It’s been a big week for announcements of new games for Wii fitness, most likely due to the big E3 conference out in Los Angeles (this is the big conference where video game companies show off their new stuff for the next year).
The biggest news came out of Microsoft and Sony. It took them a few years to figure out that Wii motion control is the wave of the future with video games. So they introduced two different approaches to copying the Wii.
Microsoft introduced “Kinect” (Kintec? Kinetic? Kentic? Kinnect?) for the Xbox. From the same marketing geniuses that brought you names like “Zune” and “Kin”). This is a system that uses only a camera to sense your body position and movements. It’s a bold experiment, and time will tell if Microsoft pulled it off.
Sony introduced “Playstation Move” for the PS3. This is a system that pretty much mimics the Wii–it has a “Wand” which acts like a Wii remote and a “Analog Controller” that acts like a nunchuk. It also uses a camera to interact with a bright ball of light on top of the wand.
I see this competition as a good thing for the Wii. Wii game makers have been getting decidedly lax in making great games. While games like Wii Fit and EA Sports Active pushed the genre ahead, lately all we’ve been seeing are copycat games with substandard motion controls, which the public would eat up simply because there wasn’t anything better out there. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for Wii game manufacturers and Nintendo to improve.
Perhaps not coincidentally, several game manufacturers announced upcoming Wii fitness games too, most of them arriving in the Fall in time for the holiday shopping season.
Majesco announced a while ago that they’re developing Zumba for the Wii.
Ubisoft will be coming out with Just Dance 2 and Gold’s Gym Dance Workout.
2KPlay is launching Nickelodeon Fit, a promising game targeted at young children.
I’ll keep the list of upcoming Wii fitness games updated as I hear more. But it’s looking like we should be set for another influx of games to try out.