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UFC Personal Trainer game is coming on Wii, Kinect, PS3 Move

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Image via Wikipedia

UFC Trainer was first announced last year, and is finally listed on Amazon, who is giving a release date of June 21.  According to the description, the game offers:

  • Authentic UFC Fitness Experience – Certified by UFC and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), UFC Personal Trainer is designed by leading MMA training experts
  • Intense Mixed Martial Arts Exercises – Learn over 70 MMA-inspired exercises, including moves from disciplines such as wrestling, kickboxing and Muay Thai

There’s a blue Wi-Fi logo on the Wii box, so there must be some online content – maybe even online play, I hope!

Party on! Zumba exergame looks like a sleeper hit

From the time a video game based on Zumba was announced more than a year ago, there has been a ton of interest and anticipation by Zumbamaniacs all over the world.  I was cautious, since the game was made by the same company that put out the notoriously bad Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009.  But when it (the Wii version) got a few good reviews and went on sale on Black Friday at Amazon, I took a bite.

And I’m very glad I did.  The infectious music and moves make up for the rather clunky interface and slippery belt.  (I found a much better belt, made for Wii Fit, at Five Below for $5 – and it even came with a Wii Fit hat!  On the other hand, official belts from the Zumba site are $10 plus shipping, when they have them.)  I’ve never even been to a Zumba class, but I’ve used Wii Zumba at least once a week since I’ve gotten it, and lost a couple of pounds in that time.

Now it looks like the red-hot fitness license is paying off for Majesco, the game’s publisher.  They’ve announced that Zumba games on all 3 platforms (Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 Kinect) have shipped 500,000 copies.  That’s not too shabby, considering they were up against Just Dance 2 – inarguably a blockbuster hit, selling 5 million in the same time frame – and Michael Jackson The Experience, which sold nearly 2 million.

Looks like dance/rhythm games, which were being declared all but dead before last year, are “muy caliente” once again! 🙂

Kinect. Me Want.

A few weeks ago, I tried out PS3 Move, the new Wii-like motion controller system for Playstation 3.  I played their Wii Sports knockoff, Sports Champions, and came away thinking “Wii with bigger controllers.”  In addition to the controllers, that resemble something you might direct planes on a runway with, there’s a camera that asks you to pose in a frame between games so it can tell where you are, which slows down the action.  Maybe Move isn’t really aimed at us casual moms (there’s only one fitness game out so far), which is just as well.

But today I tried Kinect, with its virtual-sports game Kinect Sports, and I came away thinking, Wow.  Like, WOW factor in spades.  I played soccer, a track-hurdling minigame and a boxing match, and I was panting and sweating at the end.

When I first heard about Kinect last year, I thought it would be just another Eye Toy, the PS2 camera that needed lots of light and nothing moving in the background.  But I played Kinect in a store, with fluorescent lighting and people moving around in the background, with no problems.  The menus worked fine and it was really cool to see my silhouette on the screen copying every little move I made.

Some are calling Kinect the “Wii killer” but I don’t know if I’d go that far.  More like, the Kinect is the shiny new sports car while the Wii is the economy sedan.  You do need a good amount of room for Kinect, and it only handles 2 simultaneous players while Wii can handle four.  And Kinect is more expensive, both for the console and the games.  There’s nothing in the $20 range, yet.

For the first time in four years, though, the Wii is looking long in the tooth.  After this holiday, a lot of Wiis may be headed to kids’ bedrooms and basements, while Kinect takes center stage in the family room with the giant flat-screen.  The Wii game output of 2011 may end up being more kiddie-oriented, much like what happened with PS2.

A Billy Blanks Wii exergame is coming…to Japan

Joystiq announced that Billy Blanks, the creator of the Tae-Bo workout videos, is coming out with a Wii game, but so far it is due for a Japanese release only, next March.  Blanks was the last big household-name instructor in the US before Jillian Michaels came along, and within the last few years, he made another big marketing and personal splash in Japan, where he now lives.

While Japanese Wii games can be imported, you need a Japanese Wii console (or a specially modified console) to play them.  But there is hope for gaming Blanks fans in the states; Joystiq notes that this new Blanks game is a sequel to Shape Boxing, which was brought to our shores by Ubisoft as the excellent Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout.  So Billy’s game has a good chance of being a knockout, too.

Zumba Fitness for Wii comes with its own belt

The box art for Zumba for Wii is now up on Amazon, but their video only shows the Xbox360 Kinect version.  However, if you look closely at the corner of the cover, it says “Exclusive Wii Remote Belt Included”.  There is a similar belt included with the PS3 version, which will work with their new Move Wiimote-like controller.

It doesn’t say what that belt goes around, though.  It could be a thigh strap similar to the one that comes with EA Sports Active, or it could be an arm strap, to help it detect arm movements like Just Dance or Gold’s Gym Dance Workout.  Or, it could be a Wii first, a hip belt!  Rack up more points the faster you shake that booty – I’m ready to get down with that program.

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