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Jenny McCarthy Teaches Fitness on the Wii, with Semi-Annoying Real-Time Feedback

Like working out to exercise videos but wish they gave personalized feedback? Fan of Jenny McCarthy? If you answered yes to both questions, Ubisoft’s new fitness game for the Nintendo Wii, Your Shape, could be for you.

The key feature of the game is the camera that comes with it, which captures your movements without the need for sensors or other devices. The camera also projects your image onto the TV screen next to the instructor. The idea is to re-create the aerobics class/personal trainer session at home, so instead of just following an instructor on TV, you get real-time feedback based on your performance. EA Sports’ Active is based on a similar premise, but that game requires a wearable device and a Wii remote to track a player’s movements. Your Shape also lets you incorporate fitness equipment, such as free weights or a stability ball.

And then, there’s what I’ll call the McCarthy factor. While Active and Wii Fit use ambiguous, AI-like avatars as instructors, Ubisoft has chosen to build Your Shape around former Playboy playmate Jenny McCarthy–she serves as host, personal trainer, and aerobics instructor. I tried the game out last night, and, not being a big McCarthy fan, I found it irritating to watch and listen to her throughout my workout. (“Watch those arms,” she scolded repeatedly. Sometimes she just yelled, “Your arms!”)

Still, the camera feature is cool. It makes sense to blend your image into the screen in a fitness game, and, like Microsoft’s Project Natal, the camera-sensing technology Ubisoft has developed for Your Shape could easily extend to other games. Maybe the Shaun White snowboarding game? Just a suggestion. In the meantime, Your Shape is scheduled to hit stores November 24th.

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