I’m going to make a bit of a bold prediction. As we’ve mentioned, Nintendo will be allowing owners of the Balance Board to download Wii Fit U for free to try for a month starting on 11/1/13, and will unlock the FULL game (retailing for $49.99) for free for anyone who purchases the $19.99 Fit Meter.
My prediction is that it’s going to be very, very hard to get a hold of one of these $19.99 Fit Meters for a few weeks, if not months. Why? Because remember the huge numbers of people who bought Wii Fit back in the day, to the point where there were month-long shortages. For the most part, those Balance Boards are still out there and still working. Even though Wii U sales have been somewhat anemic, there are still 3.6 million of them out there, a lot of those have balance boards already, and those who don’t can easily pick up a used or new balance board on eBay for a lot less than what Nintendo will be selling them for.
There’s been a lot of speculation about the color of the version they’ll be selling on 11/1. From all appearances, there’ll be one color at launch: black and grey. But sources have confirmed that there are at least two other colors being developed; one with a white face and a green outer ring and one with a white face and a red outer ring to coincide with the launch of the Luigi and Mario Remote Pluses, respectively. Personally, I like the green color the best, as it looks a lot like the early units that Nintendo was demoing, and it also matches the general milieu of the Wii Fit game and logo color.
Seeing how Nintendo has priced the Fit Meter at a surprisingly affordable cost, especially when compared to the cost of a FitBit ($100-$130) or a Nike+ Fuel Band ($150-$180), and knowing their inability to plan these kinds of things out very well, it’ll stand to reason that there will be a run on these the first few weeks.
I’ve been looking for pre-order links on all the major retail sites, but so far the only one I see one on is Amazon (update #1: as of 10/10, NewEgg is also offering it for pre-order; update #2, Gamestop now has it too).
While I’m not necessarily a fan of Amazon when it comes to pre-ordering, they do have their policy that if the price drops between now and launch date (which is highly unlikely at a price point of $19.99), they’ll drop the price to match. Also, while it may be tough to get one of these on launch date, once you download Wii Fit U you’ll have 31 days to use it before you have to unlock it, and there’s a good bet your Fit Meter will come way before that.
If you want to pre-order the physical game itself (that will include a physical version of the game plus the Fit Meter), pre-order links are already available on most retail sites. While these sites are all over the map in terms of reporting the release date and the pricing, Nintendo has confirmed on its site that the Wii Fit U + Fit Meter bundle will be available at an MSRP of $49.99 and available on November 1. The package bundling Wii Fit U + Fit Meter + Wii Balance Board will be available at an MSRP of $89.99 and available on December 13.