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How the Wii Balance Board Works

Games on the Wii Balance Board

The Wii Balance Board would be nothing without software. Nintendo's own offering, "Wii Fit," readily springs to mind, but there are in fact many other games. With a few exceptions, they mostly fall into one of two categories: sports or exergaming (a la "Wii Fit").

In the fitness camp, you'll find games such as Electronic Arts' "EA Sports Active," Ubisoft's "Gold's Gym: Cardio Workout" and Majesco Games' "Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009." These mostly mimic the "Wii Fit" model or build upon it by throwing in some new exercises and features. Games such as Namco Bandai's "We Ski" and Electronic Arts' "Skate It" let players indulge their sports fantasies by using the board as skiis, a snowboard or a skateboard. Still others, such as Nintendo's "Wii Music" and Hudson Soft's "Tetris Party," innovate a little by letting you use the board as an instrument and to control falling blocks, respectively [sources: Scottberg, Bozon].

More than 20 games have been released in the U.S. that support the peripheral to some extent. Plenty of sequels have been planned for 2010, though there should be a few original games, including Sega's "Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll" (which will let players control a monkey in a ball with the board), to tide over fans craving something new [source: Anderson].

So what's next for the Wii Balance Board? Not much, at least that the public knows of. Nintendo is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to discussing its future projects, so it's entirely possible that its engineers are, or have been, working on some new features. With rumors circulating that Nintendo may be preparing a follow-up to the Wii console in 2011, it is not yet clear whether it will revamp its existing board or simply ditch it in favor of a similar-looking, but more advanced model [source: Davison].

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