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Oh where, oh where can the Nintendo 3DS exergames be?

Count real steps in Nintendogs + Cats for 3DS (courtesy Nintendo)

My daughter loves her Nintendo 3DS, the handheld game console that succeeded the Nintendo DS, and I agree that it’s a nifty little gadget.  Among many other features, it has a pedometer built right in, and an Activity Log on the main menu automatically records your daily steps if you go for a walk with your 3DS.  The built-in pedometer means that games can also have the ability to give you bonuses for getting up and walking around.  No need anymore for 3DS games to have peripheral pedometers like the Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver Pokewalker or the pedometers that came with Personal Trainer Walking or My Weight Loss Coach for DS.

So there should be more 3DS walking and activity games than you can shake a walking stick at, right?  Doesn’t look that way.  Even though there were several walking and general health and fitness games for the old DS console (see the list here), my active game list for 3DS remains empty.  You can play any DS game on the 3DS, and it is easier to have a tiny pedometer clipped on than to carry the 3DS console in your pocket all the time, but it would still be great to have more games that take advantage of the built-in pedometer technology.  Besides, you’re less likely to put your pants in the washing machine with the 3DS in the pocket.

It’s not easy to even find which 3DS games give you bonuses for walking.  One that does is Nintendogs + Cats, a fun simulation game in which you adopt and pamper a virtual puppy.  You can take Rover for a fake walk by just steering with your stylus, but if you take the console for a real walk with the game turned on, not only do you burn real fat and gain real fitness, you also get presents from your dog, and not the kind you have to scoop.  Gifts depend on how many steps you take; according to the list at Nintendogs Wiki, they range from a dog biscuit for 10-99 steps all the way up to a gold bar for 99999+ steps.

The Street Pass feature built in to the 3DS is another feature that might encourage walking, or at least getting out of the house.  With Street Pass, you leave the wireless internet detector on in the 3DS as you walk around, and if another wireless-activated 3DS is in the vicinity, your Mii avatars will “visit” each other and sometimes exchange gifts, or show off their Nintendog or Nintenkitten.  We’ve walked extra loops around crowded malls just to try to collect Miis.

Do readers know of any other 3DS games that encourage walking?

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Sequel to Zumba Fitness game has been announced, for Wii and more

Zumba – both the game and the fitness franchise it was based on – is a smash hit everywhere, so it’s no surprise that a sequel is coming.  Game maker Majesco has announced that Zumba Fitness 2 is coming this holiday for the Wii, and “another to-be-announced platform in early 2012”.

That could be Kinect, that could be PS3 Move, or it could even be Nintendo 3DS: put the console in your pocket and rack up coins by shaking it for all you’re worth!  Some gamers are wildly speculating that it could even be the “Wii 2” that is supposed to be exhibited this summer and put on the market next year.

Otherwise, it sounds like the same game with new music and stages.  As with DDR and Just Dance, why mess with a successful formula?

Featuring more than 30 hot new music tracks, electrifying choreography, a huge variety of new dance styles and brand new arenas, Zumba® Fitness 2 invites players to dance their way into shape with a fun and proven program.   The successor to the best-selling original, Zumba® Fitness 2 gets players moving with world renowned Zumba® creator, Beto, and celebrity instructors Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant as they guide you through each exhilarating routine ranging in style from Merengue and Samba to Indian and Latin Pop.  The all-new progress tracker adds up calories burned, grades dance styles, and displays trophies, stats and overall rank. Playing in Single Song, Full Class or Zumba Party modes, players will have a blast with this unique dance fitness experience that shapes, tones and transforms their bodies while leaving them with an endorphin high.

Additional Zumba® Fitness 2 Features:

  • Shake it in Style – From fan favorites like Salsa and Reggaeton to all new styles like Bellydance, Axe, Latin Pop and Pasodoble, players can choose from more than 20 dance styles.
  • Customize Your Experience – Select from more than 30 tracks in Single Song mode, take a class designed by Beto, Gina Grant or Tanya Beardsley, or craft your own playlist in Zumba Class mode. Invite your friends to join the fun in Zumba Party mode that supports up to 4 players. You can even take it slow in Learn the Steps tutorial mode before you dive into the choreography.
  • Location, Location, Location – Dance it up in five new, dynamic environments from a Miami Yacht to a Los Angeles nightclub.
  • Superstar Instructors – Dance and interact with top Zumba instructors Beto, Tanya Beardsley and Gina Grant. You can even customize each instructor’s outfit with the hottest ZumbawearTM styles.

(Via Majesco)

Nintendo’s taking the 3DS a step further with a built-in pedometer

There’s a lot of excitement in the gaming world about the upcoming successor to the handheld Nintendo DS, the 3DS (named for its glasses-less 3-D screen).  Now exergamers have reason to be excited also:  according to Kotaku, the new device will have an on-board pedometer, and as you walk around with it, you’ll earn virtual coins that will help you power up games that support it, such as fueling your Pokemon with watts, buying Mario a snazzy flying raccoon tail, etc.

This means you won’t need a separate device like the pedometers that come with Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Personal Trainer Walking, or My Weight Loss Coach.

One more giant leap to keeping gamers active and fit!  I just wish the 3DS was as compact as a pedometer – it’s supposed to be the same size as the current DS Lite – but you can be sure they will come out with holsters, belts or even deep-pocketed walking shorts for it.

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