EA has good reason to be proud of its $125 million dollar EA Sports Active franchise. The Wii Fit competitor sold nearly 2 million units in its first two months on the market, leaving little doubt that an updated version of the game would soon surface. EA Sports president Peter Moore officially announced EA Sports Active 2 earlier this year, and we had a chance to check out the first demo of the game at this year's EA E3 2010 press conference.
EA wasted no time in releasing more details about the new game, announcing it will ship in November this year on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and the Xbox 360 with full Kinect motion-sensing support. The publisher also revealed the fitness title will go wireless and include an online component. This will allow users to track their fitness regimes and scores with other like-minded players and join online fitness groups.
Peter Moore took the reins at EA's press conference to conduct a stage demo for the new title, explaining how gameplay will work on each of the platforms. The most significant change from the first EA Sports Active--which shipped with a resistance band for the Wii Nunchuk and required players to hold the Wii Remote while playing--is that controllers have been completely done away with, allowing for wireless play. In the place of controllers, the game will come with a working heart monitor, which players must strap to their arms while exercising. A player's heartbeats will be monitored in real time and appear on the top left of the screen while the game is running.
Moore was joined on stage by three demonstrators, who each played one EA Sports Active 2 exercise on each of the three consoles. It appears that the Wii version will still require players to hold a Wii Remote in their hands while playing (although this was not actually mentioned). The Wii demo showed off a mountain-biking exercise that consisted of the player doing squats in the appropriate places to jump over obstacles. The PS3 demo showed off shoulder presses, where the demonstrator used her own weights (one in each hand) to reveal the benefits of wireless play. Finally, the Xbox 360 demo showed off a boxing exercise that made use of the console's Kinect motion-sensing support; we saw the demonstrator's onscreen avatar doing the boxing as the system monitored his body's movements.
The stage demo ended with Moore announcing that EA Sports Active 2 will have online support and allow players to track their progress and share their results with other players.
EA Sports Active 2 will ship on November 16, 2010, on the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360.