Kinect: The Best Video Game Workout
Listen up fitness enthusiasts, coaches, trainers, parents, techies, and…your Mom.
The market for fitness games is HUGE! Just look at Wii Fit which has sold over 6 million copies (and those numbers are from 2009!!!). What about the “Biggest Loser,” series of games on the Wii? They are constantly in the top 20 on Amazon’s overall video game sales charts! And in the last year, EA Sports has made a huge splash in the market with their “EA Sports Active,” series and “EA Sports NFL Training Camp,” games. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on these games by people who want to train at home with minimal investment (money wise). Let’s be real for a second. Wii Fit, the most popular game of this group is utter crap. It is a bunch of standing on one leg, stepping from side to side, and yoga. And people paid $130 for that. Finally something has come that has 100x more potential than the Wii and other “fitness” games. Kinect.
When Kinect was originally announced at E3 back in 2009 I was a bit skeptical. Mostly it was because I had my “hardcore gamer” hat on and I said to myself, “Oh crap, this is just Microsoft trying to grab Nintendo’s Wii audience.” Today I can happily say that I made another stupid assumption. To put it simply, Kinect is the shit and the possibilities it provides for games who want to get off their butt are astronomical.
The Technology Behind Kinect
The technology behind Kinect isn’t just big for video games, but it may just be the first iteration of what will give us the ability to make a user interface like we saw in Minority Report:
Kinect has two cameras in it so it can actually detect depth as well as the user’s skeleton (limbs). This is a big deal because Kinect can understand when the player moves forward, backward, turns, etc.
Here is a cool video explaining some of the tech behind it:
“Kinect Adventures” and “Dance Central”
When I placed my order for the Kinect (which comes with “Kinect Adventures”, a package of games like “Wii Sports”) I also added Dance Central, which is the one game I have actually wanted to play for quite a while. I have had aspirations to be able to recreate Turk’s dance routine to Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” for years.
Ya, that was awesome, but let’s talk about “Kinect Adventures,” first. As I mentioned before, it is basically a mini game compilation that shows off the Kinect technology. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. Everyone’s favorite game from the package seems to be, “Rally Ball.” It does a great job utilizing the 3D space as you find yourself lunging and jumping side to side, forward and back. Here is a quick video of the gameplay:
The other games like the Raft Adventure game will get you jumping and lunging side to side. FitCast Approved for getting your heart pumping and those who might not go to the gym, off the couch and moving.
Dance Your Ass Off
Dance Central is the must have Kinect game. I am a white boy with the dance skills of… a white boy. That being said, I still had a ton of fun with Dance Central. The game takes you through the dance moves step by step until you master them. Then you get to do perform the whole song. Trust me when I say this is a cardiovascular workout! You are constantly moving all over the place. You will also get in a burst of moves when you have the opportunity to free style:
Yeah, I know, I should be in the next, “Step Up” movie. I just can’t take the time to work with less gifted dancers on the set.
OK, that is all for now, I will discuss this a bit more of The FitCast this week.