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New fitness games go hi-tech

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Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Remember when Wii Fit was considered the most cutting-edge exergame
on the planet? It's hard to believe Nintendo's slickly-executed fitness phenomenon
came out a mere two-and-a-half years ago, reshaping gamer waistlines and
turning the bundled Balance Board into a must-have piece of tech.

Nowadays? It's downright old-fashioned.

Such is the way of the world in gaming, where technological innovation is as common as an extra life. And courtesy of the motion-sensing systems of PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect, fitness gaming has stepped off the scale and into an entirely new home gym.

Ubisoft's Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360) is one such effort. Tailor-made for Kinect, this ballyhooed game -- currently the top-selling third-party Kinect game -- lets
you tone and tighten without holding any controllers or jumping around on a
scale. It even detects your body size and shape and corrects you when you're
out of alignment, a godsend for the game's yoga-like "Zen" modes. The
downside? Its detection technology isn't perfect, which can quickly turn a
nice, relaxing stretch into an exercise in hair-pulling. But stick with it, and
you're bound to shape up.

Check out Fitness Gaming Through the Years

If you're a little more serious about your home workout, EA Sports Active 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) might be the ticket. Unlike Your Shape, the follow-up to the only game
that truly challenged Wii Fit is available on all three major home consoles,
packing over 70 exercises, straps to hold controllers (unless you have Kinect,
in which case no controllers are needed) and a legit heart rate monitor to help
keep you in the zone. It also automatically uploads your fitness data online so
you can track your progress from anywhere. However, those bells and whistles
come at quite a cost: it's $99 -- about double the cost of competing products.
Cheaper than a few months at the gym, though.

They might not enjoy the same level of marketing, but a slew
of branded fitness games are also getting a technological upgrade. The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout (Kinect) moves the popular weight-loss show from the Wii to the 360, and based on the reviews, got a bit fitter along the way. Featuring virtual versions of
show trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, it should keep you on track.
Actually, the former stars again in Jillian
Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011
(Wii), the latest in her commercially
successful fitness series. PlayStation Move gamers, meanwhile, can opt for Get Fit with Mel B (yes, the ex-Spice Girl), who will tell them what they really, really want to hear about their fitness levels.

Are you planning on shaping up with any of these new
releases? Still stepping up to Wii Fit? Or do you prefer to work out away from
the console? Let us know in the comments.

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