There have been rumours for several months regarding EA Games' alternative to Wii Fit. Back in July this year, the game dubbed by some as EA Fitness, was expected to be revealed at E3 but turned out to be a no-show. Then more rumours emerged regarding the possibility of EA using a new periperal for the game with no real mention of the Wii Balance Board. Finally, in an interview with Gamespot Australia, EA President Peter Moore spilled the beans on EA Sports Active and I have to say it sounds pretty good.
Let's face it, Wii Fit is a great introduction to the potential of the Wii Balance Board. It has some fun mini games and some basic exercises but it's far from being a real fitness tool. Exercises are quite limited and there's no real progression or the ability to customize your workout. Plus it uses BMI which makes small children cry and parents fume at the thought of their kids being told they're obsese. But, credit where credit is due, Wii Fit has brought the benefits of exergaming to the masses and put balance boards in millions of homes, creating a market that's just ripe for the picking. Enter EA games.
So, let's get one thing clear from the off. EA Sports Active WILL make use of the wiiboard although its use is not required. Instead, EA are focussing more on their new peripheral which is not really a new peripheral but simply a neoprene device that will allow you to strap the wiimote/nunchuck to your arm or leg. Moore did however say "if you have one [wii balance board], we've got enough exercises in there that you'll want to put it in front of the TV and use it". So if your wiiboard has been gathering dust there'll be no more excuses once this title is released.
Here's a summary of top features:
- True one-to-one motion. Your onscreen character will move with you, tracking both upper and lower body movement.
- Multiplayer support so you can exercise with a partner.
- Includes a resistance band to increase workout intensity and a nutrition guide.
- Includes a personal trainer who will work out new daily exercise programs or you can create your own custom workouts.
- Tracks calories burned in real-time.
- Over 20 exercises and activities.
- Regular software updates.
Expect to see a lot more on this game in coming months as I suspect that EA is really going to push it. No doubt Oprah will be featuring it soon on her show as it's endorsed by Bob Greene, her personal trainer. There's also mention of future targeted releases such as EA Sports Active Abs and EA Sports Soccer so this is just the beginning of EA's push into exergaming.
To read the full interview with Peter Moore and to view a short preview video visit GamesSpot Australia.