Published on March 28th, 2013 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor1
Going Back for Seconds: Nyko Wii U Accessory Review
The name Nyko can sometimes bring up mixed feelings. On one hand, players are open to less expensive accessories for gaming. But on the other, many would argue that there isn’t anything like the feeling of confidence in purchasing first-party hardware.
Take for example the simplicity and necessity for a gaming controller. It allows you to interface with your gaming console which can cost hundreds of dollars to obtain. In this regard, let’s discourse the Nintendo Wii U, which is not shy of a pricey interface.
Nintendo has included minor accessories with its Wii U Deluxe Set. However, the difference in the newest line of Wii U products from Nyko is—Nintendo hasn’t made anything this useful for its Wii U.
Charge Station U
What’s in the box: Charge Station, two NiMH rechargeable battery kits, black backs for the kits
- Includes battery kits for additional Wii Remotes
- Rapid charges when plugged into the wall
- GamePad docking bay
The first product we have on the list is the Charge Station U. The product delivers two battery kits for the Wii remotes, bays to charge them and the front acts as a dock for the Wii U GamePad. This time around, these types of kits are more worthwhile considering the need for an all-inclusive GamePad and Wii Remote dock.
One big selling point for most Wii fans was the mere fact that the Wii U supported old Wii Remotes and accessories. Now, your old Wii remotes become restored as the kit offers two bays for them to recharge. The GamePad then sits on the front to recharge its own batter. All devices placed on to regain their juice will glow orange when starting, then blue when complete.
The kit comes with the base and uses the Wii U sync cords included with the system. This makes it so you don’t have to keep swapping cords for multiple accessories. The other plus is having your Wii Remotes ready to charge with a fresh set of rechargeable batteries.
The station is surprisingly light, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I don’t know how well it will withstand homes with more kids running around than a Disney theme park. Also, in terms of numbers, there are only two stalls to park your remotes. One good thing is that there are new batteries, yet, there are only two. The packs come in black and doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing on the gold Zelda remote or other colors.
This review has also led to opportunities to also check out the Nyko UBoost. The extended life battery pack delivers a multitude of hours that can be added to the Wii U GamePad. Installing the pack is both easy and, after its use, essential.
What’s in the box: UBoost rechargeable Lithium-ion batterykit
- Lithium rechargeable for sustained, multiple lifetime charges
- Delivers 2x the battery life
The battery pack does exactly what it says it’s going to do in delivering playing “2x” as long. The installation is also easy. There is a large screw atop the dual-rechargable kit, easily sliding flush with the GamePad.
After giving the device a full charge, and having my GamePad fully charged, I was ready to make like a Sea Monkey and let ’em die.
The battery life was surprising. The power button on the bottom of the kit can be activated with an easy push. After falling asleep with a Netflix movie running, the last thing done was to turn the batter kit on. After waking up and play a few games, the life of the battery easily pulled approximately five hours, which is impressive to say the least.
There are only two downsides to the kit itself. It does provide quite a long battery life. However, it also adds quite a bit of weight to the light controller. It is noticeable solely due to the GamePad being so light in the first place. You will notice the weight (8.8 ounces), particularly if you are playing a game like ZombiU which requires you to at times lift the controller forward.
The second downside is the use of the UBoost with the Charge Station U — there isn’t any. One would expect that there would be some compatibility between the large charge station and the additional battery kit. In this case, there isn’t, and it’s a bit disappointing considering they are all Nyko Products.
Lastly, we have the ProCommander. For players looking for a less expensive controller, it can often be hard to find one that is of the same quality, if not better, than first party developed hardware.
Everyone knows that story. The plan is to hang out with friends, drink a few and play some video games. What controller do you get? Why, the busted one with thumbsticks as googly as a lazy eye. Or, you get the “knock-off” controller, handed to you as if it were a leper. The newest line from Nyko offers something you can finally be impressed with.
Nyko ProCommander Controller
What’s in the box: Controller, Sync Cord
- Offset thumbsticks
- 25 hours of playing time
- Rubbarized triggers
Playing video games for extended periods of time is much like working on your feet for long hours. In order to endure the length of time you are about to spend, you better make yourself comfortable. The same can be said about the controller in which you are playing with. That is one of the biggest selling points for the Nyko ProCommander.
Point 1: With the Wii U Pro Controller being light, comfortable and responsive, it’s hard to find something to beat it. The ProCommander has a different finish to it, delivering a rubber skin rather than a shiny gloss finish capable of scratches and smudges.
Point 2: The design of the controller goes further than just the finish. The sides of the controller may seem odd at first, but they fit snugly under your grasp. As your fingers curve to the controller, there are two areas for your hands to contour around it. The rubberized grip on the ‘ZL’ and ‘ZR’ buttons are hinged and comfortable. When playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, it was not uncomfortable to hold the buttons down the entire race. This is aside from the flat, smooth directional pad that has a certain flair to it. Anyone who’s played a fighting game would understand the comfort and snap that it holds.
Point 3: My first hands-on with the Nintendo Pro Controller was during E3 2012. During that time I was playing ZombiU and immediately found myself fumbling for buttons below the thumbsticks. Why? This was due to the sticks not being offset much like those of the Xbox 360 which, in my opinion, are what make the 360 controller far more comfortable.
The Nyko ProCommander not only fits the controller with offset thumbsticks, they are approximately the same size. I often play with the KontrolFreek CQC grips. Low and behold, the Nyko ProCommander is capable of these being applied, which is a huge win in my book.
Believe it or not, there are a few things I would change about the controller. Even though the thumbsticks are offset, the comfort level isn’t as high. There is a circular divot in the center, which is what urged me to apply the KontrolFreek accessories in the first place. The sticks don’t really have a lot of rubber cushion below them, which leaves for hard clicks that I don’t know exactly what they will do to the design over time.
The next are the shoulder buttons. I couldn’t quite tell if the controller was broken when received as the ‘R’ bumper clicker and the ‘L’ did not. The neighboring triggers may be hinged, but development for the Wii U Pro Controller with its button ‘ZR’ and ‘ZL’ mean that the hinges won’t exactly make a difference whether or not they are partially, or fully pushed.
There are few options out there for Wii U accessories. Some may see this as a good thing, considering the original Wii was flooded with miscellaneous props. However, Nyko delivers useful products that live up to the promises on the box.
The Charge Station U delivers a Wii Remote and GamePad charging station which uses the sync cord included with the system. The UBoost has a tremendous amount of juice in a single charge to add to your GamePad. The ProCommander is nothing short of a grippingly rubbar-skinned controller with offset thumbsticks that are sails with comfort.
Each accessory holds a few faults; the positives do outweigh the good. The stand-outs in particular are the ProCommander and UBoost. The GamePad holds about 4-5 hours of playing time and the UBoost significantly enhances that with around 8-9 more hours.
It seems as though Nyko is stepping up its game so to speak; each device offering for the Wii U line provides an impressive helping of worthwhile accessories.