In an attempt to appeal to a more diverse audience and follow Nintendo’s lead in garnering the support of the health-oriented crowd, yesterday Microsoft announced and released the trailer for a new service called Xbox Fitness, built exclusively for the Xbox One.
From the Xbox Fitness Press Release:
The Xbox team reached another milestone today with the introduction of “Xbox Fitness,” a new online service built exclusively for Xbox One that takes the world’s most popular fitness videos and makes them interactive. The extensive library of videos from the world’s biggest fitness brands including Beachbody’s P90X (Tony Horton) and Insanity (Shaun T), Jillian Michaels, Tracy Anderson and others, will be available for free with Xbox Live Gold memberships through December 2014.
Similar to the Wii Fit Plus, which was released in 2008 and has reached sales of over 21.24 million globally (no wonder Microsoft is so eager for the release of the Xbox Fitness), the new Xbox Fitness will facilitate the creation of multiple profiles so that the entire family can join in on the fun that is intense and rigorous physical activity!
Xbox Fitness will deliver personalized program recommendations based on your workout history and past performance, highlight the most popular workouts among Xbox Fitness users, and offer a variety of workouts, from 10 to 60 minutes in length.
Additionally, because of the Xbox One’s integration with Kinect Motion Sensing Technology, the Xbox Fitness will be taking a gigantic leap forward from the features currently available in the Wii Fitness Plus.
Xbox Fitness can read your heart rate without a monitor, see which muscles are most engaged by measuring the power, force and transfer of weight in your body, and track the quality of your performance by measuring your balance, tempo and form…The Kinect sensor can evaluate your form, tell how high you’re jumping, how hard you’re punching and even read your heart rate.
Unfortunately, from past experience with Kinect Technology, this gamer, while still excited for the release of this new fitness service (that I will most likely relish in the prospect of using but rarely muster the energy to do so), is a bit skeptical of the “precision Kinect technology” that Microsoft is claiming to offer with the Kinect and Xbox Fitness. Even with the recent updates that Microsoft has announced are accompanying the release of the new Kinect 2.0 (such as a 1080p camera and TOF sensors), it is still uncertain whether the new Xbox One and Kinect will match the same level of accuracy and advancements in sensory movement technology that are currently available and advertised by the Leap Motion, a device that also utilizes time-of-flight (TOF) technology, has been available to the public since July 24, 2013, and has claimed an accuracy 200 times greater than that of the Kinect.
All in all, despite the new and alluring features that Xbox Fitness is promoting, only after the release of the Xbox One this upcoming November will the public and I be able to thoroughly determine the effectiveness of the Xbox Fitness and Kinect and decide its place within the future of motion detecting technology in gaming.