According to Tech.co.uk Shigeru Miyamoto had the idea of a balance board long before the Wii (and Wii Fit) even came into existence. Miyamoto came up with the idea simply because he thought weighing himself was fun. Leave off the guy though - that might be weird but he's still a genius.
Miyamoto approached Takao Sawano (Wii Fit designer) with his idea and the task of developing the actual hardware that Miyamoto envisioned. Talking at GDC this week Takao discussed the process of developing the hardware:
"It was easy to get started, but I had a difficult time wrapping my head around it... I didn't think people would want to weigh themselves in the living room".
Takao moved through a number of prototypes, originally designed for the Nintendo 64 right through to a board that relied on the Wii Remote being docked into the balance board before settling on the product European gamers will have in their hands on April 25th.
Speaking of the American launch, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said:
"We think here in the United States the reaction will be just as strong, if not stronger [than the Japanese launch], given the American focus and psyche on being fit, and the game itself is going to be localized for our audience. We expect to have comparable success here in the U.S. if not a stronger result than what Japan has seen so far...
"Our sights are set very high for the this product so our goal is to make sure we have over a million units available at launch to support it... There are over 10 games in development that take advantage of the Balance Board. Certainly in terms of ongoing enjoyment, we believe that Wii Fit plus the Balance Board will provide that to the consumer."
Here's hoping for a sequel to 1080 Snowboarding.