Since the first day I got my Wii, I’ve been searching for the perfect recharging station and I’ve finally found it. Energizer’s new Flat Panel Induction Charging Systems are the perfect mix of simplicity, ease of use, and cool technology. Let me tell you why this simple device is the last charging solution you’ll ever buy for your Wii Remotes.
Just about every charging system to date, required that you remove the default battery cover on your Wii Remote and replace it with a new one that may or may not have had the battery built in. These covers allowed the rechargeable battery packs to make direct contact with their charging stations. Initially, there was nothing wrong with this solution. It wasn’t until Nintendo introduced the silicon sleeves for the Wii Remotes that these direct contact charging solutions became a huge pain. Removing the silicon sleeve just to charge the remote almost negated any positives of actually using a recharging technology.
Some gamers opted to just play without these strange looking sleeves to continue to utilize their existing rechargers. Nintendo threw us all another curve ball by launching the Wii Motion Plus complete with an extended version of the original silicon sleeve. In theory, you could opt to remove this sleeve as well, but with the new charging solution from Energizer there is no need.
Before we talk about the Energizer product, it’s worth mentioning that a charger launched in Japan that utilized induction charging technology and allowed you to charge a pair of Wii Remotes sitting next to a charging station. The charging station itself was kind of an eye-sore and was very costly at over $75 to import. The induction technology it used was incredible though. You could just place your remote near the base and the remotes charged.
Enter Energizer and the Flat Panel Induction Charging System (FPICS). The FPICS comes in both a 2 remote and 4 remote variety and included in the package is the actual charging base and a battery pack for each remote. The battery pack is also a replacement battery cover for the remote that features a pass through button for re-syncing your remote with your Wii, a nice addition. The charging base is a sleek black panel with a silver trim that you can place anywhere you want and features a slim wall plug that should only take one plug on most power strips.
When it comes to actually charging your remotes, you simply place them on the charging panel and the remotes will slide into place thanks to a built in magnet. This keeps your remote in ideal charging position and also prevents them from accidentally being bumped out of place. A helpful red or green light comes on to indicate the charging status and unlike some charging stations, no lights are on when the charger is unused.
The initial charge takes a few hours and the battery life was more than adequate. We have been using the batteries for more than a month and not once have we run out of battery in the middle of a game. It should be noted that this is with kids that just about never remember to place the remotes back on the charging panel.
For casual gamers, the $29.99 and $49.99 price tag for the 2 and 4 remote charging systems respectively may be a little steep compared with buying new batteries as necessary. For anyone else looking for a charging solution for their Wii, this is the product you want to buy. I’ve been so happy with it that I’ve been recommending it to my friends and family.