If you were wondering why, precisely, Microsoft made the Kinect a pack-in for the Xbox One, the answer is pretty simple: It sold a lot of systems, and especially fitness games and apps. And now Microsoft is looking to make that a basic feature.
Exercise Videos: The Next Generation
The content in question can’t really be called a game, per se, although it shares some similarities with the various fitness “games” you can find on the Xbox 360. Essentially, it’s kind of a Netflix for exercise videos, ranging from P90X to Insanity to, well, pretty much if it has a national infomercial, it looks to be a part of Microsoft’s new service. That in of itself actually makes it worth it for exercise junkies. But, needless to say, there’s a bit more to it.
Now You Have To Do It Correctly
Essentially, the Kinect serves as a trainer to ensure that you’re actually doing what the video demands. Remember the new Kinect can not only see you with more points of articulation, it can also read your heart rate using infrared. Thanks to that, it’ll be able to see what muscles you’re actually using, match that against the video, and tell you if perhaps you could be less of a wuss, grasshopper. Because a robot demanding you work your glutes harder isn’t vaguely creepy or anything. At all.
Off The Couch With You!
Jokes aside, this does actually look like a very useful service for exercise junkies and people who want to be more fit, and it’s unlikely to be more blunt than, say, the Wii Fit telling you that you’re fat. Furthermore, Microsoft is sweetening the deal by making the service free for a year as part of your Xbox Live Gold subscription, so really you don’t have that many in the way of excuses. Of course that might change come December 2014, when the service goes paid, but until then, you can get some exercise.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.