lose weight with wii and nutrisystem

Archive for December, 2015

VirZoom Early Bird Special!

If my last post about the VirZoom exercise bike for Virtual Reality systems (Oculus, Playstation VR, or HTC Vive) intrigued you, you might want to read on.

VirZoom just announced today that they are giving free lifetime VirZOOM Plus memberships to the first 1000 people who pre-order. “Plus” memberships are going to cost $9.99 a month at launch and will give you access to things like online multiplayer mode, leaderboards, fitness tracking for your household, and access to any new games they produce for life.

It’s not hard to do the math…at a value of $9.99 a month it means that your entire price will be paid for in two years, and if the demo I saw is any indication this is a company that’ll be sticking around for a lot more than that. This is the kind of product that’ll drive people to buy VR systems, I know it will me.

You can read more on their blog post here.


We’re changing our name!

So, I’ve used the name “Nutwiisystem” since I started the site in March 2009. Back then I had a brilliant idea for losing weight–combine exercise on the Wii with a diet plan like Nutrisystem and voila, you’ll find yourself happier, healthier, and fit.

For those of you who followed my earlier posts, you’ll see how I got down to a healthy weight (I even had a daily tracker where you could follow). The funny thing is, it affected more than my weight. I suddenly felt happier, healthier, and more confident. Maybe not altogether coincidentally, it was within a few months after starting the blog that I met the lovely Lisa and long story short, we got married in October 2011 and today we have a beautiful 4-month old daugher, Maddie.

Over time, this blog evolved to focus less on the diet portion and more on the exercise. Specifically, what fitness games for the Wii and the Wii U were so much fun that you didn’t even realize you were getting a workout?

To be honest, I expected from day one that someone at Nutrisystem would contact me about the domain name, but that never happened. I’d done my research and it was clear to me that this name isn’t a trademark variation–from the day it launched it’s never caused confusion nor suggested sponsorship or endorsement of the trademark owner and any jury in the world would see that as I’ve stated by the logo, it’s just a bad pun.

In fact, in the years when this blog was bringing a lot of business for Nutrisystem I notice they kept pretty quiet because they knew I was a big advocate or them.

But the inevitable happened–this morning I received a note from an associate online marketing manager at Nutrisystem. Admittedly the note was a little more terse than I would have liked. A “hey, we appreciate all you’ve done over the past seven years to help spread the word about our product, but the domain is causing some confusion internally so we’d appreciate your help” would have been nice, but whatever.

Normally, I’d argue back with them, but on the other hand, I’ve been thinking for a while about changing the name of this blog anyway, as the blog has clearly outgrown the name.

First of all, I don’t hock Nutrisystem diets anymore (I still believe in their concept of a low glycemic diet, but let’s face it, being on their food for an extended period of time really makes you miss “real” food. I’d rather apply their principles to my own meal planning).

Secondly, as I’ve lamented in past posts there’s less and less news about the Wii and the Wii U. And all the news of the Nintendo NX next year points to it focusing more on mobile gaming and less on motion gaming. Nintendo’s apparent abandonment of their Quality of Life initiatives after the untimely passing of Sarotu Iwata, it seems that there won’t be much news out of Nintendo in the future.

Times change, but as you’ve seen in the most recent posts about the VirZoom, fitness gaming still has a bright future. And so rather than letting this site suffer the same demise as its sister site, PS3Fitness.com, I thought I’d pivot this site to talk than more than the Wii. I want to expand it to talk about things like Oculus, Playstation VR, Apple Watch, fitness on mobile devices, and many more things.

And so I’m unveiling a new name for the site. It will be…


Sort of catchy, isn’t it? 🙂 I was shocked that the domain was still available. So over the next few weeks you’ll see this site’s design and domain transform.

Are you a die-hard Wii fan? Don’t worry–so am I, so all the great content about the Wii will still be here (including the highly popular Top 10 list for the Wii and the Wii U), and I’ll still keep reviewing Wii and Wii U fitness games as they are developed (which at the very least will be all the Just Dance we can take :P).

For those of you who’ve been following this blog for years thanks so much for sticking with me over the years. I promise many more great things to come.

Ridiculously low price on Wii Fit U and Balance Board #wiifitu #firesale

In a sign of the times when it comes to the Wii U and fitness gaming, B&H Photo is clearing out their Wii Fit U packages, including the balance board, the game, and the sensor for $19.99. That’s right, for the price some of us paid for the original sensor, you get the whole thing.

It keeps going in and out of stock, but jump on yours if you can here. If you already have one, you may want to think about getting another given that once they stop making these, they’re gone forever (unless you count the gazillion you’ll be able to get on eBay :P).


Virtual Reality Exergaming is About to Become Very Real @VirZOOM #VirtualReality

We have seen the future of Exergaming, and it is…VirZoom

As promised, I’ll be posting my belated experiences with using the Apple Watch as a FitBit alternative shortly (I did order my Watch on Black Friday but I’ve been so busy at work it’s just been sitting in the box).

But rather than being a laggard in posting stuff about 7 month old technology, I have the extreme pleasure of being one of the first to tell you about the next big thing for exercise fitness and exergaming. It’s something called VirZoom. And having tried it in person a few weeks ago, it is AMAZING (in fact, I’ve been chomping at the bit to share my experience with you, but because the announcement was embargoed I’ve had to stay quiet…until now).

Since I started this blog you’ve heard me say that the best exergames are the ones where you’re having so much fun you don’t even realize you’re getting a workout. We’ve come close over the years. The balance exercises in Wii Fit and Wii Fit U, the live action fighting in Kung Fu Live on the Xbox 360, and of course the dancing in games from DDR to Just Dance.

As you probably know, next year we’re about to see the next big step in gaming. The Oculus Rift, after years of being hyped up, will finally be released. Not far behind is Sony’s Playstation VR which will be an add-on to the PS4 (hopefully managed a little better than the Playstation Move). And the HTC Hive will also be in the mix.

When I tried an Oculus a few years ago at a demo at the US Tennis Open, I honestly wasn’t very impressed. Yes, you could look up, down, left, and right but it seemed more like a gimmick than anything that I’d eventually pay thousands of dollars for when you factor in the console and all the games.

A few weeks ago I was invited to demo something called VirZoom, and as a bonus I got to demo it on a pre-production Playstation VR. And as someone who’s been following exergaming since the days of My Fitness Coach and DDR, I can say that the dream of having a full immersive exercise experience is finally here.

What is VirZoom? Well, on the surface it’s an exercise bike.

virzoom exercise bike

I know what a lot of you are thinking. That looks a heck of a lot like an old a Cyberbike. But that’s like saying that a Lamborghini is like a Model T.

The bike itself feels great. It’s light enough to carry and ship without am army of people to lift it, but it feels solid to ride. Unlike the Cyberbike (which felt like a rock against your posterior and seemed like it was going to fall apart at any second), the VirZoom bike was comfortable and had decent resistance when pedaling.

But what set this experience apart was when I put on the Playstation VR glasses. They ran me through a couple different games, most of which can be seen in this gameplay reel.

What this video doesn’t capture is that you don’t just see the screen in front of you, but you can turn your head up, down, left, and right and be immersed in the scene.

All the games were from a first person POV. In the first game, I felt like I was riding a horse. I could look around the whole scene and see an entire Old West town, and as I pedaled faster the horse I was on would gallop faster. Once I got over the initial “this is cool” factor, I focused in on the task of lassoing the bad guys, which felt incredibly realistic. And yes, by the time I lassoed all of them I didn’t even realize I’d pedaled a decent amount.

The next demo had me driving a racecar. While you might think pedaling at 12 MPH to control a race car at 200 MPH would be disconcerting, it felt strangely natural.

They saved the best game for last–one when you’re on a Pegasus. You start off on a road at the edge of a cliff and then ride your horse off a cliff, at which point you realize you’re flying through the air. The sensation of looking down at the earth far below was stunning.

A few things surprised me. First, I was surprised at how comfortable the glasses felt–they were a bit bulky but certainly stayed on my head securely.

The credentials of the team who developed this system are impressive. The co-founder served as the head tech engineer for Harmonix. One of the developers led the development of the accelerometer that made the WiiMote possible. As brilliant as these guys are technically, their most brilliant move is probably getting in on the ground floor of what will be one of the “killer applications” for VR.

I just had a quick 20 minute look at this, but from my gushing you can probably tell I was impressed. If you want to get in on the ground floor of something big, head on over to their Web site at http://www.virzoom.com/. They’ll be selling the first 300 units at $199.95, which I suspect will go quickly. The regular price will be $249.95, which is an amazing price point for new technology.

Of course, you’ll need to wait until the Oculus, Playstation VR, or HTC Vive to actually use it (the VirZoom will ship in the first half of 2016, presumably after these manufacturers release the products for general availability).

Needless to say, just as exergaming itself is evolving, I’ll be looking forward to providing you with updates as these products go live. To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the death of video game fitness are greatly exaggerated.

More on this in the first half of 2016!