This year at CES, Nyko was mainly focused on their new upcoming Wii U range of products. The company also is tentatively working on a relationship with NVIDIA in regards to Project SHIELD which was revealed at CES this year in the form of their PlayPad line of Android controllers. I didn’t spend too much time with the PlayPad Pro, however, but it’s already available at GameStop currently. It will also be available more widely in February along with all the Wii U accessories shown.
EDIT: There were a few factual errors in the details of some products that have been updated to reflect what they will actually include/do.
I’d like to apologize to anyone affected by the previous incorrect information.
Charge Station U
Hoping to challenge PDP’s Energizer Wii U charger already on the market, Nyko has revealed the Charge Station U. The stand with built-in charging has room to stash two Wii Remotes on the back sides of the unit, while the front allows the GamePad to be dropped in easily while it’s displayed prominently. Nyko even thought to include a way to angle the GamePad while in the cradle so that content can still be enjoyed on it during the charging process. While the plastic seemed solid to the touch, due to the black coloring and high gloss, it was a finger print magnet, much like the GamePad itself.
Charge Base Pro
Similar to their other Charge Base products on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Charge Base Pro for Wii U will make it simple to charge up your Wii U Pro Controllers. The Charge Base Pro will be powered by plugging into a standard outlet. A simple lightweight dongle with metal contacts fits on the top where the charging cord would normally go. Once this is attached, it’s only a matter of inserting the contact into the base which can seat two controllers at at time. There’s a bit of a magnetic grip, so it’s fairly difficult to do this incorrectly. The base can stand upright or fold down for a smaller profile and storage. It also has charging light indicators to show when each controller is charged. Colors offered will be black and white, both of which are glossy.
Nyko is touting three times more battery life than what’s already been provided by Nintendo with the PowerPak. This is accomplished by filling in the space Nintendo bafflingly decided to leave empty in the battery compartment. Installation is easy and a basic phillips screw driver is included. When comparing the two batteries, there was no real weight difference that was detectible in my hands, most likely due to the fact the PowerPak is a rechargeable Lithium Polymer as opposed to the Lithium Ion batteries seen in many devices.
In light of the PowerPak solution for the GamePad, I was slightly confused at first as to why Nyko would offer the UBoost. Instead of three times the battery life that the PowerPak supposedly has, the UBoost will only have two. UBoost attaches onto the bottom and back, making it a tool-less option for those who may be afraid to unscrew the battery panel. Although it does stick out from the bottom of the GamePad slightly, a new cradle isn’t necessary. The UBoost attached to the bottom allows the whole unit to be slid into place easily. Although there is bulk on the bottom and back, Nyko attempted to make it less useless by adding a kick stand of sorts that allows it to be propped up on flat surfaces. The UBoost will come in two colors, black and white.
Simply put, the Power Stand is being offered for those Wii U Basic Set owners. It’s Nyko’s version of the charging cradle that comes with the Wii U Deluxe Set. Two choices of colors will be offered, black and white.
Although Nintendo has put out their own “traditional” style of controller for Wii U, some don’t care for the placement of the analog sticks. Seeing this, Nyko decided to bring over their own controller for the system. The Pro Commander is laid out very closely to an Xbox 360 controller, with the right analog stick swapping places for the A, B, X, Y buttons. This makes it feel fairly familiar, albeit with a special coating known as a “soft feel surface” that Nyko put on their Raven controllers. Speaking of the buttons, at first glance, they look normal. I was informed by Nyko that although the image above shows the A and B swapped, it will have the traditional B and A placement in the final product. When the triggers are pressed and released, they make a satisfying clicking noise. Unfortunately I forgot to ask whether or not the triggers were digital or analog, so this remains a mystery for the time being. I had the opportunity to play a few rounds with bots in Call of Duty Black Ops II with the controller and in the brief time period, preferred the Pro Commander to the official accessory. While testing, I found the analog sticks were a bit tighter in feeling than the Nintendo ones. Nyko will be offering the Pro Commander in glossy black.