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The Wii Balance Board is an official first party Wii peripheral made by Nintendo and released on May 19, 2008 in the US. It included Wii Fit as a pack-in title (later sold separately after the launch of Wii Fit Plus). The Balance Board is a pressure-sensitive device that measures the player's body weight and center of gravity to create a mass index.
The Japanese board is said to have a maximum capacity of 300 pounds, while the "western" board is said to support up to 330 pounds. In reality, both versions are mechanically identical, with an actual maximum capacity of 660 pounds.
The board does not function as well on soft surface such as carpet as it does on a hard floor surface, but the Balance Board includes attachable feet to allow it to counteract this issue. The manual states that the player should be barefoot, as shoes restrict movement, and socks are too slippery.
As of April 2012, the Wii Balance Board, bundled with either Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus, has sold a total of roughly 37 million copies worldwide.
Since its release, many developers have begun incorporating Balance Board support into their games. EA's Skate It supports the Balance Board. Ubisoft is using the board for Shaun White Snowboarding and Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party. Square-Enix's Motomu Toriyama has stated his interest in the technology and its potential implementation in future RPGs.
Electronic Arts initially stated that Boogie SuperStar would use the Balance Board, but this feature was dropped prior to release.
Some video game outlets were refusing to buy back used balance boards. This was because of hygiene as people had been playing bare footed and sweaty on it, making the possibility of catching foot fungus on your balance board a high one. The best way to clean the Wii Balance Board is to use bleach. This will make it look brand new and eliminate all risk of fungus.