Nyko Charge Base 360 review: Nyko Charge Base 360

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Nyko Charge Base 360

(Part #: 86070) Released: May 27, 2008
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Stores and charges batteries on up to two Xbox 360 controllers; comes with two rechargeable batteries.

The Bad Xbox 360 controller must be attached in order to charge.

The Bottom Line The Charge Base 360 works as advertised, but its bulky size and controller docking requirement make it a tough sell versus Microsoft's more compact alternative.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0

Nyko recently released a dual controller charging solution for the PlayStation 3, the Charge Base 2. But unlike the internal (and nonremoveable) batteries of the PS3's DualShock 3 and Sixaxis controllers, Xbox 360 pads have detachable batteries. So the company's design for a similar 360 product required it to rethink a bit. Like the PS3 charger, the Charge Base 360 can charge up to two Xbox 360 controllers at once. The only catch here is that you'll be using the two batteries included with the Charge Base itself--any Microsoft-branded rechargeables will not work with the Nyko.

The charger is a white and gray dock that matches the Xbox 360 color scheme. Its rubber feet will ensure that the base won't go sliding anywhere, and its AC power cord gives you enough slack to store it away on a shelf or end table. The included custom NiMH batteries have a groove down the center where you'll find the contact points for charging.

Those batteries fit snugly on your Xbox 360 controller and attach the same way you're used to. Our only complaint with the way they charge is that you must house them in your controller in order for enough weight to be applied so that the contacts touch on the base. Because of this design, you essentially lose a controller when it's charging. By comparison, the Microsoft Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit lets you snap in two batteries to juice up, leaving the controller free to continue playing with alkaline batteries or a second, already topped-off rechargeable. (That said, the Microsoft model only includes a single rechargeable battery--but Nyko itself makes a very similar product called the that includes two rechargeables.) You can sneak around the Nyko's requirement to dock the whole controller by placing something heavy on top of the bare batteries to make sure they properly touch the contacts so that you're not down a controller every time you need to charge (we used a hardcover book).

The LED notification lights are quite bright and may become distracting in a dark room, so in this case we'd recommend keeping it out of view while gaming. When charging, the respective indicator goes red, toggles to green when it's charged, and shuts off completely when a charged controller has been sitting idle for quite some time.

The Charge Base 360 will charge one controller in about 2 hours, or about twice as long while juicing two controllers simultaneously--about the same time it takes the Quick Charge Kit. Nyko claims you'll get about 25 hours of play time with each battery on a full charge.

Overall, the Charge Base 360 works as advertised. While the ability to charge the batteries without the controllers attached would have been nice, you're theoretically getting a better value here over the Quick Charge Kit: The two chargers are priced the same (around $30), but with the Nyko you get an extra battery, while an extra Microsoft-branded battery will run you around $12. Deciding which to get will really boil down to individual preference. If you want a place to store and charge your Xbox 360 controllers neatly, the Nyko Charge Base 360 is for you. If you're the type of gamer who is constantly entertaining and playing with friends or you live with a lot of people who share the console, the Quick Charge Kit--and a handful of extra rechargeables--is likely to be the better fit.

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