jOG Wii pedometer
There is always the fear that hours spent in front of your games console will make you or your kids fat and lazy. But one gadget for the Nintendo Wii is hoping to change all that by making you walk for your gaming action.
Pitched as a cheap alternative to the Wii Fit and its accompanying Wii Board, the jOG is an interactive pedometer accessory for the Nintendo Wii that connects to the Wii Remote and Nunchuk before clipping to your belt.
The accessory allows you to control your movement by bypassing the Nunchuk's joystick and simply letting you walk on the spot. The jogging motion then translates into allowing your character to move in the game.
The heart shaped unit comes with a display for letting you know how many steps you've made and if you start getting tired you can at least turn it off with the press of a button. Simple to install - there is no software to worry about - when the unit works it works well, albeit simply.
Drawbacks are plentiful however. The main one is that it only works on a handful of games at the moment (86 and counting) meaning that unless you've got those games it's not going to work. The list currently include titles such as Call of Duty 3, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess, most of the Lego titles, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, No More Heroes, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and Tomb Raider: Underworld giving you plenty to get started with as long as you like first person shooters.
The catch however is that if you're playing games like Resident Evil you'll have to turn it off (via a handy button at the top of the unit) before being able to aim, something that is likely to slow you down drastically.
It's not a drawback, but rather a feature we would have liked to have seen, is that the current version only records you are walking rather than working out how fast you are walking and relaying that information to the game. NCG, the makers of the device, has said that it is working on such a unit. Exciting.
In practice and the device is good. We were surprised how tiring it gets walking on the spot for an hour and therefore certainly lives up to the claim that it will make you exercise while you play.
VerdictFor most gamers the idea of exercising while playing will be a scary thought, but the Wii has already started to break down those barriers.
So is this worth the £15 price tag? If you've got one of the games on the list and fancy doing some walking on the spot while you play of course it is. It's not expensive enough to break the bank and your kids will probably love the interaction.
We wouldn't however recommend it for a session after the pub on a Friday night - that's just asking for trouble.