The Best Exercise Games for the Xbox Kinect

While Microsoft’s Xbox Fitness continues to be impressive, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a true “exergame”, that is, a motion control title on a console that’s not just good for exercise that’s also fun and addictive to play as a video game.

Just when you thought exergaming was all but dead with the exit of publishers like EA and disappointing Kinect 2 games like Fighter Within and Kinect Sports Rivals, a few publishers announced at the recent E3 conference some games that look promising and could breathe some life back into the genre.

Dance Central Spotlight

The first announcement was from Microsoft and Harmonix, and it was the widely expected news that Dance Central would be making its way to the Xbox One. The difference is that instead of a packaged game, Dance Central Spotlight would be available as a downloadable title only.

There will be a couple enhancements. While previous titles had 4 routines of varying difficulty for each song, this new version will have 8 (four standard routines, two fitness routines for “strength” and “cardio”, and two alternate routines). Any DLC you’ve purchased for Dance Central, Dance Central 2, or Dance Central 3 will be playable on Dance Central Spotlight (they didn’t announce whether the on-disc songs would be playable as well, but don’t hold your breath).

In addition, there’ll be a “Rehearsal Mode” for practicing songs and the ability to navigate with Kinect’s voice commands. Happily, they’ve done away with the awful story mode.

Fitness is still a major feature. Aside from the aforementioned two dedicated routines, there a “fitness mode” that lets you dance continuously for anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes. According to the developer, they’ll be making full use of Kinect 2.0 to detect your skeleton, more joint movement, and positions of your hands and feet (and even whether your fist is open or closed), which they promise to be the most accurate dance game–if you want to perfect your dance moves, chances are you’ll be

Pricing has not been announced, but word is that it will be a “sweet deal”. They will be launching with 10 new songs, with a library of at least 50 songs on the launch date that you can purchase as DLC, and new songs launching weekly after that. Pricing hasn’t been established yet, but they did announce a September 2014 launch date.