With wireless controllers standard in this generation of gaming, having a reliable source of battery power is key. After all, what good is your console if you don’t have a controller ready and charged? While standard batteries come packed in, companies like Microsoft and Nyko have made it a no brainer to move to rechargeable solutions. Microsoft’s solution is the Play and Charge Kit, which works very well. Nyko matched Microsoft’s offering with the Power Kit 360.
The Power Kit 360 is virtually indistinguishable from Microsoft’s product. Physically it looks no different and functionally it performs exactly the same. If you aren’t familiar with either, the Power Kit 360 comes with a NiMH rechargable battery that replaces your standard battery cover on the wireless 360 controller. The package also comes with an extra long (11′) usb charging cable. When your battery gets low, simply plug in the cable and keep on playing. This cable simply handles power while the onboard radio is still used for connectivity. The 360 even supports charging in a low-power mode after your console has been powered off for the night.
Since I have a Nyko unit and a Microsoft unit, I attempted to utilize the Microsoft charge cord with the Nyko battery and vice versa with no luck. The Microsoft unit has a very bright red light when it’s charging and the Nyko unit has a very dim light, but I failed to get the units to do much of anything when coupled with the other brand of cable. It will be important to pair the units up if you happen to own one from each brand.
With looks being equal, your buying decision should come down to price and performance. Nyko beats Microsoft in price, at $14.99 versus the $19.99 Microsoft charges, but Microsoft claims over 30 hours of gameplay per charge versus the advertised 25 hours by Nyko. Our tests were unable to uncover any noticeable difference in the 2 units.
Providing 25 hours of gameplay per charge, and with a low price tag of $15, the Power Kit 360 is a solid purchase. Any 360 owner that hasn’t already sprung for a rechargeable solution should definitely give the Power Kit 360 a look.