Nike execs must think that they don’t have enough market share or aren’t known by enough consumers or need more clout with the digerati. Unthinkable, we know. Be that as it may, the sporting-goods maker announced at the E3 video-game conference this week a partnership with Microsoft to get into the video-game business together.
“We’ve moved from being a product company to a services and product company,” commented Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of digital sport. "Nike+ Kinect Training’ gives everyone access to the same training we give professional athletes. It combines our unique understanding of the greatest athletes in the world with the amazing sensor technology of Kinect for Xbox 360.”
The new product, Nike+ Kinect Training, will hit store shelves before the 2012 holiday shopping season and will only be able to be played on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect. The new add-on, Bloomberg reports, will allow “users to receive feedback from on-screen personal trainers and have a workout designed for them."
The game measures a user’s initial fitness and then continues to check in over time to what kind of progress is being made while also recommending different types of workouts based on results. (Looks like there is a new job market for fitness instructors.) According to Bloomberg, “Facebook will be integrated into the experience, enabling people to post results to the social network.”
All very exciting, but this news isn't what's got the kids excited about Nike this week. It's the brand's core business — sneakers — and one particular sneaker that has them in a frenzy.
Hardcore fans have been camping out around the world since June 1st, sleeping on the cold, hard ground in such cities as New York, Stockholm, and Philly while they wait for Nike’s next line of sneakers, the Air Yeezy II, which comes out on Saturday with only a few shoes per store (ah, supply and demand).
It's already pre-selling on eBay for $80,000 and has inspired a song, "Yeezy's Bout to Come Out," while one store is holding a raffle "so nobody dies." Of course, Jay-Z and other pals have been spotted wearing them, which has driven fan interest to fever pitch. (Nike's new Twitter RSVP system will be used, and stretched to the limit.)
Below, behold the reptilian follow-up to Nike's 2009 collaboration with the original "Yeezy" (Kanye West). Gaze upon the new shoe and its concept sketch below and ask yourself if it's worth camping out a whole week. If your answer's no and you're not salivating, then you're not reading this on your smartphone while standing in a queue.