While it’s been a bit quiet lately on the Kinect Fitness game front, that’s all going to change very quickly.
In the latest rumors, possibly to be announced as soon as the E3 conference in a few weeks, Microsoft is preparing a new feature on the Xbox 360 dashboard and a new wireless tracking device that will measure heart rate. Granted EA Sports Active 2 already has such a device, but it only works with one game and of course, EA Sports unceremoniously pulled its online support for the game.
The Kinect Play Fit and Joule will reportedly work across all Kinect games. So whether you start with Zumba Fitness and then move your way to Kung Fu Live Impact and then move your way to Star Wars Kinect, your total calories burned will be tracked. For me, this is a game changer (no pun intended…eh, on second though, that’s a pretty good pun :P). It means that rather than tracking individual fitness progress across multiple games (or not at all) there’ll be one central place to track it.
One wonders if this is a reaction to the impending release of Adidas MiCoach that will also feature a heart rate monitor-type device (which presumably will be the same one they use to track all kinds of activities today, from jogging to cycling to active sports) and a centralized cloud-based environment to track all your activity. In either case, I think the competition is a great thing and look forward to reviewing both when they arrive on the scene.
Speaking of new ideas, Majesco just announced a new rhythm/fitness game for release in the Fall called NBA Baller Beats. Don’t panic, this isn’t another dancing game. Strangely enough, it’s a game that will come with a basketball, and the way to play it is going to be to bounce the ball to a beat. As odd as it sounds, I applaud Majesco for sticking its neck out and trying something new. A game like this could be just the thing to get the young male demographic into fitness gaming, especially if it succeeds in its promise to “raise your game” (I suppose this kind of thing can teach ball control and handling, but we’ll see).
Here’s a teaser video which doesn’t really reveal much about the game, but at least we know it’ll come with a ball and it’ll tick off my downstairs neighbors even more than they are today 😛