Game news: 'Wii-Fit' leads to boom in 'exergaming'
Real news from the virtual world:
, ACTIVE VOLCANO: Nintendo's "Wii Fit" exercise program has topped the video-game sales charts since its debut a year ago. But come on, folks: Surely you've mastered the sun salutation and the downward-facing dog by now and you're ready for something more vigorous.
EA Sports Vice President Dave McCarthy says his company watched the success of "Wii Fit" and decided to take a different approach. "We want to get your heart rate going, get a bit of a sweat going," he says. The result is "EA Sports Active," the first fitness program from the company better known for sports simulations like "Madden NFL" and "NBA Live."
"In 30 minutes you can burn a bunch of calories," McCarthy says. EA describes its high-intensity focus as "Western fitness," as opposed to the emphasis on balance and yoga in "Wii Fit." "Active" also features a "30-Day Challenge," a prescribed workout routine that provides a bit more structure than Nintendo's program.
EA is aiming "Active" squarely at women, with ads flooding daytime television. The software features Oprah Winfrey's fitness guru, Bob Greene. And Alison Sweeney, star of NBC's "Days of Our Lives" and "The Biggest Loser," has been making the promotional rounds.
"It's hard to get out to the gym," Sweeney says. "I had (`Active') in my bedroom and had to look at it every day. It's a great way to keep focused."
, PUSHING DAISY: Pilates, developed in the 1920s, has really caught on in the last decade. One of its followers, former MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes, has made a bundle off Pilates DVDs, and now she's bringing the discipline to the Wii.
Sega's "Daisy Fuentes Pilates" uses the Wii controls, including the Balance Board, to monitor your movements and ensure you're doing the exercises the right way. "It focuses on the connection between your mind and body, giving you smooth control over your movements," she says. "And the Wii is a great way to practice it."
"Daisy Fuentes Pilates" is scheduled for release later this summer.
, I WALK THE LINE: Having opened up the "exergaming" market, Nintendo is hardly ignoring the genre. Its latest attempt to get gamers off the couch is "Personal Trainer: Walking," for the portable DS.
The package includes two pedometers. You can stick one in your pocket, go about your daily routine and then feed your stats into the game cartridge through a wireless hookup. You get plenty of charts and graphs to monitor your progress, but the overall package doesn't have nearly as much variety as "Wii Fit."
Still, the second pedometer lets you challenge a family member. Or you can attach it to your dog if you want to feel really lazy.
, NEW IN STORES: Sony's open-world superhero tale "InFamous" comes to the PlayStation 3. ... Codemasters' "Damnation" (Xbox 360, PS3) is an apocalyptic shooter that takes place in an alternate America.