Yep, I know. Fitness games are rubbish. They don't work and their counter intuitive and a bit silly. But I have a theory: fitness games actually do work. In fact, most exercise works, you just have to make a habit of it and do it consistently.
Alright, with that patronising caveat out of the way, let's talk about Xbox Fitness, a new thing that Microsoft announced today. I think it's a great idea.
Xbox Fitness isn't a fitness 'game' as such. And by fitness game I refer to software like Wii Fit or UFC Trainer. Xbox Fitness seems more like an app. Instead of being its own unique piece of software, complete with virtual workouts and the like, Xbox Fitness takes a YouTube style library of fitness videos and makes them interactive using Kinect.
Now I've been pretty critical of Kinect, in my most recent demo I found it inconsistent and frustrating, but I believe that Xbox Fitness uses Kinect in ways I can get behind. It measures your heart rate without a sensor, and is able to correct your posture by working out how much pressure is being put on certain muscles whilst exercising. Despite my other issues with Kinect, I found that it did measure the muscle thing with relative accuracy during my time with the device, so I'm pretty confident this could actually work.
I hope it works, and I'll probably withhold judgement until it's in my house and actually working, but I love the idea of this. I like that it's just an application that works with different videos instead of a standalone piece of software, providing you with a broader range of different exercise styles and different work outs.
Xbox Fitness launches with the Xbox One and is free with Xbox LIVE Gold.
Warning, the above trailer isn't great!