At the CES convention in 2018, Floyd Mayweather, boxing legend, announced the development of his Virtual Reality game, “Mayweather Fitness.” It’s a way for virtually anyone to get into shape while engaging in the sport. But will it be all that he promises?
I’m a fan of using gamification to get people to exercise more. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I love the Xbox Kinect so much. But with the Kinect dying out, I suppose I need to focus on other venues soon – and VR might be worth the investment.
Is Mayweather Fitness Right for You?
A lot of products sweep through CES and E3 on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, not all of them wind up being fully developed. Oh, there’s plenty of reasons why ideas and technologies get scrapped. However, this is one I truly hope makes it to the next level.
The idea of putting on a headset and stepping into the ring is quite attractive for me…especially if there is competition involved.
So, what makes Mayweather Fitness something I would be interested in picking up?
Upper Body Workouts
According to Mayweather’s wesbite, users will essentially be put into a boxing training environment. Made to look like a gym, the player can choose several paths depending on their own needs and wants.
You’ll have access to: Training, Padwork or Competition.
The way these kinds of exercise work is that it’s all about the movement. Standing and punching a virtual speed bag is similar to doing it in person. The only real difference is you’re not striking anything. That is, unless you’re too close to a wall or an unsuspecting family member.
The Mayweather Fitness app works in a similar fashion to any Kinect game. The VR system records movements and the results are displayed in the headset. You’re physical movements are the key component.
In this simulation, you’re in control and learning how to move about. Boxing is more than simply punching your opponent. In fact, there is far more strategy to getting in the ring than what you might think.
Coordination, agility, finding vulnerabilities in the opponent and more go into boxing. I don’t know how much of this Mayweather will teach users in the game, but I hope I have the chance to find out.
Calorie Burn Recording
According to information, the system records calorie burn. Paying for a monthly subscription gives you access to that data. This is based on physical attributes and the movement you put into playing.
Again, this is similar to how the Xbox Kinect records calorie burn. Using scientific data, the system will calculate your activity based on a handful of statistics
Now, here comes the disappointing part. These elements are all estimations and do not really reflect your calorie burn precisely. Don’t get me wrong, some of them come close. But there are too many personal variables that these kinds of systems do not have access to when recording physical activity.
Everyone has a unique physiology. The calories I burn are going to be different from the calories you burn – even if we’re the same weight and height.
This is why the Xbox says I burned 120 calories when it’s actually closer to 300. It’s because the tennis game I like to play isn’t taking into consideration my actual weight and age. It’s basing information according to averages.
Unless the VR system is going to come with a health monitor, which would be simply amazing, don’t put 100% faith in the calorie data. It’s good to see you’re working out, but it won’t be as exact as you might like.
One of the most impressive highlights for me, and probably why I’ll save my pennies to get Mayweather Fitness, is online competition. Gamification is an incredibly way to encourage people to perform a certain activity. And offering global competition in a virtual arena has that in spades.
The only part about this is the capability to cheat. Who knows if they will actually box a player without someone bringing in a more fit ringer? I suppose it will be left to the honor system. Which is a bit unfortunate.
This opens the door for many other kinds of eSports, though. Instead of a bunch of kids sitting at a table moving mice and tapping buttons, someone’s actual physical fitness is going to be a major contributor to winning.
Fitness helps eSports players anyway, but this takes the physicality of it to a whole new level. People abroad will be able to feel a small bit of the fatigue athletes get. Luckily in this case, you’ll be missing the blows from an opponent.
What’s My Takeaway From This?
It’s no secret that I love the combination of technology and fitness. Products like the Mayweather Fitness app just “do it” for me. This is mostly because I view a lot of exercise routines as mundane.
Adding an element that gets the mind engaged is an incredible bonus.
A product like this has great potential to be successful as well as encourage other developers to follow suit. As long as the developer includes updates, expansions or other forms of getting users to play for years to come, it may make quite a bit of money.
Unfortunately, something that has high potential doesn’t mean it will be a success. I’ve seen a lot of games and devices come and go rapidly for various reasons. This was often because there was a lack of support by developers.
Needing Support for VR
I have no doubt in my mind the Xbox Kinect would be leading the way for gamifying fitness if game makers actually put in the effort. This is one of the biggest reasons why so many good ideas fail.
The good thing is VR has a growing list of games and interactions. While a lot of these still need some fine-tuning, there is growing support. Triple-A game developers could easily turn the tide by making games people like me will play.
I’m still holding out for a viable Mortal Kombat VR version complete with finishing moves.
It’s All About Wall Street
The most important aspect to consider is Wall Street. Stock holders demand results. This often means putting into play questionable practices…cough…EA…cough.
Without driving sales or proper development support, VR might be simply another five-year fad like the Kinect. It’s sad when you think about it, though. Something that has potential to innovate gaming and fitness could simply go away because a stock didn’t increase fast enough.
Mayweather Fitness Has Potential
I’m a big fan of this new Mayweather Fitness app. As of this article, it’s said to be out early 2018. We’ll see if that happens or not. Unfortunately, I’m still too poor to actually afford a VR headset. Unless the app comes to Android, I might have to wait a bit.