Nintendo Co. Ltd. launched its Wii Fit exercise game recently, hoping to get gamers off the couch and appeal to new audiences such as women and older people.

Nintendo is banking on Wii Fit to further broaden the appeal of its Wii gaming console, which has already become a smash hit due to its motion-sensing controller and simple, easy-to-learn games.

“There has been fitness software before, but with the positioning of it, the marketing might behind it and the product itself, it’s the biggest health product for a video game system I’ve ever seen,” said IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon.

Wii Fit is the latest major title Nintendo has launched this year, one that is aimed most clearly at a non-traditional audience of mothers and older customers who are uninterested in established franchises like Mario and Pokemon.

The game, which costs $89 and comes with a shoulder-width “balance board” that senses shifts in posture, should also help Nintendo address concerns over the tendency of Wii owners to buy fewer games than owners of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360.

“The secret weapon of the Wii is getting more people within the household to play,” Pidgeon said.