XBOX 360 Kinect vs. Nintendo Wii for Cardio and Workouts

Jason Fritz

Staff member
So, I've been an avid user of the Nintendo Wii gaming system for the past 6 months, specifically for the purpose of doing cardio workouts 4 times a week. The game of choice for those workouts is Wii Sports: Boxing, where I usually go through 8, 3-round fights and work the punching bag for 5-6 rounds.

This past Christmas, I received the XBOX 360 Kinect which allows me to play games like the Wii gaming system (by moving around and having the game react to my motions), but the Kinect uses a camera and sensors to read my movements instead of a handheld remote device like the Wii.

With just 2 days of usage under my belt, I have to say that the Kinect has an impressive range of motion to capture movements, and is far more accurate than the Wii remote sensors.

I've tested the Kinect with the XBOX 360 game, Kinect Sports, which has the following sports games included in its offering; Volley Ball, Soccer, Bowling, Track and Field, Boxing, Table Tennis. All of these games are great. Table Tennis is proving to be my favorite so far and probably most impressive to show off Kinect's ability to follow hand movement accurately.

In terms of workout and cardio, I was hoping that the Boxing game would come through, but in my opinion, fell somewhat short. With Wii Boxing, a great strategy (and workout) during boxing is to sway side to side to avoid punches, but with Kinect Sports boxing, this movement offers no benefit to dodge punches. I was also slightly disappointed with the defense of punches, which can be activated during play by holding your hands by your head or holding them below by your chest to protect your body. It seems as though you have to perfectly position your hands so that the sensors know that you're trying to block punches.

The Track and Field game on Kinect Sports definitely offers a thorough workout for those wanting to work their full body. Within Track and Field, there are 5 events. Sprint, Javelin Throw, long jump, discus, and hurdles. The Kinect tracks your running by the user running in place, which seems like a bad idea in theory because it's A. boring, and B. how much of a workout can you actually get?, but it does work. I found myself really pumping my knees up and down during the sprint to beat my competitors. Long jump requires good timing, and a high jump. Hurdles have to be the most demanding workout though, with a mix of sprinting and jumping.

With many more sports games expected to come out in 2011, I'm sure there will be plenty to choose from for those seeking to do cardio with their Kinect.


I agree that the Xbox conqured the Wii in motion capturing technology, even the PS3. In which the Move is impressive-----ly over priced. I am definitely more impressed with what I have experienced, and have seen with the Xbox... I am totally being a traitor right as my PS3 glares at me LOL! I think Xbox won this round, and there are so many hacks out there for it to.. You can check, and other techy websites for hacking, and coding for the Kinect :D
Not so big on the video game driven excercise, definitely can make a good atttempt at making excercise seem fun, and definitely a change of pace for many people that lack outdoor activities, or other things to keep them active, and out of the fridge.
I think the controller will be driven out at some point, but then again, I love my mouse and keyboard FPS style games, and you can't give up on the oldschool Mame, and nestal of other older systems.

Jason Fritz

Staff member
I've always liked the PS3 for action games over the XBOX, but like you said the Kinect offers so much more than the Move. The Table Tennis game on Kinect Sports is a ton of fun if you haven't tried it yet. I think I prefer Wii bowling over the Kinect Sports bowling only because having a controller to hold on to makes it easier to guide the bowling ball for some reason.

I think the only reason why I'm interested in video game exercise so much is that my regular running routine gets kind of boring after a while. I hate most games completely focused around exercise....rather, I choose games like boxing or another sport that's designed to be a game first, which also provides some form of exercise.


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