Nyko Charge Station for Wii

nyko_charge_station_wiiposter

Recharge your Wii

Most other game manufacturers have discovered that rechargable controllers is the way to go.  The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have rechargable gamepads.  Even Nintendo’s own DS has a built-in rechargable battery.  With everyone getting on the “green” bandwagon, it doesn’t make sense to suck up a set of AA batteries every 15-20 hours.

Nyko is again, at our rescue, and delivers not only rechargable batteries for the Nintendo Wii’s Wiimotes, but supplies an attractive stand as well.  Here’s the marketing spiel from the Nykettes:

Easily charge and store your Wii Remotes with Nyko’s Charge Station for Wii. The Charge Station includes 2 NiMH batteries, exclusively designed for the Wii Remote, each providing up to 25 hours of play time. Each battery is easily recharged by placing the Wii Remote in the charging dock. The charging dock conveniently plugs into any standard wall outlet, allowing for rapid recharging of both batteries in 8 hours. The Charge Station includes 2 custom battery covers with contact pass-through points so you can charge the batteries while they are still in the remote. Each battery cover is also rubberized for superior grip during intense gaming sessions. The Charge Station matches the décor and styling of the Wii, and is small enough to fit in any home entertainment center.

Compact
Easily store 2 Wii remotes in any home theater with the small and stylish charging dockRubberized Grip
Dual injected rubberized and textured battery covers provide a safe and comfortable gripRechargeable
2 NiMH rechargeable batteries provide up to 25 hours of play time

LED Charge Indicators
Easily see when batteries are done charging with 2 LED indictor lights

  • Charge 2 Wii remotes simultaneously
  • Includes 2 rechargable NiMH battery packs
  • LED Charge indicator lights
  • Dual port rapid recharging dock
  • 6 foot power cable
  • Rubberized battery covers for superior gaming performance

The base is attractive, and has the same pearl while look as the Nintendo Wii.  Since the Wiimotes were not designed to be recharged, Nyko has to supply a special battery pack and battery cover.  This cover has an oblong hole that allows access to the underlying battery’s contacts.  All you have to do is slip in the custom battery pack, and snap the cover over it.  Simple as pie!

Now you can charge your wiimotes without even taking the battery out.  Place the Wiimotes on the base… hrmm… well they don’t seem to make contact at first.  You have to align the wiimote  just right so the vertical battery contact connects with the prongs on the charge base.  They line up most of the time, but sometimes the extra bulk of the wrist straps gets in the way, so you must dangle them to the sides for it to fit.  There is a nice LED under each Wiimote that indicates when it is charging, and thankfully the light goes out when it is finished.


Also, because of the location of the charge contacts, using Nintendo’s huge-ass silicone protecty-thing is too much of a pain in the ass when using this charger.  Oh, and using the Wii Zapper… Oh,and you can’t have the Nunchuk or Classic Controller attached while charging.  It appears that the only way this charger is convenient is if you have a completely naked Wiimote without any accessories.  In actual use, this isn’t a real big deal… it’s very easy to clip on the Nunchuk when you need it.

If you have kids that don’t appreciate or take care of their video game system (let’s face it: most don’t because they didn’t have to pay for it themselves), then you’ll appreciate that they put their Wiimotes neatly in the charge base when they’re done.  They know that they’ll run out of juice if they dont!

One thing to note is that these batteries are NiMH, and will not last as long as Lithium Ion batteries, and may have somewhat of a memory effect after a year or so.  Even Lithium batteries lose 20% of their life after a few hundred charges.  Still, a typical charge will last much longer than even a long-ass gaming session, so you should be fine, and it definately makes more sense than tossing away hundreds of disposable Alkaline batteries!

The unit is only about $20, which is actually quite a bargain since it comes with two sets of batteries and custom battery covers, which would cost $18 if purchased seperately (see for yourself).  If you actually need to charge 4 Wiimotes at the same time, then take a look at the 4-Wiimote Charge Station right here.

REPORT CARD : Nyko 2-port Charge Station for Wii
category rating comments
Quality 4 Good quality plastic and batteries.  Lithium batteries would have been better
Innovation 4 One of the best ways to keep your Wiimotes charged
Performance 3 Batteries charge quickly (in a few hours), and last for about 20
Installation 4 Easy to set up, but your Wiimote must be completely naked to work
Value 4 Good value at $20
FINAL VERDICT: 4 out of 5 stars
Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.