Wii gets VoIP phone software and hardware

Yet more fun and games at home with the Wii, but the cost is mounting up

There's been so much going on at Nintendo this week we've barely even scratched the surface of the company's plans, so here are a couple more pieces of new hardware.

The first, for the Wii, is a VoIP phone called Wii Speak that – bizarrely - comes bundled with a new version of Animal Crossing called City Folks.

Popular way in

The DS incarnation of the game has proved itself already, shifting 5 million units, so Nintendo is clearly using it to push the new hardware to the masses the easy way.

Wii Speak consists of a cable with a USB jack on one end, a grey box in the middle and a semi-circular microphone unit that clamps atop the sensor bar on the other end.

Wii Speak channel

Nintendo prez Satoru Iwata explained the new device, saying: "Wii Speak can connect up to four individual locations, not just four individuals. Even when you are playing with your friends in far away places, you can enjoy chatting with them while playing Animal Crossing together as if they are sitting next to you."

If that all sounds a bit forced, never fear – there's also a Wii Speak channel that avoids the rigmarole of firing up a pack of cartoon animals just to have a chat. Somewhat cynically, you'll need a code from the Animal Crossing pack to get to it, however.

The game and hardware bundle will cost ¥7,800 (£42) when it launches in Japan on 20 November.

Walking rhythm

Next, Iwata is trying to get DS owners a little fitter through an electronic pedometer (really) he's calling 'Walking Can Tell Your Life Rhythm DS'

At ¥1,800 (£10) for each of the display-free devices, it doesn't really matter how cool it is to connect one to a DS to see how far you walked – we can't see this one doing much business.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.