A while back I talked about how I had bought a Kinect Sensor for the Microsoft Xbox 360. I bought the sensor because I love checking out new technology, and because I just love playing video games in general. The Kinect seemed like a bit of a game changer for the video game world, allowing you to control the video games, and the console experience without the aid of a controller. As Microsoft likes to say, you “become the controller”.
While I was skeptical at first that the Kinect would be able to pull off the controller-less experience, now that I’ve had the sensor for several months I can truly say that I think they’ve done something special – and pretty darn cool – with the Kinect. It truly is an immersive experience, and it is so easy to use – even for people who aren’t video game enthusiasts. You know what I’m talking about – the folks that give you a funny look when you hand them a controller – and can’t remember which buttons to push. With Kinect, they just do what comes naturally, and it just works.
Fitness Aspects Of Xbox Kinect
Since this is a health and fitness site, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fitness aspect of the Xbox Kinect – and to me, this is one of the coolest things about the Kinect. In the old paradigm being someone who played video games meant that you were a couch potato, and that you never left your seat. Many of you know what I’m talking about, in fact you may be sitting there eating your Doritos and drinking Mountain Dew as you read this!
Now, with Kinect, pretty much all of the games that you can play are more active than the games in the past because you have to get up out of your seat, and actually move.
Because you’re actually moving, and breaking a sweat, just from the start you’re going to be doing better than you probably were before. Add to this the fact that Kinect has a pretty good range of dedicated fitness games, and other dance games/etc that will get you even more active – and you’ve got the recipe for something that can help you get more active and actually lose some weight.
I’ve been using the Kinect now since November, and actively using it in an attempt to lose weight since January. While I’ve been doing it in concert with healthier eating and diet, I’ve now lost about 20 pounds in 8 weeks. That’s about 2-3 pounds a week! Not too shabby! I’m confident that others can do the same as it really does make fitness fun.
Details Of Xbox Kinect Package
If you’re thinking about buying a Kinect sensor and you already own an Xbox 360, here is what you will end up paying – and what you’ll get.
- Kinect Sensor ($149.99)
- Kinect Adventures Video Game
Of course this is only the sensor itself, and one game, Kinect Adventures. While Kinect Adventures is actually a very fun game that will really get you moving (I always break a sweat playing that game), most people find they’ll want to buy additional games. Below I’ll look at some of the games I’ve found that work best for fitness.
Fitness Games For Xbox Kinect
Here are some of my favorite games for fitness – for Kinect.
Your Shape Fitness Evolved
Read my full review here: Your Shape: Fitness Evolved Review
From Amazon.com: Your Shape Fitness Evolved is a fitness-simulation game for Xbox 360 that is designed to deliver a 3D, controller-free fitness simulation experience like no other. Built around the camera, depth sensors and multi-array microphone of the Microsoft Kinect sensor peripheral,* the game allows for real-time motion capture of the players movements, facial recognition and both voice and interactive menu commands. This combined with Ubisoft’s Player Projection Technology, which enables the Kinect sensor to track up to a million data points on the player’s body, results in low lag and total player immersion in what is destined to be the most challenging fitness-simulation game to date. Additional features include: in-game instructors, multiple exercise classes, workouts created by real experts, progress tracking and multiplayer support.
EA Sports Active 2
From Amazon.com: EA SPORTS Active 2 with Total Body Tracking will include the innovative EA SPORTS Active heart rate monitor that provides constant on-screen monitoring, allowing users to capture intensity and optimize performance over time. Additionally, it will utilize the full body motion tracking ability of the Kinect Motion Camera, providing users complete freedom of motion. Users will also be able to track and share their workout data online through automatic uploading from their online connected console to their personalized EA SPORTS Active profile. 70+ Exercises and Activities – Create unlimited customizable workouts with over 70 exercises and activities to choose from, including foundational exercises like squats, lunges, and bicep curls. Enroll in the 9-Week Program – Designed by certified personal trainers, the EA SPORTS Active 2 9-week program provides total body conditioning using progressive exercise.
The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout
From Amazon.com: The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout is an exercise simulation game for Xbox 360, based on the popular The Biggest Loser television series. Utilizing seamless physical player movements only possible with Kinect for Xbox 360, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout is designed to evolve along with the player’s exercise routine. Featuring the cast and trainers from the TV show, the game’s 125+ exercises, 2-4 player support via Xbox LIVE, new challenges, customization and more the game provides a fun and healthy exercise outlet suitable for every member of the family, regardless of their weight, physical ability or age.
While this game isn’t specifically a fitness title, it does have a “workout mode” that will track how long you’ve been dancing. It’s a good cardio workout!
Read my full review here: Kinect Sports Review
From Amazon.com: Turn your living room into a world-class stadium, bowling alley, soccer pitch or track-and-field arena. With “Kinect Sports” you’re not only the star player, you are the controller — through the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. See a ball? Kick it. Spike it. Even give it a little topspin. “Kinect Sports” features soccer, beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis, track and field, and boxing.
I’ve now had the Xbox Kinect for a few months, and my initial thoughts have been that the Kinect is a great tool in the toolbox for people trying to lose weight, and for those who are trying to stay fit. It offers the opportunity to get up and get active, and offers a variety of ways for people to do that through the fitness games, along with other games that just get people active.
I’ve also got personal experience using the Kinect as a weight loss tool –having now lost 20 lbs using the Kinect and a healthier diet. If you’re considering getting a Kinect, and using it to work out, I’d highly recommend it.
Have you bought the Xbox Kinect, and have you used it for the fitness games or otherwise? Are you considering it? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Read my full review of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and Kinect Sports.