Family Fitzness, Workouts — October 19, 2011 at 12:54 am

Wii Fit vs. Xbox360 Kinect: Which is Better for You?

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Kinect Sports Games

Looking to buy a gaming system to help you get fit while having fun? While the options on the market may seem overwhelming, two options stand out above the rest: the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox36o. As with any options, there are pros and cons for both, but these facts may help you see what is best for you and your family.

It’s amazing what technology can do these days, and the Nintendo Wii definitely does not fall short. Your fitness options when it comes to the Wii are packaged under the Wii Fit expansion software. Wii Fit combines fun and fitness into one product while preserving your wallet. In addition to whatever games you may want to try, your purchase of the Wii Fit software comes with a balance board that takes the place of controllers in order to recognize the players’ movement. The Wii Fit software and balance board come in under $100 not including the basic Wii gaming system. According to www.nintendo.com, the board “interprets the movement of your feet and brings your motions to life,” and is “an incredibly accurate control scheme” while sensing your weight and balance.

Something unique to the Nintendo Wii is that you can chart your progress every time you exercise with the software. This system is great for people who want to set goals and chart their progress. If yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance skills all seemed out-of-reach, now you can have them all in the convenience of  your living room. And if the Wii Fit wasn’t cool enough already, you also have the ability to input what foods you eat, what activities you do outside of the Wii, and it calculates your calories consumed and burned. Keeping track of your health and fitness has never been easier!

Another console that may not be as well known as the Wii is the Xbox360. The fitness and movement software used with this console is called the Kinect. While coming in at about $400 for the Xbox system AND the Kinect, this product uses much more advanced technology and contains a hard drive which has up to 4GB of memory. The Kinect for Xbox360 is completely controller free and prides itself on letting players just play; allowing you to follow your natural body movements to play games. Just standing in front of the Xbox allows it to recognize you and you’re granted the ability to jump in and out of games easily. In addition to recognizing faces and bodies, it can also recognize voices which allows control of your software by just saying commands!

While the Xbox may seem intimidating for those who are not hardcore “gamers,” this should not drive you to exclude it from your options. There are games for the whole family that encourage you to use full-body movement, and after watching someone play for a few minutes, you’ll certainly want to get up and join. The Xbox360 also has the capacity to play HD movies, sports games, and hundreds of music channels as well as parental controls.

There are endless options of games you can play on either system, and overall, both offer essentially the same types of games. You can find everything from The Biggest Loser, to UFC Personal Trainer, to Zumba Fitness, to all kinds of sports games and tons of other options! The point is to get off the couch and do something that builds relationships and gets you moving and burning calories. The best part about these cool tools is that they make fitness fun!

 

3 Comments

  1. As an adult child who uses his kids as excuses to have both video game systems, I’ve had both the Wii and the xbox 360 for quite awhile. I think you’ve got a pretty fair review here. Allow me to chime in with a couple more thoughts on the systems:

    Cost: If you do not have a Wii, the cost isn’t just $100, so you will need to buy the system too. The Wii balance board alone is $100; the kinect alone is $140. An xbox 360 costs $299; the Wii costs $199.

    Features: The xbox 360 is designed to be the central location of your home theater system, so the additional package that comes with the xbox 360 is far superior. ESPN, Netflix, Hulu+, and you can even use Windows Media Center from your PC to extend to the xbox 360 and stream music/photos/movies over WiFi. The Wii has Netflix, but cannot come close to competing with the xbox 360 in overall package offering.

    Games: The Wii – as far as games that use the motion sensor equipment – has a much larger offering. Note that you do not need to use the balance board to do movement with the Wii; every game will require movement as that is the central idea with a Wii system. The xbox 360 offers just as much game content as the Wii, but the library of games that the kinect itself offers is limited right now because the kinect has not had the lifespan of the Wii.

    Systems: The Wii is Nintendo’s “older” system, as they will be coming out with the “Wii U” in 2012. So if you invest in a Wii now, note that the product will become Nintendo’s previous generation system. Microsoft has stated that the xbox 360 has another 5 years of product life cycle, but I think that’s generous – perhaps 2 more years in my opinion. That being said, both systems will still be supported by both companies for a long time to come.

    Opinion: Go with the Wii if you want a more affordable option. If you can afford it, the xbox 360 has a more enjoyable interface, it feels slick, and the kinect is a lot of fun. Just know that at this point in its life cycle, the game offerings for the kinect are limited – but Dance Central is awesome. There is no other gaming experience like the Kinect out there. Go to the Gamestop on Archer Road (next to Outback) if you want to give it a shot before buying…they have one set up in the store for demo.

  2. Pingback: Give the Gift of Active Fun this Father’s Day

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