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Jakks Ultimotion

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Written by DM on Tuesday, September 16 2008

Jakks sent us their Ultimotion motion-sensor plug-and-play gaming system to test out, and we have to say, for those who need a Wii substitute, this is a great choice. The trend these days for motion-sensor gaming has gone through the room since the release of the Nintendo Wii, and Jakks has decided to capitalize on it.

The Ultimotion system includes a console, a wireless motion controller, and the wires to connect the gaming unit to any TV. Not only that, but all the software needed to play games on the system is included as well. It is an all-on-one package.

The "console" (basically a silver box which connects to the TV), includes five titles, tennis, bowling, football, baseball, and golf -- basically the Wii Sports lineup. The Ultimotion differs from the Wii in that it comes with snap-on devices which take the shape of the sports accessory for the corresponding game. In other words, the Gold game is played with a Golf-shaped accessory, and then is changed out for a baseball-bat shaped accessory when it is time to swing away. I must also use this spot to mention the fact that Jakks has an entire lineup of girls' and boy's games planned for the Ultimotion, so if sports is not your child's thing, do not fret. Disney-themed titles are on the way.

The accessories and console itself are made of solid plastic, and the wires and connections of the actual setup are sturdy enough to last a while. While the plastic of the accessories feels like it may shatter when you first pick it up, the reality is, I think you may be able to play "whack-a-mole" with the golf accessory and have it hold up!

The graphics on the games, I must say, are surprisingly good. One of the unit's potential drawbacks is that it is not in HD resolution, but neither is the Wii, and frankly, you should not be expecting HD for $79.99. Also, there is no actual OS, and the game selection has a simple menu-based interface. Do not expect any of the extra frills or bells and whistles that are included with the Wii. There are no Mii's or Internet Channels, but really, how much is that needed on a pure gaming system? Another benefit of the simple, one-step, interface is that much younger children who could never operate a full gaming console will easily be able to turn on the Ultimotion and play, without help. The Ultimotion's graphics and setup are more than adequate for what the unit actually does.

Let's be honest, if you are looking for the top of the line, most technologically-advanced motion-control gaming consoles, then you are looking for the Wii. Barring that though, if you are not someone who is looking to worry about always updating with the latest games, and always having to spend money on the latest accessory, then the Ultimotion is for you. For those who want play motion-controlled games with friends or family, but are not going to have the console be the main entertainment focus then the Ultimotion is for you. Combined with the $79.99 price point, which is almost 1/4 of the price of the Wii, it makes this a no-brainer for those who cannot find, afford, or desire, a much more expensive piece of hardware.


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