Saturday November 18th 2017

Nyko Charge Station for Nintendo Wii – Thumbs Down

When I first purchased my Wii last year I almost immediately also purchased the Nyko Wii Charge Station. Unlike some of the other video game systems, such as the Playstation 3, the controllers for the Wii run on alkaline batteries. I was concerned that over time the price of replacing the batteries would become quite expensive, not to mention the environmental impact of throwing so many batteries away.

What is the charge station?

The Nyko Charge Station comes with two parts. First, it comes with two NiMH rechargeable batteries that fit into your existing Wiimotes. These rechargeable batteries slip into the battery compartment of your wiimote and then they are covered with a new battery cover that allows the charge station to connect to the battery. The new covers also have a rubber grip on the back making the wiimotes a little easier to hold.

The second, most important part, is the charge station itself. It is a small plastic stand for the wiimotes. The wiimotes stand vertically in the stand and connect to metal charge points in the stand. Two remotes can sit and charge at one time. Two little lights on the front of the charge station indicate if the battery is charging (blue) or fully charged (green). There is a small cutout on each side for the wrist straps to hang out the side of the charger. The charger stand is rather small, maybe five inches wide, and does not take up much space. It is white and the design matches the wii hardware.

Does it work?

I have a big problem with how the charge station works. I have never been able to get a good connection to the charging base. It is not as simple as plopping the wiimotes into the charger, I have to spend time wiggling each one into place so the charger can connect to the wiimote. Usually I will get one controller charging but when I try to get the second one to charge the other gets knocked loose. Part of the problem may be the string for the wrist straps – it may be getting in the way, but you are supposed to be able to use this product with the straps attached. It becomes an almost impossible battle to get both wiimotes to charge at one time.

On the positive side when the wiimotes do charge they hold their charge for quite a while. I have not timed how long they last, but the advertisements suggest 25 hours. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never played for more than a couple hours straight. The battery is more than capable for this kind of use. I also find the charge station to be stylish and appreciate that it holds the wiimotes on my shelf without looking out of place.

Conclusion

Overall I would not recommend the Nyko Charge Station. The idea is great, but the execution is poor. It takes the user too much time and trouble to get the chargers seated into their cradle and charging. At a list price of $45 I find the challenges unacceptable. I would look for an alternate solution.

Also posted to Epinions.

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