First, we had the Wii. Ok, well it wasn’t technically first when it comes to motion-controlled gaming, but cut me a little slack. In 2006, soon after the Wii itself hit shelves, Nintendo released a collection of mini-games for it, called Wii Play. Two years later, capitalising on the consoles new mass market appeal, the company released the exer-gaming phenomenon Wii Fit.
Fast forward to November 2010 and Microsoft released Kinect – the future of motion controlled gaming in an obvious move to capture some of that market. According to rumour, the company will continue its Wii too strategy – by releasing releasing cross-application exercise service via a dashboard update with the terribly unimaginative name of Kinect Play Fit.
What Kinect Play fit will do is track your exercising across most of Kinect’s library of games – giving you statistics on just how much full-body waggling you do. To accompany the service, Microsoft plans on releasing an optional hardware accessory, called Joule, that’ll further track your heart rate, allowing you to set exercise goals for weight loss, strength training and the like. EA’s Sports Active 2 for the Xbox 360 ships with a wireless heart-rate monitor already – but this will work across games.
While I’m not surprised (but rather disappointed) at the lack of ingenuity should this rumour turn out to be true, I will admit that dance and exercise games are where Kinect really shines – so it might not be a bad thing after all.