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Cyberbike, a “Bike It Out” for Wii, is coming this month

The Wii seems like a natural for an exercise bike, and now there is one on its way to these shores.  Cyberbike Magnetic Edition, which has been for sale in Europe since last year, is due to go on sale on June 28.  So far the only place to preorder is Toys R Us, where it lists for $200, free shipping (plus tax if applicable).

That’s comparable to many exercise bikes, and the fact that you can play Mario Kart and other games (the bike comes with a game) makes it less likely to become a clothes hanger.  Since the Cyberbike plugs into the Wii’s Gamecube ports, similar to a DDR pad, I’m curious if it can be made to work like a dance pad for Walk It Out.  If so, being able to bike all over Rhythm Island is worth a couple C-notes to me.

Wii Play: Motion is coming, amid rumors of Wii price cut

Nintendo has announced a sequel to the bestselling Wii Play remote/game bundle, called Wii Play: Motion.  The game will be bundled with a Wii Remote Plus controller that has the Motion Plus gizmo built in.  I have the original Wii Play, and while none of the games are really “active”, they are a lot of fun for all ages.

On the heels of this announcement, comes a wampaging wumor (apparently begun at Engadget) that the Wii console will have its MSRP cut to $150 next month.  Wii has already gone on sale for that price in the recent past at stores like Target and Walmart.  So if you’re still on the fence about Wii, it might make sense to hold out just a few weeks more.

Pimp my Kinect, sez Kylie Minogue to Microsoft

Kylie Minogue, the singer who kinda fell out of my head about 10 years ago after her last hit single “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” but is still active and touring, has partnered with Microsoft to offer up this blinged-out Kinect sensor, studded with blue and white Swarovski crystals. My first thought was, don’t they interfere with the camera’s motion? But I suppose that if you can afford it ($1242 according to BornRich) then you’re already too rich and thin to do any actual exergaming.  Whatevah… (Via geeksugar)

Meet the Zumba booty belt!

I was rather skeptical about Zumba Fitness for Wii at first, since its maker, Majesco, didn’t do so well with Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009.  But after some positive reviews from Amazon and from commenters on this blog (Thank You!!  I love getting feedback!), I went for it.  I’ve only done a couple of songs so far, but I am liking it!  I’ll do a longer review later on, but for now, I’m just going to talk about the game’s included “booty belt”.

(I know, I’m already behind on reviewing Gold’s Gym Dance Workout, which I also enjoy, and Dance On Broadway is also waiting in the wings, and Just Dance 2 is looking good, and…maybe I’ll just put up a multi-game review comparing them all, how’s that sound?)

But back to Booty Belt, a unique new Wii accessory for a console that may be the most accessorized of all time.  It measures 50″ long and about 3″ wide.  Since it fastens with overlapping velcro, I would presume the maximum waist or hip size would be about 48-49″, but it shouldn’t be too hard to add some sort of extender if necessary.

However, it is very adjustable for smaller hips, down to about 31″.  If you have a child who wants to Zumba, a binder clip or safety pin on the belt should do the trick.

The belt is made of a black microfiber material that’s very lightweight and slightly stretchy.  According to the instructions, you’re supposed to wear it over your hipbone.  I was afraid it would slip or ride up during all the Zumba gyrating, but it stays in place very well.  To make it even more secure, you could fold the “loop” end of the belt under, so that part of the “hook” end adheres to your pants.

To make the remote interact with the Zumba game, just slip it into the mesh pocket on the belt (you have to remove the rubbery remote jacket first, but you can leave the strap attached, and just fold it under the remote).  Like the belt, the remote stays secure, and I like how you can control the game with just the d-pad and A and B buttons, so you don’t have to keep taking the remote from the pocket to point.  And no nunchuck or tangly cords!

Any other uses for the belt?  Well, if you Walk It Out (and if you don’t, you should) then the Zumba belt makes a nice nunchuck holder.  And the belt even has reflective piping around the pocket, so I suppose you could go for an evening walk in it, with your keys or cell phone in the pocket.  Now that’s an exergaming fashion statement.

You can even use the belt to measure your results.  Throw away your scale, and just put a mark on your belt each time you work out with it!

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.

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