Sumo Digital has gone back to work. Admittedly, with the Xbox port of OutRun2 long since completed, that's not particularly surprising, but, for anybody anticipating another fusion of fast cars and wacky cornering, the nature of the Sheffield company's follow-up certainly will be. Announcing that it has received "advice and support" from Business Link South Yorkshire, the developer last week spoke out about "a new software product that could change the way people exercise at the gym forever".
As just about anybody who goes to the gym regularly will probably agree, exercising can be a bit boring. Fresh from helping gamers do impossible things in Ferraris, Sumo reckons it can help. David Patterson, creative and digital business adviser for Business Link South Yorkshire, explains.
"Instead of busy executives riding exercise bikes to nowhere, Sumo's new software will make the trip more exciting. Still sat on a static bike in your local gym, you could be riding through images of open countryside, mountain bike tracks, or the Scottish Highlands." Or around pyramids and castles, through harbours, and past a procession of international landmarks, while being alternately slapped and fondled by a blonde lady sat next to you, presumably. "This is just one of the many possible applications for this software that has been developed by using computer gaming technologies and has been very well received within the fitness industry," says Patterson.
Unfortunately the announcement doesn't specify how the project is progressing, how it works specifically, whether you'll have to add numbers together or match pairs of fruit as you cycle, or when you can expect to take advantage of it for yourself, but nevertheless we have to admit it does sound like quite a, um, "healthy idea". But hopefully one that won't preclude Sumo from returning its attention to games in the future.