GTA IV vs Wii Fit

While GTA’s record breaking sales will lead to the entertainment industry re-evaluating the value of console brands and sales, it is the slow steady and continuous domination of Nintendo, the Wii and more specifically the recent introduction of Wii Fit that will widen the appeal of console gaming as a lifestyle addition.

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A couple of the things that let GTA IV down were its 18 rating, and darker style and violent nature which naturally steers its sales towards the existing gamer population,  – by using a multi platform console release Rockstar North guaranteed it would reach the widest possible gamer base, able to reach next generation users desperate for the violent, sandbox style of play that they’ve come to know and love, and then they expanded on that with brilliant execution of the game world.

I’m going to come back to GTA IV in future post – as it’s created ripples through the entertainment industry that are going to be felt for years to come.

It is the limited appeal of GTA to the non gamer population that has led to a massive drop-off in sales subsequent weeks. With regards to the Wii, and Wii Fit It’s been word of mouth, restricted supply – family appeal, and game-style that’s the catalyst.

Reebok Step In the Uk we’ve had Wii Fit for some time now. Wii Fit hits the player on so many different levels, you have the appeal of the balance board – it looks a lot like the step from ‘step aerobics’, it actively encourages you to work out as a family, to take it in turns and track your fitness with each other. On the more entertaining side there is skiing, football, and balancing games (you can bet there will be an awesome skateboard game out soon) – you’ve got the younger audience, and party games appeal.

Wii Fit a winning combination of health and technology, the users don’t feel they’re being geeky, because they’re safe in the knowledge that they’re actually gaining something out of using the device other than the intrinsic goals set by the game itself. Users don’t have to feel embarrassed playing a toy because it’s not a toy – they see it as part of their fitness regime. Just in case they don’t want to work out, or play games – there’s always Yoga included for peace of mind. Clever.

Wii Fit with family
Sure when Wii Fit hits American shores on the 19th May there’s bound to be the usual cases of heart attacks and attempted lawsuits from people who try and attempt too much just like when the Wii first came out. Come Christmas time when it’s dark and cold outside people are more likely to slacken off exercising – there’s the new years resolutions that follow with the yearly ‘I must lose the weight I put on over Christmas’. In the same way that ‘Brain Training’ on the DS pushed gaming to the non gamers – Wii Fit can be used as a tool in sports centers, care homes, occupational therapy sessions, and accident rehab programs.

Compare your fitness level with your family

Months after GTA IV has been resigned to the bargain basement bin, and GTA V is on the horizon, Wii fit will still be selling strong.

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3 comments on “GTA IV vs Wii Fit
  1. Will says:

    Hi mate, I’m interested in why you’ve compared Wii Fit and GTA IV they’re such different animals. Is it because they’re both grabbing headlines at the moment?

    If we’re looking at success metrics then GTA IV was always going to sell well. It’s a genre game, a genre GTA created and has continued to hone. It’s appeal lies in advancing the already successful formula with an increased level of detail and different storylines that people can relate to through other media such as cinema, literature etc.

    WiiFit’s success lies in selling people their dream of fitness and wellbeing, something incredibly popular right now. I put it in the same bracket as those infomercials for things like the ‘abdominiser’ and diet pills etc.
    I’m sure that people will play it for the games, but really WiiFit isn’t a game, it’s a lifestyle choice.

    Looking at both games it’s easy to see where their success lies. WiiFit and indeed the Wii has crossed into other media, and generated new revenue streams. My girlfriend came home with WiiFit, without any prompting from me – in fact I didn’t really know much about the ‘game’ until she appeared with a large white box.
    GTA on the other hand remains firmly within the gamer’s sphere. If you’re into video games you’ll have heard about GTA IV, you may well have played earlier games. The liklihood of GTA IV popping up in Glamour magazine is minimal.

    Will WiiFit be selling when GTA V is on the shelves? Unlikely, the whole ‘consoles can make you fit’ episode will have either imploded after advertising watchdogs scrutinize the real benefits of a plastic board with bluetooth connectivity or WiiFit 2 will be out.

    Either way the Wii really has represented itself as a true next generation console. It’s not simply increasing the poly count of games that have existed for many years now, it’s crossing genres, appealing to non-gamers and challenging the way we’ve historically interfaced with video games.

    Whenever I play the Wii I’m always reminded of that line from Back to the Future 2 when they fire up a retro arcade machnine and one of the future kids says “You have to use your hands? That’s a babies toy” – that line is now applicable to current entertainment technology.

  2. Matt says:

    Thankyou – Great Comment –
    Reasons for article, well Wii Fit is coming in under the radar for a lot of people compared to GTA IV’s huge gamer following, It’s easy for the gamer literate population to miss the fact that they’re in the minority. Europe has the biggest gamer population, and the biggest untapped market is the Nintendo target audience. So I’m just trying to get a sense of perspective on what will really make the sales long term regardless of if it breaks 3 world records on day 1 of release.

  3. Will says:

    I’ve noticed for many years that ‘gaming’ is slowly becoming another entertainment medium, just like cinema. I’ve always classed myself as a bit of a geek, but maintain other interests [other than video games] to maintain perspective. Gaming interests were only really shared with other gamers or other like-minded geeks.
    Now gaming culture has become either more acceptable or diluted, perhaps in parallel to the acceptance of the web and other technologies into the home.
    Now a video games consoles beneath the television in the lounge isn’t the declaration of identity it once was. Games consoles are becoming as ubiquitous as video recorders once were.
    Perhaps as people [non-geeks] have become more technologically literate so the walls to digital entertainment have tumbled. Or perhaps they just feature more in mainstream media; the news, television programmes, cinema – piquing people’s interest.
    Either way consoles are being embraced by a much wider spectrum of individuals, and this has resulted in a far wider spectrum of software to play on them. This is probably where Wii Fit comes in, and the myriad ‘games’ that will follow in its wake and transform the classical notion of a ‘video game’.
    In some respects I’m excited by this transformation from aberrant cult to mainstream pass-time, on the other hand I liked the fact that video games were sequestered from mainstream media as it provided an escape. Whether that same sense of escape will continue is unlikely, Wii Fit and the Wii has opened a Pandora’s box that can never be closed.

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