E3 2016 – Nyko Showcase – Cool Your Hands
Nyko is well-known for making gaming accessories, and they were out in full force at E3 2016. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the burgeoning virtual reality market, Nyko even produced a couple of VR accessories that will help you stay safe while moving around, and may even help with motion sickness. After spending some time at their booth, we have a deluge of information ready for digestion.
Just Keep Charging
First up, the Charge Block Single and Duo. These are blocky accessories, which serve to charge your DualShock 4 controllers. If you buy the Duo, you can hook them up together to charge two controllers at the same time. You can even perform the most unholy of unions and use a Single block with the Xbox One version, to charge for both platforms using only one adapter. The chargers include a special adapter, which you attach to the MicroUSB port on the rear of the controller. Once installed, you can simply drop the controller into the charging block; it’s essentially wireless at that point.
Next, Nyko brings us an Intercooler Grip. This is an attachment for the DualShock 4, and features miniature fans which help to cool your hands and prevent sweat from ruining a killstreak. The fans are powered by a built-in battery in the accessory, meaning there is no loss of play time on your DualShock 4. The charging cable also includes an animated pattern, to let you know without a doubt when charging is complete. There is also a passthrough headphone jack, so that you can still use your favorite headset while keeping your hands nice and cool.
Ever want to chat with your teammates, but don’t feel like wearing a headset or the PS4’s flimsy mono earpiece? Nyko understands. That’s why they’ve also announced the SpeakerCom. This nifty thing attaches in much the same way that the Intercooler Grip does, but instead of fans you now have essentially a walkie-talkie at your palms. There’s a dedicated push-to-talk button as well as a volume knob, to ensure you never have to take your eyes off the screen to communicate.
As for virtual reality, Nyko has developed two interesting accessories, both for your wrists. The first is the VR Guardian. This includes two smartwatch-type devices, without screens, and four boxy-looking sensors. Essentially, you place the boxy sensors in a grid enclosing the space in which you plan to play your VR game/experience. Once configured, the two wristbands are worn like a watch. As you play, if you approach the invisible boundaries set up by the sensor boxes, whichever wristband is about to encroach said boundary will vibrate to alert the user. This was the one product I was able to try out at E3, and it appeared to work just fine as I tried an Oculus-powered demo.
Finally, the other VR accessory is dubbed the VR Motion Band. This looks like a wristband for an event, but has a large red nub towards its center. It claims to “cure” your motion sickness while playing VR, or at least lessen its effects, by placing pressure on either wrist. The thinking is that the “acupressure bead stimulates a key point on the interior of the wrist that may reduce common side effects of VR like nausea, dizziness, or headaches.” Whether this works or not remains to be seen; I was unable to try this out while at Nyko’s booth, and furthermore I thankfully do not suffer from motion sickness while playing VR.
Nyko has been very busy developing new products for gamers, and has leapt at the chance to be one of the first to market with VR accessories. Below, you’ll find the MSRPs and launch timeframe for each of these products:
- Charge Block Solo: $14.99, September 2016
- Charge Block Duo: $24.99, September 2016
- Intercooler Grip: $19.99, fall 2016
- SpeakerCom: $24.99, fall 2016
- VR Guardian: $99.99, holiday 2016
- VR Motion Band: $9.99, holiday 2016