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.


As the Nintendo Wii stormed onto the scene last fall, one thing was noticeably missing: rechargeable batteries. Granted, Microsoft makes you shell out for the functionality, but Nintendo seemed unconcerned with the issue, leaving it for a third party to handle. Luckily Nyko swooped in with a product to remedy that, the Nyko Wii Charge Station.

The Wii Charge Station is a dual purpose system that comes with a pair of battery packs, a charging base station, and a pair of rubber-gripped battery covers that expose the contacts necessary to charge your Wii Remote. At a mere $30, the Wii Charge Station is a surefire way to cut down on battery usage while making your grip on that pesky Wii Remote just a tad more secure.

Installation of the battery packs is a cinch and the replacement battery covers fit perfectly onto the remotes. The actual charging base station is a 2 prong plug that simply plugs into the wall and holds up to 2 remotes vertically with bright blue LEDs to let you know the device is charging and green LEDs to let you know that your device is charged. Our device came fully charged, but make sure you read the manual to see what the recommended initial charge time is. Putting the remotes on the base station is not a problem, but occasionally the wrist straps make the remote sit just off balance so that the contacts don’t line up. We resolved this by always pulling the wrist straps to the sides of the base station when it was time to charge.

The battery packs are lightweight and don’t increase the weight of the Wii Remote in any significant way. The rubber-gripped battery covers, while barely noticeable, do give the impression that you have a better grip on your remote. We still recommend you put that wrist strap on, and we’re not responsible if you end up breaking your TV.

The recommended $30.00 is well worth adding the convenience of rechargeable batteries for your Wii. The Wii Charge Station is a solidly built product that, so far, has stood up to the abuse of my 3yr old son. I would say that Nyko’s Wii Charge Station is a must have accessory for any Wii owner. Go get yours pronto.

The idea of A


May 30, 2007

Video games are often referred to as A

After spending 10 minutes with the original Nintendo DS I could just tell that a redesign was already in the works. The technology aspects of the system were rock solid, but many of the cosmetic design elements were severely lacking. This month saw the release of the DS Lite which is the revamped and streamlined version of the DS that is now available less than 2 years after the platform’s initial launch. Some might see this as a sign that the platform is weak, but playing the Lite for 5 minutes is enough to make you forget all of that.

The DS Lite promised to be a lighter and more compact version of the new handheld. It was assumed that this re-issue would also carry a complete visual overhaul and boy did it ever. The Lite looks more like something you would expect from Apple as opposed to Nintendo, which I guess is a good thing since Apple products tend to be described as visually pleasing. The Lite comes in white or black variety and sports a paint job on the inside of a clear plastic casing (think 2nd design of the iBook). Visually it falls right in line with the Sony PSP.

The slightly smaller casing does make it a tiny bit more difficult to hold for those of you with big hands, but the larger stylus more than makes up for it. The reality is that it isn’t all that much smaller.

One of the other key ingredients to this re-release is the new brighter screens. Holy burning retinas are these screens bright. Crisp, sharp, and super bright are how I would describe them. As if there weren’t enough reasons already to buy this updated version of the DS, add this one to the top of the list.

The DS Lite may be perceived by some as Nintendo correcting the initial mistakes they made with the DS and others may see it as reinforcing the strength of the platform. However you see it, Nintendo gave a boost to an already thriving platform with this release. If you were waiting on this release before jumping into the DS platform, your wait is over and you have a lot of catching up to do. If you are an existing DS owner, get yourself down to a local game store and trade in that clunky silver, red, or cobalt DS and get yourself a Lite. This thing is the New Hotness (Yes, I just re-watched MIB2. So sue me.)