THE RISE OF VR BOXING GAMES AND FITNESS GAMING

By: Quell Team
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Fitness-focused games have been building in popularity for years. We can see why, having a boxing machine that allows you to experience the thrill of combat without the pain of taking a hit is an excellent way to let off steam and have fun.

From Sega’s 1976 black-and-white boxing game, Heavyweight Champ, to Nintendo’s 2006 release of the Wii Boxing games, the growth and progression of boxing gaming technology has been exponential. It’s an evolutionary process that has led to the development of both immersive boxing games and VR (virtual reality) boxing games. But, what is the best VR boxing game?

Quell is shaping the future of virtual boxing games with the release of The Impact Platform and our virtual boxing launch title, Shardfall. This revolution in fitness gaming is made possible by combining immersive, first-person gameplay with an intense, HIIT workout.

THE EVOLUTION OF VR BOXING GAMES

1976: HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP

The origin of VR boxing can be traced back to 1976 with Sega’s Heavyweight Champion, a classic arcade video game. It was one of the first boxing games to feature a first-person perspective, allowing players to step into the ring and take on a variety of opponents.

1999: KNOCKOUT KINGS 2000

Developed by Electronic Arts SportsKnockout Kings 2000 features a roster of famous boxers and is known for its realistic boxing simulation as well as its create-a-boxer feature. The game set a standard for boxing games that future developers would strive to exceed.

2006: WII BOXING

Wii revolutionized the world of virtual sports with Wii boxing (included in Wii sports) in 2006. This game was a significant development as it utilized motion controls to immerse players and boasted fitness benefits whilst being more accessible than previous boxing games.

2010: UFC & EA SPORTS FIGHT NIGHT

In 2010, we saw the rise of EA sports’ high-fidelity martial arts and combat franchises UFC and Fight Night. The games create a more engaging experience through advanced physics and animation systems that simulate movement and the impact of punches.

2012: OCULUS

Oculus released a line of VR headsets that don’t need a separate computer or console to operate, the line includes Oculus Quest and Quest 2. The headsets feature built-in sensors for positional tracking and controllers so that users can interact with virtual objects.

2018: LITEBOXER

Liteboxer released an at-home fitness device that mimics a punching bag but with LED lights and music to prompt punches. The device comes with a connected app that tracks the user's progress with performance feedback and offers suggestions for future workouts.

2020: FITXR

FitXR released a VR fitness app that is compatible with the Oculus Quest and Quest 2. The app offers a variety of fitness classes (including boxing), virtual environments and real-time performance tracking so you can personalize your workout.

2023: QUELL

We are gearing up to launch our Impact and launch title Shardfall in 2023. The Impact combines immersive gameplay with a HIIT workout, using first-person gameplay, powerful haptics and athlete-grade resistance bands.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIRTUAL, VIRTUAL REALITY, AND IMMERSIVE FITNESS GAMING?

Virtual gaming: This one is simple. Virtual combat games started way back in 1976 and are still popular today. UFC 5 is the next virtual martial arts game on the docket, slated to be released at the end of 2023. These games are great for entertainment, played with a keyboard and mouse/console controller. However, these games don’t do much on the fitness and immersion side of things!

Virtual reality gaming: VR (virtual reality) is a computer-generated environment experienced through a headset, the goal is for users to feel like they are actually in the environment. VR boxing allows people to feel like they’re actually in a ring throwing and dodging punches, making the experience more engaging than traditional video games and workouts. However, using VR for exercise has its flaws; many complain that the headset causes nausea and dizziness after a few minutes and it certainly becomes uncomfortable to wear when you start to get sweaty.

The future of fitness gaming: Immersive gaming provides the solution to the problems above without compromising on the benefits of VR gaming. Using motion tracking, powerful haptics and first-person gameplay. Immersive gaming ensures total engagement in the play and a high-quality workout without the need for a headset.

THE SHOWDOWN: VR VS IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY IN FITNESS GAMING

While VR boxing games offer a lot by the way of immersion, full-fledged virtual reality fitness gaming has some flaws that cannot be overcome.

Virtual reality requires the player to wear a bulky headset. The headsets get sweaty quickly, killing the player's immersion and more often than not, leaving the player feeling nauseous.

Liteboxer recently became Litesport after a shift away from their interactive fitness device to fully embrace VR. This fitness-focused VR option certainly provides a workout however once you’ve started to sweat the headset becomes a lot less comfortable which makes it hard to complete a full workout session effectively. The developments in immersive technology have surpassed those in VR when it comes to fitness gaming, allowing us at Quell to pioneer a fully engaging boxing game that gives the user a HIIT workout without compromising on the user's experience.

SO, WHAT ARE THE BEST VIRTUAL BOXING GAMES?

Quell has developed one of the most immersive boxing games for PC; prioritizing both engaging gameplay and high-quality fitness.

The Impact uses resistance bands and motion tracking to provide an intense custom workout for users as they run, jump and fight their way through the game so as you get stronger, so does your character. To add to this high level of immersion, Quell’s launch title, Shardfall uses first-person gameplay and powerful haptics to fully absorb the player in the world of the game. With no headset, you will feel free to lose yourself in the game and your workout without concerns of dizziness or nausea pulling you back to reality.

So, step into the future of immersive gaming and take on one of the hottest virtual fitness challenges of 2023 with the Quell Impact and Shardfall.

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