Well it’s becoming an age of digital exercise isn’t it? The outdoors has become a scary vortex of something called ‘sunlight’ that burns the skin of nerds everywhere isn’t it? Well have no fear! The superheroes over at Microsoft and Nintendo intend to keep you agoraphobia ridden folks happy and healthy with their newest edition to their exercise video game roster. Microsoft has teamed up with Nike, and Nintendo intends to expand their Wii Fit program. I personally have never been one to think that my video game console could be used as a digital trainer and assistant in my health program, but I think I’m starting to see a trend here. Couch potatoes be damned – the exercise games have come full circle so prepare to get your butts moving instead of your fingers children!
How to start this then, well let’s look at the general use of video games as a participant in our physical activity. It sounds like a neat idea right? I mean, sure, for years I thought the only use for my console was to train my thumb muscles and brain to protect me from zombie attacks. I’m now realizing that with these added games on the market, I might actually be able to work out more than my thumbs. I personally never got into this idea, because I felt like it was just going to be a gimmick sale and that it would pass just as fast as an old high school fad. I was wrong, oh so wrong.
So let us begin shall we?
Note: Keep in mind that I’m aware these games may not be suited for many mobility impaired gamers. I’m hoping that by looking into this area of gaming, the industry might look into how to introduce physical therapy and low-intensity exercise programs into these games in later iterations. There are so many exercise games out there: Zumba, Just Dance, Dance Central, Active, etc. I just hope that companies focus on exercise for ALL players and not just activities for MOST players, and with that I move on…
Well they did it. Microsoft really impressed me this time. They joined up with one of the biggest juggernauts in workout apparel and content, Nike, and managed to form a game around your personal health. Impressive guys. Impressive. I mean I saw what Microsoft had to offer with Active for Kinect, but I was still on the fence, because it didn’t seem as effective. Well Nike+ just set me straight and I can’t wait to actually get this game for my family [ of course this means I’ll actually have to buy a 360 now. Woo! ] It seems like, in comparison to other games, Nike+ will be a virtual trainer. It will help you keep track of calories, heartbeat, jump height, etc. It will track everything and for folks who are wishing to lose weight, gain a little more muscle mass, etc. can definitely benefit from seeing that rewarding progress tracker. Oh, and if you think that’s cool, you can port the info to your phone – to keep yourself on track on the go [ outside! ] I just ask that developers look at gamers of all kinds. Fat, skinny, mobility impaired, etc. We all need exercise to stay healthy, and we all need ways to participate in doing just that.
Wii Fit U
Well Wii Fit. You’ve been the captain of the ‘in-home’ fitness genre for years now haven’t you? I remember my first experience with the Wii Sports Boxing and how much that used to make me feel like I’d had a real workout by the end of it. Well, with a new console, comes a new rendition of Wii Fit. Introducing Wii Fit U. It seems as though it’s designed as an advanced version of the Wii Fit program, but with some added benefits. What I found that I loved about the Wii Fit U in comparison, was that it allows for mobile activity. What I mean by this is, say a friend wants to come over and watch a movie, but you’ve still got 5 minutes of workout to go. You can port the Wii Fit program from your Wii U to the controller and it’ll display on the screen. This leaves the main TV open for personal use by others. I didn’t see this in the Nike + Kinect Trainer [ but hey XBox Smart Glass might change this. Wink Wink Microsoft! ] The Wii Fit U also comes with a portable pedometer to carry around.
I’m not sure how much the Nike+ “fuel bands‘ cost, but I’m uncertain if one of them comes with Nike+ – Wii Fit U has the edge here.
I will say, I feel like Kinect was more physically accommodating – but Wii Fit U gets the mobile usage edge at the moment. We’ll have to see later.
Overall, I love that game companies want to get us all active. I’m excited to see these games affect our daily lives, but will these drag me away from games like AC III, Watch Dogs, or Black Ops II? Probably not, but I’ll be glad that they’re available for when I want to work out at home! So keep a look out for these – it looks like it’ll be a sweaty holiday season at this rate! Happy gaming folks! Much love to you all!