There is no question that Nyko makes a ton of high quality accessories and peripherals for all gaming systems. In fact, Nyko makes stuff that you don’t even know you want yet. Did you ever think you are going to need a replacement battery for your Wii Balance Board? If you do, Nyko has got you covered.
Mygamer has reviewed many of Nyko’s battery products in the past, including the Wii Charge Station and the 360’s Charge Station EX. While both products received great reviews, there was one major problem with the 360 Charge Station that was not mentioned in the review due to continual product testing after the review was written. Unfortunately, one entire NiMH rechargeable battle pack completely crapped out, rendering the entire thing useless. Even after charging the unit several times, this battery pack couldn’t retain a charge. A major flaw.
Now, Nyko has released a new product, designed to improve the convenience level even more. While the 360 Charge Station EX model required the user to remove the battery pack from the back of the controller, the newly released Charge Base actually requires you to leave the battery pack attached to the controller, similar to the Wii Charge Station. Each NiMH battery pack actually has a small connector located on the back of the unit that links up with charge base. Keeping the battery connected to the back of the 360 controller, the entire controller is then placed on top of the base, charging the battery. Up to two controllers (two battery packs) can be charged at the same time.
While the advantage of the Charge Base over the Charge Station may be clear, I still found two major flaws with this “keep it in the controller design.” First is the gamer that only uses and owns one 360 controller. Say one battery dies but the player still wants to continue playing. Because you need a 360 controller for this product to function properly, there is no option to charge while you play. Because the Charge Station EX model only needed the battery pack and charging station to function, gamers could charge one battery while they gamed away.
The second major flaw with this unit is that it requires players to remove their optional 360 Chat Pads before a battery can be charge. While every gamer may not have a chat pad attached to their controllers, those that do will find it quite annoying removing this accessory every time they need a charge. In all honestly, removing the 360 Chat Pad isn’t exactly the easiest thing to remove. Because I am a major user of Microsoft’s Chat Pad accessory, I find it much more cumbersome to remove this piece of hardware than it is to remove a battery.
The charging base for this new unit is much bigger and bulkier than the Charge Station EX. This makes the portability and storage factor of the unit a little more troublesome than its Charge Station EX brother.
The unit comes with the charging base and 2 NiMH batteries. Unlike the NiHM batteries that came with the Charge Station EX, both batteries are fully functional after several play throughs, so I am hoping that my previous dead battery was just a fluke. The LED charging light indicators are easy to read and the unit plugs directly into any wall. The marketing behind this unit claims to fully charge two batteries in about 4 hours and warrant about 25 hours of play time. While the 4 hour charge time (2 if only using one controller) is pretty accurate, I found play time to be about 15-20 hours instead of 25. However, I am sure the player can drag out 25 hours if the rumble function of the controller is turned off and button presses are minimal. But average use should probably expect between 15-20 hours per charge.
While the Charge Station EX came standard with black batteries, this Charge Base comes with 2 white batteries. Keep in mind, this may look a little off when plugged into a controller of different color (like the black controllers of the 360 Elite model). But there is a black version available via www.nyko.com.
And this may sound like a nitpicky complaint, but I am really not a fan of Nyko’s latest products’ packaging. The Nyko Wii Perfect Shot, the Wii Cord-Free accessory, and now this 360 Charge Base have all been bundled in this flimsy clear plastic container thingy. I understand that seeing the unit from all angles while in the packaging can persuade a customer to buy the product, but it is a major pain removing the clear tape from all sides of the casing. In fact, you cannot even see there is clear tape binding the package to begin with. When the product is finally removed, the packaging then completely opens up like a book; but this makes closing the packaging that much more difficult to put back together. Again, this does not affect the overall performance of the product that is contained within, I just cringed a little when I saw this packaging yet again.
The Charge Base 360 is a great product that gives great results. However, this unit contains a higher price point of $39.99. For that much money, consumers could buy a AA rechargeable battery pack and several batteries which can be used for any device whereas these 360 NiHM batteries are to be used within a 360 controller only. I personally prefer to use the Charge Station EX over this model because I am an avid user of the Chat Pad and hate removing that thing every time I need to charge my batteries. And because you need a 360 controller to make this unit work, gamers that only use one controller might have to plan out a specific time to charge their batteries.
If you are looking for a dedicated power source for two or more 360 controllers, then this Nyko Charge Base is a great option. For all other users, you may want to look into the cheaper Charge Station (which only comes in black). Both provide long lasting performance with little charging time.
– Easy to use
– Lots of play time with little charging time
– Different colors available
– Don’t have to remove battery pack from controller
– Users of the Chat Pad will have to remove the Chat Pad to charge…which isn’t the easiest of tasks
– Higher price point
– Awkward packaging
– Need to use a 360 controller to charge
*Upon further review, the Nyko Charge Base also comes in White, as well as Black.