By August 4, 2008

Nyko – Charge Station 360 for Xbox 360 review

I just got into recycling pretty heavily this year, but I’ve been a “reduce and reuse” type of environmentalist for a long time. It’s funny seeing people at work talk about how green they are and then put four or five plastic 1L water bottles in the recycling bin every day.

Anyway, I have been feeling guilty about my AA battery use for my Xbox 360 wireless game controllers. Depending on play frequency, I go through a pair of AAs in as little as two weeks. Batteries aren’t the most eco-friendly thing to get rid of, and since the 360 represents the majority of my disposable battery usage I starting thinking about rechargeable alternatives.

I had two core options: get regular AA rechargeable batteries that could be used with other applications, or specific battery packs designed specifically for the 360 controllers. The former seemed more versatile, but required researching what rechargeable battery technology was best, who made the best batteries, and getting a standalone charger that may or may not suck donkey balls. Getting a 360-specific setup would make things easier, but could still suck donkey balls. I couldn’t use the 360-shaped pack for anything else, either.

I saw the Nyko charge station at Best Buy when I bought a replacement 360 messenger kit chat pad (blame Pearl). It was $30 for the charger and two packs. I liked the idea of being able to charge one pack while playing with the other, but I soon had a consumer crisis of conscience. I could buy forty-eight AAs at Costco for $10. I’d have to go through 144 batteries just to break even. At a pretty intense playing pace, that’s thirty-six weeks of play.

Then I got to thinking about how selfish it was of me to dump a gross of AA batteries into the landfill just so I could save a couple of bucks. So I bought the Nyko Charge Station (in black) and have been using it for about three weeks.

The Nyko charging station was easy to setup and use. Plug it in to a wall socket or power strip and wait until the charging indicator light turns from red to green. The initial charge took place overnight, so I am not sure how long it actually took.

The battery packs fit very nicely into my black 360 controller. Prior reviews on the Web have noticed fitting issues; it is very possible that this was corrected by the time I bought mine.

Play time is not even close to real alkaline AA batteries. I probably get five or six days of play out of each pack. But since the other is charging away, who cares? However, if you’re interested in buying this for multiple controllers you might want to be aware of the short life. I have two extra controllers in the house, but they get such infrequent use I don’t mind putting AAs in there.

If you get a lot of play out of your 360 then I’d recommend the Nyco charge station for the Xbox 360. You may want to pass if you only play the 360 every once in awhile; the cost to benefit ratio on batteries alone swings the pendulum awy from the charging station. The short battery life might get you if you need to power up more than one controller.

I’m happy with my purchase, but there are some caveats in there. If you are a hardcore solo Xbox 360 player, the Nyko charge station may be right up your alley.

1 Comment on "Nyko – Charge Station 360 for Xbox 360 review"

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  1. Bond says:

    I have a white one and love it, I never remember to buy batteries, so it really saved me the headache. I’ve not had any issues with life, of course, I keep one charging all the time since I rarely have two controllers used.