Nintendo’s weird exercise ring is used to control a Switch RPG

Last week, Nintendo threw up a vague and unexpected video showing people “moving their bodies, doing some kind of activity, and having a pretty good laugh,” as the company now describes it. Today, Nintendo revealed more details about , a turn-based RPG that uses the flexible “Ring-Con” and a Joy-Con-equipped leg strap to transform physical activity into in-game actions.

That means getting around in Ring Fit Adventure requires actually jogging in place, with your leg speed corresponding to the speed of the character on-screen (there is a less active “silent mode” to reduce the heavy impacts of your footfalls in crowded environments). That also means performing various exercise moves—from leg lifts to yoga poses—in turn-based battles against color-coded enemies.

While the Ring-Con might look like just a rubberized plastic resistance band, the electronic device can actually sense how hard and fast it’s being squeezed, jiggled, and tilted (with the help of an attached Joy-Con). Squeezing it in can create an in-game blast of air to affect the environment or launch into the sky, for instance. The trailer shows Ring-Con movements being used for everything from paddleboarding to flapping a a wing suit.

The Ring-Con can be calibrated to require less force for those who may not be in the best shape, Nintendo says. You can also use the IR sensor on the Switch Joy-Con to measure your heart rate during a workout.

Nintendo is casting daily play as “a natural way to enjoy regular exercise,” and the prospect of an exercise-based grand adventure could have more long-term appeal than the score-based mini-games found in previous exer-gaming products like Nintendo’s . But also includes a mini-game mode and traditional guided exercise sets, for those not interested in exploration or creature battles.

hits the Switch October 18 in an $80 package that includes the Ring-Con and Leg-Strap accessories.

Kyle Orland Kyle is the Senior Gaming Editor at Ars Technica, specializing in video game hardware and software. He has journalism and computer science degrees from University of Maryland. He is based in the Washington, DC area.
Email[email protected]//Twitter@KyleOrl

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