Should I Get a Switch, or "Marx's $700 Exercise Machine Debate"

I have a long and glorious history with video games as exercise. I owned several (read: 10+) Dance Dance Revolutions (until I grew too frustrated with the quality of the dance mats and unable to pay the scratch to get a permanent one installed in my apartment… which I seriously considered), I was a HUGE fan of “Yourself!Fitness” for the Xbox (still a favourite, and I continue to be disappointed that there’s no real sequel to it… it was a damn great game) and Wii Fit (I mean, who didn’t play Wii Fit… despite the problems in the design and the often problematic balance-board-thingy).

Fast forward to today. “Ring Fit Adventure” sounds great. I’ve never had a problem sticking to digital exercise routines as long as they work (I stuck with Wii Fit longer than it deserved), and an RPG with exercise elements sounds like 100% something up my proverbial alley.


It’s sold out at MSRP everywhere in Canada, meaning my only option is shudder Amazon where it retails for a whopping $200CAD… and I’d have to buy a Switch to play it for another groan-inducing $400CAD. Throw in taxes, and we’re flirting with $700 for an gamercise device.

Which I don’t know if is any good. And having glanced over the Switch lineup… I can’t say I’m really keen on anything else they offer. Maybe the other exergame they offer (Fitness Boxing), although I can’t say I’m quite as excited about that one, but hey, variety is the spice of life and all that.

Maybe I should invest in a half-decent VR set and get Beat Sabers instead? For some reason sweating into a headset seems… weird… to me. And if I were going to buy a stationary bike or even a rudimentary home-gym sorta deal (now that I live in a home), it would cost more and take up way more space…

So, help me off this ledge, friends and enemies. I have the money (I mean, I don’t, but this would be all my discretionary budget in lieu of video and board games for at least 6 months)… is it worth it?

I cannot help you decide!

But, in case its of any help: if you already own a bicycle that you particularly like, you can buy a “stationary bike stand” for it and turn it into a stationary bicycle fairly easily and cheaply. Perhaps that would be a reasonable stopgap solution?

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My first thought was “hey, Switchs are made in Japan, maybe I can one on the cheap for Marx”.

Apparently not.


On the subject of Switches: call around game stores looking for used/refurb ones? I dunno if that’s still a common thing, but back when I used to buy consoles, that’s how I found them for reasonable prices

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I actually bike to work every day (40 minutes each way at the beginning of the season in May, down to about 25 minutes each way by the end of the season in September), and over the winter months (October-May) I do put my bike on a stationary stand and use it.

Infrequently, though. Mostly because it is boring as spit. I set up my “spare” laptop (the one I bought super cheap as a “take to school, just take notes on it” device that I no longer need for that purpose because there is no “go to school” part of my education currently) with Netflix, and that helps, but my butt gets super numb after about 45 minutes of stationary biking so going much longer/harder than that is tricky.

Mostly, I’m looking to diversify my workouts a little until the local gym reopens sometime in 2021 (I’m being a little pessimistic perhaps, but I’d be surprised if it’s much sooner than that). And something I can do that doesn’t bore me to tears: there’s a running track literally in my back yard (a private school that’s closed the vast majority of the running season), but I don’t have good shoes any more and no way to buy them, and running is hella-dull.

Aww, thanks Benkyo! That’s very thoughtful of you! But even if you could find one super-cheap (like, $100CAD), shipping would almost certainly either be prohibitively expensive (Canadian shipping is expensive by virtue of us having a massive country) or result in a broken device.
But I do really appreciate the thought!

There are still game stores that do that, but usually the savings are minimal-ish ($50/$75 over new). Not insubstantial, since that’s basically a “free” game… but since none of the other games on the Switch seem really good, I’m not that concerned about that.

Basically, I’m just curious if it’s worth it and if there are perhaps some Switch games that aren’t Animal Crossing (100% not my kinda game) that might amortize the cost somewhat… or if I should just save my money for a PS5 and hope that there are a few good exercise-games on it?

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On switches: expect a huge swell of used ones in the second hand market once everyone gets back to work. Pre-covid they were going for around 300 for a mint one (at least here in Vancouver area). They may go cheaper than that in the coming months.


Have you considered connecting your DDR mats to your PC for some ultimate Crypt of the Necrodancer action? It’ll run you like $12 till you make your decision.

P.S. it’s like $3.50 CDN right now on Steam.


I have Crypt already, although I didn’t know you could hook up a DDR mat to it (I’d be curious to see how that would work, really… seems… inelegant).

I gave up on DDR about the time the first Guitar Hero came out (and after the first few Karaoke Revolutions came out… I had a thing for music games for years… Rez, DDR, Amplitude, Space Channel 5, Donkey Konga, Taiko Drummaster…). The dance pads were just too short lived for a 230lb dude that has no shame. I think the one that came out for the Gamecube was the straw the broke the camel’s back… it was fun, but it couldn’t have lasted more than 2-3 months.

My music game enthusiasm lasted until the first Rocksmith came out with an actual, real guitar. I’ve been trying to learn to play ever since (I am awful, but I have weekly lessons and enjoy it, so I guess it’s a success).


This is brilliant

Switch consoles seem to have gone up in price in the UK since release. Like @pillbox I thought they plummeted in price a year after release.

There’s an app called something Zombies Run which is couch to 5k where it tells you to run away from monsters? Sounds like you might be too got for that though.


Ring Fit Adventure is brilliant and I use it nearly every day, would 100% recommend. A really good gateway into pilates / yoga style workouts.

Is it worth your 6 month games budget… well that would be some sacrifice, personally I’d wait a little bit until prices come down or try and snag a bargain, especially if you’re not keen on other Nintendo games.


watches eagerly because he has the same dilemma

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I would check for a used one on ebay or what other forms exist in Canada. That’s what I did. Bought a used Switch and then a used Ring Fit because it is sold out in Germany too and super expensive.

The used price was still kinda high but not that high.

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I think ringfit is good but it’s not $700 dollars good (I don’t know what $700 is in real money). Some cigarette box maths: if a switch is $400 then that’s about £280 so that makes the total £550 ish. I would say no.

The exercise you get is good imo but: I don’t like the running on the spot it encourages. On the flip side the muscle exercises are good because I think 90 percent of other exercise routine are closer to CV stuff rather than strength based and this is good at that.