I haven’t mentioned it much here, but I enjoy video gaming. Maybe a bit too much, it may be part of what has gotten me into such bad shape – sitting on the couch vegging out all the time. Well now, you can enjoy still enjoy playing video games, but get a workout while you’re at it!
If you’re into video games at all you know that next week the Xbox team will be launching a new peripheral for the Xbox 360 that will allow controller free gaming, motion capture, video chat, voice commands and a host of other functionality. It’s going to be called the Kinect ($149.99). Part of what makes the Kinect so great is the motion capture and controller free gaming that allows a whole host of new options to be opened up – one of them being a great opportunity for new fitness games. While fitness video games aren’t anything new, what is new is the fact that you won’t have to be holding a controller while you workout – like you do with a Wii or Playstation. Instead, you ARE the controller. You can workout along with virtual trainers on the screen, get instant feedback as to how you’re doing and in general feel like you’re getting a true workout experience.
The Kinect hasn’t launched as of this writing, so the jury is still out as to just how well Kinect will work. Will it really be as immersive as they claim? Will there be lag time from when the camera picks you up to when it responds? Will it have a hard time picking you up in different environments?
Initial reports are that the Kinect performs rather well, and I for one am excited at the prospect of controller free gaming, and am interested to see how well these fitness games work. Will they really be an intense enough workout to lose weight? We shall see!
Fitness Games For Xbox Kinect
So what fitness games will be available for Kinect at launch? There are 4 Kinect fitness titles that I see on the launch list. Here’s a quick rundown of them here.
Your Shape Fitness Evolved
Read a full review of the game that I’ve now done. 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.
From Xbox.com: Join the party with Zumba Fitness®, a one-of-a-kind, dance fitness workout set to sexy, high-energy Latin and international music! Find your rhythm and let go as Zumba instructor fan favorites Gina Grant, Tanya Beardsley and Zumba’s creator Beto guide you through 30 routines that will work you into a sweat and make you forget you’re even exercising. Featuring exclusive music and choreography, Zumba Fitness® for Kinect lets you see yourself on screen and naturally dance controller-free in an ultra fun interactive fitness party that’s focused on the joy of movement!
I have already pre-ordered my copy of the Kinect sensor, and since I’ve decided to get back on the weight loss train – i’ve decided to buy one of these fitness games. After looking over the detailed descriptions of each of these games, I ended up ordering a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved because according to the few pre-launch reviews I’ve read it seems to be the one that takes advantage of the Kinect sensor the best. It has a ton of workout routines, availability of future downloadable content and workouts, and in general just seemed to be the most polished product.
I’m sure the other games will be pretty cool as well. I was tempted to get The Biggest Loser game because I’ve done their workouts in the past, and was humbled by how tough they were, but I wasn’t convinced they were using the sensor to the best of it’s ability. Zumba Fitness doesn’t appeal to me, although my wife may like it as she’s taking a Zumba class at the gym. Even though it included a heart rate monitor, EA Sports Active 2 was just too expensive for me to even consider it ($99.99).
I’ll be getting my Kinect Sensor and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved next week, so stay tuned for a full review at that time!
Have you considered buying the Kinect sensor, and would you consider using it for the fitness games that are available at launch?
Read my full review of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
Derek Clark says
That’s interesting. I’ve been tempted by the kinect as well. Can’t wait to see your review once you actually get it.
i just got the kinect and fitness evolved today. I tested it out for about 20 minutes trying the different options, and it looks VERY promising. if you actually do it that is. but from my limited test, its fun. heart rate went up and i broke a sweat. and you can talk back to your trainer, saying things you always wanted to a real trainer but were skerd to.
Cool, thanks for posting this. I love to game too but the fitness games out there aren’t very interesting or are usually garbage. I’m curious to see how these kinect games will stack up against the Wii stuff that’s out there. Looking forward to checking out your review!
I’ve got the Kinect Sensor as of launch day, but the Your Shape: Fitness Evolved game is taking a little longer to get here. My initial impressions of the Kinect? It’s a lot of fun, and you definitely get some exercise using it. You do need a lot of space to use it, however. From what I’ve read in another review, the Your Shape game also uses the most room of any of the Kinect launch games. We’ll see!
Kinect Adventures, that came with the Kinect, features 3 demos for Kinect games, one of them being Your Shape. I tried it, and so far it seems very intuitive to use, and the motion tracking works very well. Can’t wait to try out my full copy of the game when it arrives. I should have the game within the next day or so.
I tried out Kinect Sports in a store, and loved it! There hasn’t been as much buzz about this game as there has been about the others, but the soccer and boxing games are lots of fun and intense. Kinect is like Wii when it first came out: it sells itself.
I’m very interested in hearing how good Kinect Adventures is as a workout. There are very few if any reviews of Kinect from a fitness point of view.
After trying Kinect Adventures for several days, I can tell you that several of the mini-games in the title are a great workout. The raft ride and obstacle reflex ridge are especially intense and end up making me sweat every time. I’ve played the Your Shape Fitness Evolved game once now, and two days later (today) I’m pretty sore. It has some pretty intense workouts – and it works awesome!
just got the zumba fitness game for the xbox but it keeps pausing how do u stop it from pausing
Since this article was published there’s been an influx of great new Kinect games for exercise. Hope you don’t mind a little self-promotion, but I published a little list of them here 🙂
As of this writing (2013), the best game out there by far is Nike+Kinect Training, although in all honesty the two that have personally given me the most fitness has been Kung Fu Live Impact and Star Wars Kinect. This is because I don’t have a very good attention span and need to be “fooled” into working out by having fun 🙂
On a side and unrelated note note, thanks to the author for the writing you do on Bible Money Matters–your recent blog post on TurboTax helped me quite a bit 🙂