Published on December 15th, 2010 | by Greg0
Snakebyte Wii Fitness Board: Adds Little
Wii Fitness is a fun idea- and Nintendo’s balance board is a pretty solid peripheral. Sure, they don’t offer many color options, but it works perfectly and is well-made. As with many third-party peripherals, we were thus a bit skeptical of Snakebyte competing against Nintendo, but were happy to see a few nifty additions to their Premium Wii Fitness Board that made us look closely.
What we found though unfortunately reinforces the common wisdom- when possible, even if it costs a bit more money, buy from a vendor you know and trust. See, despite the ‘Premium’ label, this model adds a single helpful feature and ups the weight limit from 150kg to 180kg… but Snakebyte makes quite a few errors along the way. It feels cheap in comparison with the original- from the battery cover to the tougher and more skid-prone plastic feet.
The unit weighs the same, and functions about the same- we noticed little difference in responsiveness when using the Wii. LEDs on the side of the unit add little, and are a bit distracting and battery consuming. But the real draw here is supposed to be the integrated scale, able to measure your weight without even turning the Wii on. It’s a nice idea in theory, but near-useless in practice. The readout is hard to, well, read, with no backlighting and a small LCD. Worse, it also seemed fairly inaccurate- consistently so, at least, but with no obvious way to calibrate or zero the scale.
At $70 and available online, the retail price isn’t much cheaper than the official version, which comes with Wii Fit. However, we were just informed by Snakebyte that everything on their site is 20% off for a limited time. Also, if you “like” Snakebyte on Facebook you’ll receive a code for an extra 20% off, bringing the price down to a reasonable $44 or so. So, if you need a second balance/fitness board, this might be a good choice- just note that you’re getting what you pay for, rather than a truly premium product.