Ah charging controllers, what a cross to bear. The good old days of countless wires twisting from your trusted games controller to your console of choice became a thing of the past with the current generation. What the Gamecube’s Wavebird started in terms of wireless connectivity to a games console was taken on board by all three platform holders to make wireless controllers a standard feature of the modern console. However a new issue has arisen; how do you keep your little pads of joy charged?
There have been several solutions to this problem that basically boil down to a choice between constantly replacing non-rechargeable batteries and finding a rechargeable solution. The latter often involves buying a third party docking station that runs off either the mains or one of the console’s built in USB ports.
To the best knowledge of this reviewer, there is only one that caters to multiple consoles at once, and that’s what has me so excited about the new toy I’ve been sent: the Konnet Power Pyramid.
The Pyramid works by drawing power from the mains gives you the ability to plug two Xbox 360 and two Playstation controllers in to charge at once. There are also Playstation only and Xbox only versions available, each with four ports to plug controllers into. LED lights let you know whether the dock is charging (red) or has finished charging (blue). It takes around 6 hours to fully charge an Xbox controller from flat, and 3 for Playstation controllers.
*WARNING* ensure you have rechargeable batteries in your Xbox 360 controllers (or a charge pack) before plugging in and using the Pyramid. Using ordinary batteries will likely cause of nuclear meltdown the likes of Chernobyl… that, or the backs of your controllers will get a bit melty. *YOU’VE BEEN WARNED*
In terms of looks, the Pyramid is quite distinct and certainly makes something of a statement perched atop your shelf or bookcase. The standard edition comes in a shiny black, with the special edition version rocking a silver sheen. The colour choice of the special edition seems a strange one considering the matt and shiny black finishes of the current Xbox and Playstation models. As there is no functional difference between the two, go for the one that suits your palette (and wallet: depending on where you shop there is as much as £10 difference between the two models). Personally, I prefer a look more in-keeping with my consoles, so it’s black all the way for me.
The version I’ve been testing (two PS ports, two xbox ports), suits my needs perfectly. Thinking back to the good ol’ days of gaming, it’s extremely rare now that more than one other person will be playing on my console with me at any time, probably because of the prevalence of online gaming. That being said, if you’re the kind of gamer who sits down for four player local co-op on a frequent basis, you may want to consider one of the standard Pyramids, rather than the dual purpose one.
The main benefit of the Power Pyramid is perhaps also its biggest downfall: you do not require a console to charge your controllers. Whilst this is great in that you can plug in after each gaming session, safe in the knowledge that your controller will be charged when you next play, the dock also constantly draws power. Whilst this is a pretty insignificant amount compared to say, as household kettle, it is something to bear in mind for you eco warriors.
There are power plug options available that would negate this issue somewhat, ensuring the Pyramid is only powered on when another appliance (such as your TV) is switched on. This certainly isn’t a necessity, but something to bear in mind if you are conscious of the amount of electricity to use each month.
Do you constantly find your controllers are low on or out of charge? Are you always losing the playstation 3 controller charging cable (USB to mini-USB)? Do you go to replace the batteries in your Xbox controller only to find you don’t have any new batteries to replace the old ones with?
If you’ve answered positively to any of these questions then the Power Pyramid may well be for you. The Pyramid’s major strengths lie in the alleviation of frustration and the simplicity of their solution. Because of this, I’m glad I’ve got one.
- Tom Wallis