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New Wiimote battery pack offers contactless charging

We hinted at it yesterday, and can confirm today that Sanyo has become the first company to provide an officially licensed charger set for Nintendo's Wiimote controller.

The new 'Contactless Charger Set for the Wii Remote Control' goes on sale in Japan on 25 August and comes with a surprise that the name more or less gives away – wire-free recharging (of a sort).

Eneloop included

The replacement battery pack – naturally, it uses eneloop cells – draws its power not through metal contacts in the cradle, but by magnetic induction similar to that used by Splashpower and others.

Obviously, this means there's no need to remove the Wii's silicone jacket just for recharging. Any obstructions between the cradle and the Wiimote, such as coins or paperclips, automatically stop charging as a safety precaution.

Costly option

As for pricing, the base set costs ¥5,500 (£25) and includes a battery pack, an AC adapter and a single stand. Sanyo says that four sets can be linked together, although this will cost around ¥20,500 (£95) for all the bits needed.

Sadly for Wii owners outside Japan, a spokesperson offered them little hope of getting the kit, saying, "Currently the product will not be sold overseas although it is under review."