With the current shortage of Wii balance boards, some people have being looking at 3rd party balance boards from manufacturers other than Nintendo. We take a look at one of these boards and see whether or not it's worth buying.
Are they allowed to copy Nintendo's Wii balance board?
We've all seen the copycat Wii systems being sold on market stalls and this is what springs to mind when you hear about manufacturers copying Wii balance boards. Whereas is would be legally impossible for someone to produce a proper 1:1 copy of a Wii console, somehow several manufacturers have managed to legitimately produce their own version of the Wii balance board. From a technical point of view it must be a hundred times harder to copy a console, which makes the balance board an easy target.
The fact that Tesco, a major UK retailer, is selling these 3rd part balance board is reassurance enough that there is nothing illegal about these boards.
Do the 3rd party balance boards work?
These boards work exactly the same way the original balance board works. The manufacturers seem to have stripped down a Nintendo board and built there own board from the same or equivalent parts. In the electronics industry most components are bought in rather than developed in house and you can bet that many of the components that make up the Wii balance board are available for anyone to buy. The microcode inside the board would have been reverse engineered and this would make the board unique enough not to infringe any copyright.
Where can I buy a 3rd party Wii balance board?
The only place we know of that are selling these boards at present is Tesco. They are selling a black balance board that matches the black Wii console for £70. This board is sold without software of course, so you wiil have to purchase Wii Fit Plus seperately, or another Wii balance board compatible game.