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Thread: Nintendo Wii Power Station by Joytech

  1. #1

    Rev Nintendo Wii Power Station by Joytech

    via Cubed3

    After all Nintendo’s hard work with their latest console, the one hardware feature that people still complain about is the remotes - and more specifically, the batteries. With the PS3 using a rechargeable controller from release, and Microsoft retailing an official rechargeable battery pack for their wireless Xbox 360 controllers, you would have thought Nintendo, the industry’s innovators, could use such simple technology as this in their controllers… apparently not. While fans are left slightly disappointed, you can hear gaming peripheral manufacturers leaping with joy as they spot the gap in the market to answer consumer’s needs. Although rechargeable Wiimote battery packs are being developed by several other companies at present, it seems that Joytech have managed to beat the lot, being the only product currently on sale for UK consumers. Let’s have a peek, shall we?

    The package comes with a charging stand, power cable, and two rechargeable battery packs, meaning that both you and a mate can both grab fully charged Wiimotes for a quick game of Wii Sports, and not have to worry about one of the controllers running out of juice. The stand is rather small, streamlined, and matches the white and grey colour scheme of the Wii perfectly, so you’ll have no problem placing the two side-by-side under your telly. On each side of the charging stand are extendable prongs to hold two Wii Nunchuk extensions, but in all honesty you won’t be using them, as they’re not the most ideal place to keep your accessory unless you want a tangled mess of trailing wires. Maybe it would have been best if these weren’t included, seeing as it does spoil the design and of the base stand a little.

    Power-wise, most people were expecting either an external power supply, or to use the USB ports built into the Nintendo Wii console. But the boffins over at Joytech were clever, and with the package they include a cable that fits directly between the Wii’s power adapter and the socket on the back of the system. With direct power, it means that the Wiimotes are charging whenever the console is plugged into the wall (whether on standby or not), and allows the controllers to be charged faster than they would be using a USB power source. The in-between plug is an inch or so long, so some people may have an issue with the console sticking out a bit more from their electronical arrangements, but for most people it should be no intrusion at all.

    Now onto the rechargeable battery packs themselves. Two are included, and the plastic shell is made of the same plastic used for the battery covers on the official Wiimotes, so there’s no visible difference, apart from two metal contacts on the back of the cover. Attached is what seems like two standard rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and although no capacity is mentioned, they should deliver at least the battery life of standard AA batteries which is 40 hours of continuous use. The new rechargeable cover just snaps into place on the back of the Wiimote, although don’t be scared to use a little force, as it can be a tight fit in some cases. However, to be able to access the ‘SYNC’ button on the back of the controller, you’ll need to be using a normal pair of AA batteries.

    To charge the Wiimotes, simply place the controller into a slot on the base stand and it starts charging automatically, as the two contacts mentioned before on the back of the battery cover touch another two contacts on the charging base. Each charging slot has an LED next to it, lit red while charging and green when fully charged, so you’ll always know when your Wiimotes are ready for action. The strap of the controller is no problem, as the controller still charges fine (as long as the contacts aren’t blocked. You will, however, need to remove all accessories like the Nunchuks to charge, as well as any coloured silicone grips that may be on the controller, otherwise the remote won’t fit into the stand.

    As far as charging stations go, this one does the job well. It’s unobtrusive, easy to use, and provides you with somewhere to stash your controllers while not in use. Some people may have preferred a grip on the back of the controllers, and I believe Nyko are planning on doing just that with their charger, being released in the near future. In the meanwhile, if you want to save loads on batteries and want to miss out the hassle of using rechargeable AA batteries, this is your best choice. It retails for 19.99, and can be bought from most high-street gaming shops or websites.

    Alternatively, purchase it via Amazon through the C3 Shop below, and help support our ever-growing site!

  2. #2
    Wii User alienanthropologist's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Southampton, UK
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    I definitely want to get a charger/cradle for my wiimotes. This one looks rather good. I like the fact that the charger doesn't use the USB port and thererefore is more efficient and allows you to charge even whilst in standby mode. It also looks nice, although I'm not a big fan of the brand name at the front or the protruding legs at the sides.

    Irrespective, I think I would like to see what the other manufacturers have to offer so I'm probably going to wait for a while.

  3. #3
    DCEmu Newbie
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    Jun 2006
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    I have one of these. Can confirm 19.99 through Amazon UK. The review above is spot on. The legs are a bit ugly and dont hold a Nunchuck particularly well. If the Nuncuck were wireless it would probably work better. No complaints so far. I havent yet done a full test on discharge time cos I always stick them back in the dock!

  4. #4
    Reviews Webmaster/Reviewer bandit's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    New York City, USA
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    I believe the Nyko Charger Stand doesnt use USB as well. Waiting for either an affiliate to supply or Nyko to send for review. Joytech never responded to me but will try again.
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