I would be lying if I was to tell you that upon hearing about Nyko’s Cord-Free Wireless Adaptor I was anything but perplexed. First, the thing looked incredibly ungainly with a plastic block sitting on the end of the Nunchuk and an extra inch of length added to the Wii remote itself. Secondly, I had never considered the wire between the Nunchuk and the Wii remote a major issue as I’d always had enough length to play games and it never really got in the way that much. Finally, I wondered why Nyko didn’t just construct a Nunchuk of their own that didn’t have a wire.
The answer to that last question is that they did, but if you already have a full set of Nunchuks and Wii remotes, it seems kind of silly to spend the extra money on Nyko’s (or anyone else’s) wireless Nunchuk. So the Cord-Free is the solution for all those Wii players who don’t want an extra wired Nunchuk lying around. The other two worries I had couldn’t really be answered till I got my hands on the thing, which I now have. After spending many hours with my now-wireless Wii remote and Nunchuk, I’ve got to say that this solution to the wire “problem” is most definitely a solution. Not a perfect solution but, to my surprise, one that works far better than I thought it would.
Let’s start with that ungainly factor. The Cord-Free comes with a transmitter that plugs into the bottom of your Wii remote and sticks out about an inch. It runs off the power of your Wii remote so it can definitely drain the batteries but not that much faster than your Wii remote is doing on its own. The transmitter features a flashing blue light that tells you if it is synced up or not. The thing it is syncing to is what I will deem the Nunchuk holder. This is the part that really makes this combo look kind of ridiculous. The Nunchuk doesn’t have its own batteries so the Nunchuk holder has to have space for them (Nyko claims the batteries last 60 hours and I’ve played at least that without having them die), thus the rectangle at the bottom of the holder. The Nunchuk itself sits comfortably in the plastic upper part and pops in and out with relative ease. Nice and sturdy construction makes it feel like it’s not just a flimsy piece of plastic (Wii Zapper I’m looking at you). The wire then wraps around the Nunchuk holder’s base multiple times and hides behind some gray rubber, making it look as natural as anything that has an awkwardly shaped base, with a bit of it sticking out so it can plug in.
The odd look aside, I was happily relieved that neither the transmitter on the bottom of the Wii remote nor the Nunchuk holder are as large or ungainly as I thought they would be. Especially the Nunchuk holder, which is far smaller than it looks in the pictures and, as an added bonus, lets you store your Nunchuk in a much more convenient way than, say, the giant mass of tangled wires that use to be my Nunchuk storage system. The added weight, while noticeable is pretty negligible but still can be somewhat annoying, especially since it’s all centered at the bottom. When you’re simply trying to flick your wrist to use the Nunchuk’s motion sensors, the weight is a little off and feels strange. Meanwhile the added length on the Wii remote is pretty much forgotten after a few minutes of gameplay and in fact once I had played with it for a while and taken it off, I realized I actually liked the longer feel of the Wii remote with the transmitter plugged in.
But moving back to the thing that really stands out — the Nunchuk holder isn’t entirely terrible, thankfully. The plastic grip actually fits better and more comfortably in my hand than the Wii remote by itself and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to wrap the chord up and plug it in. And once it’s in, you can pretty much just leave your Nunchuk in there and simply plug in and unplug the transmitter from your Wii remote when you need it. Of course it isn’t all good. The thing is still a big hunk of plastic attached to a normally very light controller.
And I’m not sure why but Nyko decided to make it terribly unclear if the power button, which is located on the base across from the blinking blue syncing light, has been pushed properly. Before the holder turns off, the light blinks rapidly for a second but sometimes it doesn’t turn off. So you’re stuck staring at the light waiting for it to stop blinking like some poor schmuck being hypnotized by a bad magician. It could have been me just being an idiot but it happened to others using the Wii remote and it’s kind of a strange choice.
As far as the Cord-Free solving the “problem” of that pesky wire between your Wii remote and Nunchuk goes, it does and it does it wonderfully. I never had an issue with the two parts not syncing up and there was never any delay between my inputs on the controls (both via buttons and motions) and what happened on the screen. I started testing it on Okami and never really felt the wireless as being something that was super beneficial but it was fun to be able to play with my arms stretched as far apart as possible just for the hell of it.
After this I decided to think about what games the wire actually bothered me on and digging back in my memory I landed on Rayman Raving Rabbids in which the mini-games sometimes got so hectic that the wire got in the way and Wii Boxing (both in Wii Sports and in Wii Fit). Here is where I found an amazingly awesome, unintended benefit of the extra weight that gets added from the two plug ins. Raving Rabbids was far less annoying, sure, but once I plugged in Wii Fit and started the boxing training, the controller became worth the price of admission in my eyes. The extra weight made the six minute boxing session all the more tiring and a better workout. If you keep your hands up like a real boxer and go through all the motions the Cord-Free really gets your muscles working. In fact, if you’re listening Nyko, some weighted Wii remotes and Nunchuks would be frickin’ awesome for some of the Wii remote-centered workouts.
All in all though, the worth of the Nyko Cord-Free is really up to you, the consumer. Does the wire bother you enough that you really need a wireless remote? If so, and you don’t want to buy another Nunchuk, this is a surprisingly easy to use and creative solution that isn’t quite as damaging on your pocket book (Nyko’s Kama retails for $15 more than the Cord-Free). The Nunchuk holder offers a good base to store your Nunchuk and while the weight of it does get in the way a bit, it never messed up my gameplay, just made my wrist a little tired. The biggest drawback that I see is that extra pair of batteries you’ve got to suck up to use it. If you need wireless Wii remotes I suggest getting some rechargeable batteries first.