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EA to produce branded sports equipment

Footballs that speak to you, etc.

Electronic Arts has signed a deal with manufacturing company Toy Island to produce a range of branded sporting equipment.

The new products won't be peripherals you hook up to a games console, but real world items that feature interactive training tools. They're aimed at children aged between 3 and 12 and are set to launch this autumn.

Some of the products will feature voice command technology and instructional coaching elements, while others will cheer you on electronomically. EA is also planning to launch a line of basic high-density foam balls to help develop throwing and kicking motor skills, which is probably exciting if you're three.

Writing on his blog EA Sports boss Peter Moore said the products are designed "to bring baseball, football, basketball and hockey to life in a whole new way".

"They aren't intended to interact with our games," he explained. "This is not about trying to marry a Wii peripheral, for instance, to the sports you'd play in your backyard - instead our two companies are applying a shared focus on sports passion and innovation to create durable, fun and innovative sporting goods."

But does the world really need talking footballs or tennis rackets that can make you cups of tea? Whatever happened to good old fashioned going up the park kicking an old tin can around jumpers for goal posts mind the doggy plops and the hypodermic syringe?

"Any of us who are parents know that many of the sports activities that get our kids excited these days have evolved from what we may have done at that same age," said Moore.

"I think kids these days want something that's an extension of how they consume sports through our games - which means using the latest technology to make going outside to play sports even more fun than it is today."

Well Peter, kids these days also want a bit of how's your father and 15 grand off the News of the World, but that's by the by.

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About the Author
Ellie Gibson avatar

Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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