News Article

Review: Duracell Wireless Wii Sensor Bar

Posted by James Newton

Worth a closer look?

You'd have to say the wire on the standard Wii sensor bar is of a reasonably generous length, but the fact it's wired at all irritates some, leaving wires trailing around if you don't have your TV and Wii set up how Nintendo originally envisioned. We took the Duracell wireless Wii sensor bar for a spin to see if it's worth going wireless all together.

Setting up the Duracell sensor bar could hardly be any easier. Slot in the four included AA batteries, switch it on and that's it — you don't need to synchronise it to your Wii, just place it where you want.

Aside from tidying away wires, the obvious advantage of a wireless sensor bar is being able to place it where you like, and while the Duracell bar isn't quite as inconspicuously slim as its wired counterpart it'll probably still fit anywhere you need.

The major problem we found during our play test is that the range of the sensor isn't as good as the traditional wired bar: in a medium-sized living room setting we had to stand no further than 6' away from the TV for it to pick up the pointer. If you only intend to play Wii Sports this won't be much of a problem, but if you're more of a sofa-loving Wii gamer you might find the range too small. Of course you can pick up the bar and move it onto a coffee table, sofa arm and so on, though that alters the pointer's point of reference: you're consciously pointing at the bar, not at the screen.

If you just want a sensor bar that lives around your TV without the hassle of wires, the Duracell wireless Wii sensor bar does the job: it's not too chunky, the battery life is good and it's incredibly simple to set up. However consider what kind of range you need before your purchase — while it's ideal for small spaces and at close range, it's not at its best when chilling out on the couch.

White Room Gaming provided a Duracell wireless Wii sensor bar for review.


From the web

User Comments (20)



Teh-Ray said:

Oh yeah? Well have you ever heard this one?

"A man walks into a bar....

lol Dragon Quest VIII.

Even so, why do these things always take four batteries? I already have a different wireless sensor bar and I ask myself the same thing about it all the time.



colortvgame said:

I've had the Power A Ultra Sensor Bar for Wii for well over a year now, and it's very useful to have one less cable to worry about. The great thing about this sensor bar is that its range can be greatly extended if you're playing farther away from the screen in a big room. It's a shame it uses 4 AA batteries, but I stick rechargeable batteries in there, so no big deal.



NX01Trekkie1992 said:

you said it doesn't need synchronising, but what about if you're in a household with multiple Wiis? (such as my own), would that pose an issue?



wqerty said:

The sensor bar is basically just a bar with 5 infrared LEDs on both ends and the wii remote calculate the position and distance according to the movement of the infrared image. So you can use any infrared light source to substitute the sensor bar. Two candles for example.



theblackdragon said:

@Yasha: wqerty is correct — the only reason the sensor bar is hooked up to your Wii at all is for reasons of powering it. using two candles is a popular substitute for a busted or missing sensor bar, for example. the only problem in your home with multiple Wiis would be if those Wiis are in the same room and active at the same time; the Wiimote may get confused as to which sensor bar to focus on, lol.



Wilford111 said:

Whoa, I didn't know about the trick with the candles! That's so cool! I'll have to try that out



kenshinrurouni said:

is the sensor bar the reason for the wii remote lag on HDTV's? Someone please help me i cant figure it out! and before anyone says, make sure you have component cables, 480p resolution, sensor bar sensitivity, 16.9 widescreen, game mode on TV, i did all this! anyone please?? ):



Wheels2050 said:

So do you have to CLOSER than 6 feet, or further away? At first I thought it was the latter (although that doesn't make a lot of sense) but then it seemed like it was the former.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I already waste enough money on batteries for controllers, nevermind a sensor bar, which was wired in the first place.
I guess if someone needs to play from very far away, this is for them.



ThumperUK said:

I was very interested in this until I saw the problem with range. Thanks NintendoLife for doing this review (and for saving me some money by not buying it!)



komicturtle said:

Hm, I have this but not THIS exactly. I have the rechargeable one. Got it on clearance at Target for about $7

Oh, and they have an official Wireless sensor bar by Nintendo in Orange

If only I found that first.



Nintendood said:

In the US, the Power A wireless sensor bar is licensed by Nintendo and I think you all might be talking about the same one. It has the extended range, power saving function, and it comes in multiple colors.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Darn you James for refueling an idea of mine. With a 6' range this should be enough to place it on the ceiling. So the only other thing you'd need to play lying flat on the couch or in bed would be a projector. Tempting.

@kenshinrurouni (9.): Your best bet might be to contact Nintendo. Sorry dude.



Dodger said:

I would also have to recommend Nintendo's own wireless sensor bar. It drains batteries quickly because it reverts back to 2 hour auto-shutoff mode every time you turn it off even if it was set to 1 hour before but if you have rechargeable batteries then you should be fine and the range on it is really good. Oh, it also doesn't come with any tape or anything so bring your own double sided tape or Velcro or such. I forget if the first sensor bar did or if we just added some and I've forgotten but it will fall off the top of a flat TV if you don't and it probably won't stick onto the bottom of a TV in the first place.



Lan said:

Try looking at a powered-on sensor bar through a digital camera or a phone's camera

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...