit on the GDC show floor.
A Balance Board measured Fils-Aime's body position and shifts of weight from foot to foot to maneuver an animated skier through an on-screen downhill course.
"We think it opens all types of possibilities for new kinds of games," Fils-Aime said.
Games for Wii Fit fall into four categories: strength training, aerobics, yoga, and balance games.
Nintendo has 10 games in development that use the boards as controllers. Balance boards detect a user's weight and balance to control the movements of on-screen characters or provide feedback for measurements such as whether one is nearing diet, posture or fitness goals.
Nintendo has sold more than 1.4 million Wii Fit games since they made an exclusive launch in Japan in early December. Wii Fit will be available in Europe in April.
Nintendo makes 1.8 million Wii consoles monthly, a production rate unprecedented in the industry, according to Fils-Aime.
"People keep referring to this as a production issue," he said. "It's not. It's a demand issue."
Nintendo plans to maintain its momentum in North America with releases of fighting action game Super Smash Brothers Brawl in March, Super Mario Galaxy in November and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass in October.