Hoping to gymnastically leap onto the phenomenal success of Nintendo's Wii Fit game system, Electronic Arts is to launch its own EA Sports Active game next year. Wii Fit is widely expected to be the biggest game of 2008.
EA claims that Sports Active will be a more extreme and rigorous workout than Wii Fit's jovial jogging and ski jumping activities. It is calling it a "customisable and personalised fitness product", with "a new level of motivation" with on-screen, real-time feedback on your workout such as calories burned, while also allowing the player to adjust intensity levels.
EA promises a wide variety of interactive activities "combined into a circuit that target both the upper and lower body as well as cardio". It supports two players to allow family or friends to get fit together.
A Sports Active includes two specially designed leg straps that hold the Wii's Nunchuk controller to track lower body movements, as well as a resistance band to support a number of upper body strength training exercises.
It also features a "30 Day Challenge" — a fitness road map for players to reach their fitness goals with the guidance of a virtual trainer. The Challenge provides a new, 20-minute workout every time a player exercises, including "clear instruction, feedback on technique and positive encouragement throughout the workout".
Users can also create their own custom workouts that vary in activity, duration and intensity, and the Wii Balance Board will add functionality to many exercises.
According to the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Enterbrain, Nintendo's Wii Fit has sold 1.433 million units in the US, 624,000 in the UK, and 1.547 million in Japan, for a total of 3.604 million units as of August 1, 2008. As of September 30, 2008, Nintendo has sold 8.76 million copies of Wii Fit worldwide.
Announced today, EA Sports Active is endorsed by fitness experts, including Bob Greene (apparently Oprah's personal trainer). It's a more serious challenge, providing a structured workout that targets different parts of the body, as well as a 30-day fitness roadmap so you can accurately measure your progress.