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Charging kit for Wii controller cuts downtime

Digital Cowboy's Wiimote charger is a cheap solution to the battery problem

Nintendo's monstrously successful Wii console owes a lot to its motion-sensing Wiimote controller, but it isn't perfect by any means. One of the biggest gripes for busy gamers is the fact that the controller can't be recharged, instead relying on a steady diet of AA batteries.

Of the several third-party solutions to the problem we've seen so far, the latest is the ' Battery Cowboy Wii Remote Controller Battery Charger Kit' (phew) from Digital Cowboy.

Simple but effective

The ¥2,980 (£13) package includes a cradle that connects to the Wii's USB port, in which there are two slots - one for the Wiimote itself, the other for a replacement battery pack.

The idea is to dispose of Nintendo's original Wiimote back cover and replace it with one of the pair supplied by Buffalo. As these have electrical contacts that slot into the cradle, it's a simple matter of sticking two rechargeable batteries in the controller and charging two more on standby in the adjacent slot.

Assuming you're using modern rechargeables, they should be up to full speed in about three hours, lasting for around eight hours of Wii uptime, which is more than enough if you know what's good for you.