You've seen Dwight Howard throw down some of the most vicious dunks of the past decade. Ever wonder the exercises the Magic superstar uses to help him jump so high? Better yet, how about if he teaches you those exercises in order to help you elevate your game.
That's the concept behind THQ's innovative new title, "adidas miCoach," in which gamers train alongside live-action, digitized versions of players like Howard, Josh Smith, C.J. Spiller and Eric Berry in order to learn exercises and strength training to help them compete better in real-life sports, including basketball, soccer and football.
"The 'miCoach' brand from an adidas standpoint is a service, it's about personal coaching," said David Sapienza, the game's producer. "Their goal is to help athletes perform better, whether that's being faster or stronger."
The "miCoach" program started on the Web for runners, giving athletes different goals in order to get faster times. "You would hear the coaches in your headphones as you were running telling you to speed up or slow down based on a pacer you were wearing," Sapienza said. "Then the program evolved to help athletes from other sports where you can check your progress online, not to mention a phone app that helps sync everything up."
Now adidas is teaming with video game publisher THQ to not only bring the training home, but to add some of the brand's top athletes into the mix, training alongside you as you learn specific moves in order to help you jump higher for that rebound, or gain that extra burst of speed to run away from a defender.
Added Sapienza: "What we're building is the strength and flexibility aspect of the program. Athletes have already developed these specific programs, and now we're bringing these exercises to the Kinect and to the Move. What really helps differentiate this product is that it's all done in live action. We're working with real-world live athletes, and we're filming them to be in the game. They are not avatars. Then what we do is we take your image from the Kinect or from the Move, and we cut out your shape and we place you in the game right next to this live action star."