Eyes-on at E3 / Nyko goods

The thing about Nyko products is that they’re always part of that accessory wall in any decent videogame section of any store. It’s riddled with little attachments and doodads that, sure, you don’t need them, but you absolutely would not mind owning them. A fan for my console? A charging station for my wiimotes? A carrying case that includes a cup holder for a can of beer? Absolutely, sir! I don’t need any of this, but why the f*ck not have it all (except maybe that fan could potentially save your 360… and I’ve had my PS3 overheat on me…)! Seemingly aware of this, it’s no surprise that Nyko’s booth contained, yes, a wall of their stuff as if it were some store front. Frankly, I couldn’t help but think that SOMEONE was going to get the wrong idea and start taking. I mean, it’s E3… people expect free stuff like that. DICE was giving away copies of Battlefield 1943. Just saying…

No one did any taking, fortunately. I, being a member of distinguished press, was taken into a private room with even more items along the walls where we were shown a few new products. Some already released and some on the horizon. We’ll start with what you can get your nubby hands on now…

The Charge Base 360. You can almost predict what it does from the name. It’s a cradle for two Xbox 360 controllers that charges them at the same time. It runs on contact points that will stick out of Nyko batteries that you’ll place in the battery spot on a 360 controller. If you have the space, may not hurt to have around. Charging 360 controllers with the console off makes this one desirable.

Then there’s the Wii Wand and its various “Paks.” Essentially, this is the third party Wiimote, Kama (or nunchuk), and Pistol Grip. However, it has some shiny perks that some may be intrigued with. First off, the Wand is five dollars cheaper than the official Wiimote for the cheap bastards of the world. Second, and more interesting, is Trans-Port technology. Trans-Port technology is used to have the Wand communicate with the Kama or Pistol Grip in ways to fulfill some of those small “I wish” thoughts some gamers have with Wii controls. With the Kama, any vibration in a game will be felt with both hands. With the Pistol Grip, you get actual buttons rather than a lever to the B button on the bottom of your Wiimote. This means that pulling the “trigger” actually feels more natural and pulling back the “Hammer” now serves as an A button, which is pretty sweet if it’s needed for reloads. The one drawback to the gun is that you’ll have to remove the battery encasing each time you want to use it, but that’s not a huge deal provided you’re not prone to losing the little things in the blink of an eye. Both of these will be available in “Paks.” The Wand & Kama in the Core Pak, the Wand & Pistol Grip in the Action Pak.

But then their big addition is the Type Pad Pro. It’s basically a large keypad that you hold like a Game Gear, with your Wand or Wiimote going into the center station. While either one will work, the Wand will use Trans-Port technology to enable the use of some shoulder buttons that actually operate as A and B buttons. Basically, this thing is ideal if you want to be able to more efficiently browse the web on your Wii, while lazing on your couch. While the gun and Nunchuk can be had now, the Type Pad Pro is going to come out a little later this year.

And like that, we’re onto the up and comers: Next up is the PSP’s Charge Grip Flex. It’s an add-on battery for your PSP, ultimately. It adds both hours of life and bulk to your already-probably-kind-of-big portable console. To compensate for that, though, they’ve designed one that has all ports readily accessible, and two grips on the back that can be twisted to allow for a more gamepad-esque feel with two hand grips, or tucked behind for that Game Gear-esque feel (That’s twice I’ve mentioned Game Gear… source of inspiration, anyone?). Expect this one soon as well.

For the DSi, they have the Zoom Case. Basically, it’s a hardshell case that goes around your DSi, but it also comes with a spot atop the camera where you can place an 8x zoom lens for closer shots of things and stuff. The case itself looks to do a decent job of protecting and probably deceiving your friends with its flush contour to the DSi’s shape. The lens is detachable, and in its place you can either leave it bare for the basic zoomless view, or put on a little lens cap. This one’s meant for kids with a tiny photography tick who will inevitably have a portable gaming system on hand like a DSi, but maybe not a digital camera. This one was given an Augest-September time frame.

And that’s what was flaunted. Overall a pretty fun lineup of things shown off, Nyko showed off things both creative and handy. Keep an eye out on those store shelves.