Wiimote charger stops late-night battery runs

Nintendo's Wii is more than just a big barrel of fun - it's also a battery-eating monster, with the Wiimote controller going through those double AAs at a rate of knots. What's worse, the Wii manual discourages the use of rechargeables, so Thanko 's solution comes just in time to prevent total Wiimote failure before the climax of Twilight Princess.

The Japanese novelty firm's USB Wiimote charger set includes replacement cells that snap onto the controller and a stand for connecting to the console's USB port, whence power is drawn.

After 3.5 hours of charging, you'll get about 25 hours of gaming, while a PC or the included AC adapter will do the job in just two hours. By way of comparison, fresh AA batteries are rated at 30 hours when the controller is used for motion sensing and on-screen pointing, so the Thanko pot's pretty sweet.

In other words, for just JPY3,280 (£14) that's got to be one of the better deals in town -- if you're in Tokyo, that is. Wait long enough, however, and the charger may just show up on Thanko's Rare Mono export shop .