EA Sports just announced a strange move. It's getting into children's sports equipment. EA will partner with Toy Island to make footballs, basketballs and hockey pucks that talk to kids. Sensors inside the equipment determine what the ball says. If the kid is using the right technique, for example, the ball might cheer. I doubt the ball will say, "You throw like a girl."

But this equipment will have no connection to video games, and in fact, enticing kids to go outside and play seems to oppose EA's sales strategy. Then again, EA's been losing market share for six years, so it can't hurt to send a new, positive message to families. EA Sports president Peter Moore answers questions about this move in his blog. I remember playing imaginary football games in the backyard as a kid. I guess it would've been nice to have something to talk to.