E3 2012: Gamers Are Couch Potatoes No More With Lively Fitness Titles
In the fourth part of a week-long look at this year's E3 video game convention, NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin shows the latest titles designed to get gamers off the couch and hopefully in shape.
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Fitness games has completely reversed the idea of a video gamer sitting hunched over on a couch for hours on end moving only his or her fingers. There are lots and lots of these kinds of games that bring the promise of a personal trainer-type experience and a full workout into the living room.
One such title is the latest digital version of the hot Colombian aerobic dance Zumba, "Zumba Fitness Core."
"It's the first and only fitness video game that's delivering choreography specifically targeted for sculpting your abs and giving you a full-body workout within the Zumba fitness program," says Liz Buckley of Majesco Entertainment.
Nike, which is all over mobile phones with fitness apps, is now getting into games with "Nike + Kinect." Developers say the game will assess a user's progress every month, allows the gamer to go head-to-head against others online in fitness challenges, and it even reminds users on their mobile phones when it is time to work out.
"This experience gives you access to the same assessment, training methods and real-time feedback we give our elite athletes," says Stefan Olander of Nike. "So following an assessment of your fitness and athleticism, you'll move straight in to the most personalized digital training experience in the world."
Nintendo also coming out with a new version of Wii Fit for its Wii U, called "Wii Fit U." There are more than 20 new activities, such as "Hosedown," where the balance board acts as a hose and then the tablet is how a user aims. "Luge" has gamers hold the gut-busting plank position for as long as possible. There's also a trampoline jump that shows on the TV the view from the ground and a bird's-eye view on the Wii U tablet.
"Wii Fit U" comes with a portable little fitness meter for inputting into the game any activity one does throughout the day, away from the console.