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Bare Knuckles: Was the wait for Wii Fit a move to increase the hype?

The reviews have been good, not great for the aerobic model.

So a coworker of mine just bought a Wii. She didn't quite volunteer the information, I just noticed her groaning and stretching throughout the day and inquired about her discomfort.

"We bought a Wii over the weekend and, man, my body hurts. All that bowling and stuff," she told me.

After a good chuckle, I asked her if she was interested in buying the new $89.99 Wii Fit, considering her present condition.

"We looked everywhere, but couldn't find the game. We heard it would be out over the weekend."

So did about a gazillion other people. Especially since Nintendo said so.

Unfortunately, the company seems to have a bit of internal fine print regarding that release date. Many stores have had the game for a week or so now; the official "ship date" was the 19th, but the "sell date" was the 21st.

Now the reason that is strange is that most Nintendo releases (as in "Go to the store and walk out with the product") occur on Sundays.

So what's the reason for this change? I am not sure, but my guess is to create even more hype. The reviews so far are not bad, but not stellar either, so why not squeeze a bit more drool out of gamers? Why not line up even more publicity for a game that everyone, strangely, thinks is some new kind of fat pill?

It isn't, by the way - just a cute minor aerobic simulator. Games like Electronic Arts' new Skate title should make better use of the Wii board controller.

Besides, if you are waiting for this game, or any game for that matter, to get your cardio on, chances are you ain't that committed.

Now granted, this is a minor hiccup. Wii Fit has already sold out its pre-order allotment on, eBay has some ludicrous bids for it, and sales won't suffer because of a couple of days delay.

I just don't see the point in, pardon the expression, playing games with your fans.

Microsoft isn't happy about "gay"

File this under S for "silly." Gamers who use MS' Xbox Live online gaming portal can call themselves anything they want for a screen name, as long as their "gamer tag" doesn't include abusive or sexual terms. Sounds like a decent enough policy, considering some of the numbskulls to be found online.

Over the last couple of weeks, you may have heard the story about the Xbox Live user "theGAYERGamer." He received a message on Xbox Live that he was currently banned from playing and must change his name because of complaints from the Xbox Live community.

Now let's be clear: He had been playing online with his tag for awhile, so whatever policy MS had in place doesn't flag "gay" when you make up your tag. Just when enough people complain. It's mob rule, in other words.

Here is the problem: Whoever reported this person has a problem with the sexual orientation of the gamer, and therefore, his name. Enough people were personally offended by his presumed sexuality, not by what he said during playing (although you can only imagine what was being said to him) - not that he was cheating, not that he was in any way compromising Xbox Live.

Now MS has stated that tags like "Straightgamer" would be banned as well according to the policy. But would people actually complain about that name? Probably not.

The great thing about playing online is people are mostly measured by their gaming skills, not the way they live their lives. Many tags reflect ethnic or social influences. Why should "gay" be any different?

And on a lighter note, another gamer was forced to change his tag this week. His online persona? "RichardGaywood." His name? Richard Gaywood.