David Beckham advocates for health and fitness in video games

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Soccer superstar David Beckham is teaming up with video game giant Electronic Arts as a spokesperson for their upcoming home fitness title EA Sports Active 2. Speaking at this week's Gamescom event in Germany, EA Sports' Peter Moore described Beckham as "someone who could inspire people to get active" in the build up to the title's release on November 19.

"You'll hear more about our partnership in the weeks to come", he said, as a short montage played and practical aspects about EA Sports Active 2 were explained.

The first EA Sports Active was for the popular Nintendo Wii system, and came with a strap-on pouch and a resistance band for use in training exercises.

By contrast, EA Sports Active 2 will be for the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with accompanying applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. As well as a resistance band, it comes with a heart rate monitor and motion sensors embedded in leg and arm straps.

That not only helps each participant pick an exercise routine that's right for them, but also allows them to share progress with friends and the wider fitness community if they want to, rather like the Nike+ system for runners.

All this should start sounding familiar to those acquainted with Adidas' miCoach suite of fitness devices. Adidas are another company who have Beckham on their books, to the extent that he appears in the Sports Active photos clothed in Adidas apparel.

Developed primarily for runners in response to the success of Nike+, but with more tech and wider fitness applications, the miCoach gadgets comprise a heart rate monitor, a motion sensor for shoes, and progress logging widget.

Like the Nike+ sensor, it can work in conjunction with iPhones and iPods, and Adidas recently released a free iPhone / iPod fitness app in order to put further pressure on Nike.

With Sports Active 2 out before the year's end, EA will be looking to establish themselves as a major player in the home fitness industry, though like Adidas they're not without significant competition.

Nintendo's Wii Fit series hasn't had an update since 2009 and is surely due one, and Ubisoft's Your Shape! Fitness Evolved is, like Sports Active 2, a launch title for Kinect - the Xbox 360's hands-free controller.

There are also the more musical games SingStar Dance and Dance Central which, although not marketed as fitness games, are due out at the same time and have at least managed to impress GamesCom attendees.

The David Beckham / EA Sports Active 2 spot can be seen on YouTube.com/user/EASportsFrance.