If you are like me, you probably really like your wireless 360 controller. It’s spot-on controls and incredibly accurate reactions make it the top tier wireless controller in all of the console games, but if there is one thing that really sucks about it, is the fact that it can really eat up batteries.
I went through two sets of batteries playing Kameo, two sets for Quake 4 and two for Perfect Dark Zero, then I got smart and bought a play and charge kit. What the hell had I been waiting for, this thing was a Godsend. Well to be perfectly honest, I wanted to get one sooner, but I couldn’t find one at any of my local stores, they were about as common as the 360′s themselves. So when I saw that my favorite store (insert shameless plug here) Fred Meyer had gotten it in, I snatched it up quick as I could. And with that I was ushered into a new level of gaming…
…Enter the charge and play kit. Using the USB port, players can plug their wireless controller into the top port of the controller. Then, removing the batteries from the controller you replace it with a rechargable battery pack and let your controller charge up. Now you should know that while it is charging, you can play like normal (with the exception of using a wireless controller that’s wired to the system). But once the controller has been fully charged, you can sit back and enjoy wireless Nirvana, without fear of running out of battery power.
The Xbox 360 Play and Charge kit consists of a NiMH battery (nickel metal-hydride, the same battery technology used in laptops and Pocket PCs), USB link cable, and a small manual. A small green LED is housed on the controller side of the USB cable, letting you know when it it charging the battery. Your battery is charged when the LED turns off. The other side of the cable has the same long USB handle that a wired controller does (so it will easily reach the port buried behind the Xbox 360′s front panel.
The play and charge kit retails for $19.99, a pitance compared to the cost of replacing batteries. I like to buy the two-pack which goes for $11.99 (and roughly 50 hours of gameplay). Buying two of these packs is more then the kit so the math should tell you everything you need to know. Some gamers may find more value by buying several batteries and the quick-charge kit (which charges 2 batteries at the same time).