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Kinect PlayFit counts your calories as you play Kinect games

Microsoft launchs the calorie-counting Kinect PlayFit as a free download for all Xbox Live members.

Major Nelson

Xbox Kinect users can now see how many calories they're actually shedding as they jump, dance, and shake to their favorite games.

Available today as a free download for Xbox Live subscribers, Kinect PlayFit is a fitness dashboard that counts the calories you burn as you play certain Kinect games, including Dance Central 2, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, and even Kinect Star Wars.

You can also follow your calorie count over time to see how much you're losing as you do the Zumba or swing that lightsaber.

You can even get credit depending on how many calories you lose. And if you're not shy about sharing your stats, you can post your progress and see how you fare against other Xbox Live subscribers. Leaderboards rank your achievements against those of other users.

Kinect PlayFit is available in the U.S. starting today and will expand to other countries later this week.

Previous reports about the PlayFit also mentioned a Joule heart rate monitor that you'd attach to your body to gather more data. But today's report from Xbox Live's Major Nelson revealed no details on such a monitor.

Microsoft's gaming rival Nintendo offers a calorie counter through its Wii Fit Plus game. EA Sports also sells the Active 2 Personal Trainer for the Wii, which keeps track of your exercise program through monitors attached to your arm and leg.