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It's the wee, not the Wii

posted 19 Jan 2012, 05:42 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 19 Jan 2012, 05:42 ]

Sega takes aim with the "Toylet", a bathroom-based game targeting Japanese men whenever they take a leak.

ASIA-COMPANYASIA - Perhaps it should have been called the wee - but then again, that would be too similar to Nintendo's hit gaming console, the Wii.


So veteran video game maker Sega settled for the "Toylet", a game that targets Japanese men whenever they need, well, a bladder download.


Users target a sensor inside the urinal, which measures download volume and speed.

Sega's software then matches that information to a selection of five video games, like answering quiz questions, or perhaps something racier.


Initially meant for younger males, the game has found an unlikely place with older pub-crawling Japanese men.


UNIDENTIFIED PUB CUSTOMER, SAYING:

"It's great fun. By that I mean, well, it's a bit of a weird thing to say, but the first time I tried it, I managed 500 millilitres; now it's 600 and something. I really felt I'd made it, I felt a great sense of achievement."


PUB CUSTOMER, ISHII SHIRAI, SAYING:

"I look forward to standing there and seeing how much comes out, you know, how much you've got in you."

In fact the game has been so well received, the Yourounotaki pub chain rolled out the devices at its branches nationwide.

The chain says all the careful aiming makes for cleaner toilets.

Sega game producer Hirotaka Machida says it took three years to develop the final product.


"TOYLET" PRODUCER AT SEGA, HIROTAKA MACHIDA, SAYING:

"One of our planners wondered whether we could turn urine, into a game. After putting our heads together, we came up with the concept that men, you know, have their own built-in games controllers. So we thought let's make some games using those."


At $2,000 each (150,000 Yen), the Toylet does not come cheap.


Machida says the console isn't meant to be a mass market product, and is now aimed squarely at the country's older and increasingly greying male population.


Arnold Gay, Reuters.

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