Okay, Xbox Fitness Sounds Pretty Cool

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!


    I'm getting an Xbox One and I want to improve my fitness. Can't hurt. I'll probably still join a gym at some point though.

      I am in the same situation. I had a semi successful yet ultimately failed attempt at losing a butt load (punny) of weight via gaming. I managed to lose about 22kg via change in diet and Kinect based fitness games (The Ubisoft ones - is it Kinect Fitness??)

      I've put it all back on now over the past 2.5yrs because I stopped excercise and went back to bad eating habits. Turns out a life long battle with weight loss isn't going to be fixed in a few months and is as much if not more a mental battle.

      I can 100% state that these can work as much as I will say that any regular excercise and decent eating habits will make you lose weight.

      I plan to try again and maybe this xbone stuff could be the ticket?

      Last edited 27/09/13 3:26 pm

    The only problem I have with this is that I don't want to work up a big sweat in my lounge.

      Agreed, it would be awesome if gyms started picking up some technology based things.

        You know you can watch videos and follow programmed walking tracks on treadmills and cross trainers at the gym now?

          Yeah of course, I go 3-5 days a week.

          My comment was a bit ambiguous. by technology I meant something newer than TV or a crummy dot animation of me running around an oval. They're more than fine but something that would actually excite me would be an interactive bike track (I went to the fitness expo last year and they had bikes with interactive on screen courses (yes they were cheap as hell) but still fun :)).

          Jumping on a trike with an occulus rift riding around europe or a beachfront would be pretty amazing :)

    I dunno about rubbish. I used to use Your Shape Fitness First a lot. Also got the sequel. Both games were good at giving me a solid workout. The bootcamp mode in the second one would break me good as well. I think fitness games are also somewhat dependent on how much effort you put into it. Even if the reader didn't read me as doing something quite right I'd ignore it and just keep going and for some reason, a few weeks later, everything would be over 90%. I'm assuming that means I was doing something wrong...

    Fitness games are like general cardio, if you're already fit (or at least fit-ish) they work fine and if you're out of shape you can make them work, but ultimately they are better ways. It's essentially mimicking the actions of people who are already fit rather than a focused attempt to get fit.

    Now if the Kinect could come to the gym with me and judge my form, track/modify set and rep counts on the fly based on performance and do all the general analysis work a personal trainer does that could be handy. Although it'd still be hard to make the most of all that without having arms to actually spot for you.

    After doing Insanity and P90X via DVD's; this is an amazing idea! (They are both really good programs)

    It would be good to get some type of feedback on how i'm going during my workout.
    Doing it in front of a mirror is good but it would be good to have that digital readings. (As inaccurate they may be)

    Keen for this one.
    Fingers crossed it will come to AUS

    I use the ones on the 360 pretty regularly. I realise their limitations, but they get me exercising, and that's the main thing, right? Moving all the furniture back at the end is a bit of a pain though.

    Best fitness game I've ever played is Kinect Adventures. 20 minutes of jumping around on the river raft and the roller coaster thing and I'm stuffed.

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