Surely the inherent irony of never leaving the couch to play a sports video game isn’t lost on many players. And while the occasional innovation like the Wii, Kinect and VR have offered some opportunity to add a little movement to the process, the act of simulating one of the more athletic major league sports has remained a sedentary one.
A new partnership between Fitbit and game publisher 2K is less elegant than the above examples, but it’s something, offering players in-game bonuses on NBA 2K17 for achieving certain goals with their fitness trackers. It’s a pretty literal take on the whole notion of wearable gamification.
Hitting 10,000 steps in a day, for example, will provide access to a temporary boost to a player’s on-court performance, including agility, dunks and layups. All in all, not a bad set of skills for the fairly low bar of walking around five miles a day.
The system utilizes the Works with Fitbit program, integrating it into the gameplay on both the PS4 and Xbox One. It will be enabled on the game starting Black Friday — just in time to burn off the previous night’s turkey dinner.