Peloton is working on a new game that'll be played on its exercise bikes – and it looks both familiar and extremely strange. The game is currently known as Lanebreak (although that may change when it's released) and works on a similar premise to rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Beat Saber.
The difference is that instead of swinging a controller or tapping buttons, you move your avatar (a wheel with Tron-style glowing rims) from left to right by adjusting your bike's resistance level, and accelerate by increasing your cadence. The game's final look may differ, but so far is closely resembles indie music game Audiosurf.
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Cues on your bike's tablet will guide you as you switch resistance and speed, and – as with Audiosurf – you'll have to dodge obstacles and collect pickups that are synchronized with the music.
You'll be awarded points for picking up objects, with those in higher-resistance lanes earning the most. 'Breakers' are objects that require you to achieve a certain power output, and 'streams' or 'veins' are spans that appear in one or more lanes, and give you points for maintaining a certain cadence.
It's a concept that should give a similar workout to a challenging interval session, with left-to-right movements providing the same challenge as shifting between intensity levels at the direction of an instructor.
The game is due to launch in 2022, and an open beta will be released to Peloton members later this year. It'll be available for the Peloton Bike and Bike+ in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.
Analysis: Peloton needs this to stay ahead
Peloton is right to be thinking outside the box. It's is still the biggest name in home spinning (even US president Joe Biden (opens in new tab) starts every day with one of its classes), but more and more rivals are springing up, hoping to steal a bite of its lunch.
Echelon and Myx, for example, offer very similar setups, with spin bikes and instructor-led workouts on a subscription basis – while undercutting Peloton's prices. You can also get a similar experience with iFit, which offers include not just studio workouts, but also scenic virtual rides courtesy of a collaboration with Google Maps.
FIIT and iFit both provide alternatives to a Peloton Digital subscription, with pre-recorded workout sessions that can be carried out with or without exercise equipment, and in December 2020, Apple Fitness Plus arrived on the scene.
Lanebreak offers something different, providing something for anyone who enjoys working up a sweat, but doesn't appreciate the boundless enthusiasm of the typical spin instructor, and providing some escapism. We're looking forward to trying it, and seeing whether it can push us to raise our heart rates higher than a more conventional spin session.
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