By Ruairidh Villar
TOKYO (Reuters) - Three years ago the "Toylet" was just a pipe-dream for developers at Japanese video game maker Sega, but now the urinal video game has been rolled out at pubs across the nation.
Users target their urine at a sensor inside the toilet which measures volume and speed, with software then matching that to progress in a selection of five video games in a console mounted at the top of the urinal.
"At first, we thought it would really be only young people who would like this kind of game. But ... we're seeing this phenomenon where people are enjoying playing with it, regardless of age," said Hirotaka Machida, the console's lead producer.
At 150,000 yen ($2,000) for a single unit, Machida said the original plan had been to avoid the mass market, but tests in pubs and restaurants showed it had broad appeal.
An infra-red device cuts off play if gamers stray too far from the urinal, reducing the amount of mess, according to Sega, making it a hit with pub managers as well.
Toilet humor and raunchy gags are a staple of far from high-brow variety shows in Japan where Toylets were rolled out on general release.
Sega now has its sights on a global expansion plan later in the year.
(Reporting by Ruairidh Villar; Editing by Elaine Lies and Nick Macfie)