Now that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been on the market for a while and E3 has shown off enough features and games for us to determine with one (or both) we will be buying, people will soon be plunking down with a stack of their new games. It won’t be long until their thoughts turn to their wireless controller's battery needs. Microsoft stuck with the easily replaceable AA batteries and Sony stuck with the sealed within, irreplaceable but rechargeable, battery. Both battery options have their pros and cons, but that's not what we're here to talk about. We are here to talk about Nyko’s alternate solution; the Xbox One Charge Base and the PlayStation 4 Charge Base.
Let's start with the Nyko’s Charge Base for the PlayStation 4 controller. Sony provides a USB cable to charge their Dual Shock 4 controller off their PlayStation 4. They even have a setting that lets you shut down the PlayStation 4, but still provide power to the USB ports in order to charge the controller. This is a workable solution that can fill the basic charging needs. Although there will be people who, for many reasons (cats/dogs/small children), don't want a cable constantly sticking out of their PlayStation 4. There are those who will want to fully shut down their system, rather than keep it in charge mode. The Nyko provides a great alternative. Their PlayStation 4 Charge Base comes with two small USB dongles that allow you to "drop and charge" two controllers. The dongle is a tight fit and takes a little wiggling to get it on properly, but once attached there are no worries of the dongle falling off. With the dongle in place all you have to do is set the Dual Shock 4 controller into the base and it starts charging. No messing around with a USB cable. As an added bonus the controller charges faster on the Nyko Charge Base than it does plugged into the PlayStation 4. I'd say it’s almost half the time. While it charges a light on the base shows it’s on, when it's fully charged the light goes off.
The Xbox One Charge Base is a little different. Since the Xbox One controllers don't have a built-in battery Nyko provides two NiMH rechargeable batteries,in their own custom battery covers, for use in two controllers. The batteries easily snap right in and the covers slide on providing a small opening for the charging plate. Like the PlayStation 4 Charging Base, once the Xbox One controllers are set up they too are "drop and charge." Just set the controllers on the base and they start charging. On the Xbox One Charge Base there is a light that is on while they charge, but there is a second set of lights that change colors from red to green. The various colors of lights indicate how much the controller has charged; Red means the battery is at less than 25% charged, orange is about 50%, Green is 75% or greater, and when all the lights go out the battery is 100% fully charged. The NiMH batteries Nyko provided are amazing because I'm getting around 16 to 20 hours of play time on a full charge. That is so much better than AA batteries.
Both Charge Bases plug into the wall. Both also have a "low profile design ideal for all entertainment centers." I don't have a typical entertainment center, but I do have low height shelves, the bases fit and I have easy access to the controllers.
So are they worth the investment? I say the Xbox One Charge Base is worth it for the NiMH batteries alone, everything else is just gravy. If you are like me you'll want the PlayStation 4 Charge Base because of the ease of use. It's quicker and easier to just drop one controller into the charger and grab the second controller then fumble with the USB cable. I recommend both the PlayStation 4 Charge Base and the Xbox Charge Base.