Hardware Review | Nintendo Wii Power Station by Joytech

By Phil Beveridge 21.04.2007 16

Wii Power Station by Joytech
Images and words by Phil Beveridge :: 21st April 2007

After all Nintendo's hard work with their latest console, the one hardware feature that people still complain about is the remotes - and more specifically, the batteries. With the PS3 using a rechargeable controller from release, and Microsoft retailing an official rechargeable battery pack for their wireless Xbox 360 controllers, you would have thought Nintendo, the industry's innovators, could use such simple technology as this in their controllers... apparently not. While fans are left slightly disappointed, you can hear gaming peripheral manufacturers leaping with joy as they spot the gap in the market to answer consumer's needs. Although rechargeable Wiimote battery packs are being developed by several other companies at present, it seems that Joytech have managed to beat the lot, being the only product currently on sale for UK consumers. Let's have a peek, shall we?





The package comes with a charging stand, power cable, and two rechargeable battery packs, meaning that both you and a mate can both grab fully charged Wiimotes for a quick game of Wii Sports, and not have to worry about one of the controllers running out of juice. The stand is rather small, streamlined, and matches the white and grey colour scheme of the Wii perfectly, so you'll have no problem placing the two side-by-side under your telly. On each side of the charging stand are extendable prongs to hold two Wii Nunchuk extensions, but in all honesty you won't be using them, as they're not the most ideal place to keep your accessory unless you want a tangled mess of trailing wires. Maybe it would have been best if these weren't included, seeing as it does spoil the design and of the base stand a little.

Power-wise, most people were expecting either an external power supply, or to use the USB ports built into the Nintendo Wii console. But the boffins over at Joytech were clever, and with the package they include a cable that fits directly between the Wii's power adapter and the socket on the back of the system. With direct power, it means that the Wiimotes are charging whenever the console is plugged into the wall (whether on standby or not), and allows the controllers to be charged faster than they would be using a USB power source. The in-between plug is an inch or so long, so some people may have an issue with the console sticking out a bit more from their electronical arrangements, but for most people it should be no intrusion at all.

Now onto the rechargeable battery packs themselves. Two are included, and the plastic shell is made of the same plastic used for the battery covers on the official Wiimotes, so there's no visible difference, apart from two metal contacts on the back of the cover. Attached is what seems like two standard rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and although no capacity is mentioned, they should deliver at least the battery life of standard AA batteries which is 40 hours of continuous use. The new rechargeable cover just snaps into place on the back of the Wiimote, although don't be scared to use a little force, as it can be a tight fit in some cases. However, to be able to access the 'SYNC' button on the back of the controller, you'll need to be using a normal pair of AA batteries.

To charge the Wiimotes, simply place the controller into a slot on the base stand and it starts charging automatically, as the two contacts mentioned before on the back of the battery cover touch another two contacts on the charging base. Each charging slot has an LED next to it, lit red while charging and green when fully charged, so you'll always know when your Wiimotes are ready for action. The strap of the controller is no problem, as the controller still charges fine (as long as the contacts aren't blocked. You will, however, need to remove all accessories like the Nunchuks to charge, as well as any coloured silicone grips that may be on the controller, otherwise the remote won't fit into the stand.

As far as charging stations go, this one does the job well. It's unobtrusive, easy to use, and provides you with somewhere to stash your controllers while not in use. Some people may have preferred a grip on the back of the controllers, and I believe Nyko are planning on doing just that with their charger, being released in the near future. In the meanwhile, if you want to save loads on batteries and want to miss out the hassle of using rechargeable AA batteries, this is your best choice. It retails for

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But the boffins over at Joytech were clever, and with the package they include a cable that fits directly between the Wii's power adapter and the socket on the back of the system.

Sounds a bit dodgey.

Reminded me of the 360 Intercooler:

Image for


However, to be able to access the

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

Grumbler said:
Sounds a bit dodgey.

Not really, I know Joytech did it with their portable GC screen as well. Lemme get a photo:

Grumbler said:
Thats crap, cant think of any way around it though.

Hell, you only need to do it once when you first buy the extra controller. For everything else, you can just sync by holding 1+2 together.Smilie

( Edited on 22.04.2007 00:44 by jb )

Hell, you only need to do it once when you first buy the extra controller. For everything else, you can just sync by holding 1+2 together.

What about when you take it to your granny's house to play FarCry Vengeance deathmatch with her on her Wii?

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

What about when you take it to your granny's house to play FarCry Vengeance deathmatch with her on her Wii?

LOL

I wouldnt waste my money tbh. Nintendo is bound to release a revamped Wii-mote with built in recargable battery that you have to buy for

I bought one. It's really good. What I don't like though is how tightly the battery packs fit into the Wiimotes. It slots in easily but in order to take them out, you have to put a scary amount of force into it.

Like you said, the nunchuck holders are pointless.

I like it alot
maybe when I get a wii I will buy this also


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Nintendo makes me cry for not allowing power through that expansion port.

Sounds like a good design, but normal rechargables are fine too imo.
Never understood what the big deal was really.

You can even get rechargables that have more capacity then a standard DS battary now.

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Aye, we have some recharge AAs, and a four battery charger - does the job pretty well. Top review though Phil, could be worth a good investment but for me, recharge AAs do the job.

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Damn good! So when's it out? I havn't been able to find it, would be a huge help since I play my Wii so much, I wouldn't have to hold back my playing hours to prevent batteries from running out! Smilie

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It's been out for a while superlink. You can get it from Play.com if you're able to buy online.

( Edited on 22.04.2007 15:42 by IfritXVII )

It looks good, i think MadCatz are making one fo these aswell looks a-million times better! But im not sure if it's coming to UK?


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Yeah it is, i have contemplated getting it myself, it's the best looking one i have seen, i dont like the NYKO one very much. I will hold out for the official product. LS

*Not able to buy online*

Bugger.

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The Joytech is not available in Canada but the Nyko version is.

Nyko has the grip on the back which is GREAT. It also uses a seperate power supply of its own. Don't know if that is better or not.

Also, Nyko doesn't have those moon-unit landers on the side of the Joytech that take up extra room. Definite plus.

Whole thing works great. Don't miss the disposable batteries at all.

( Edited on 26.04.2007 16:18 by BlueRocks )

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