Nyko Charge Block Review – Wires Away
When we last caught up with the Nyko accessories company, they were busy showing off a plethora of products, many of which were geared towards VR. While those products were a ways off due to the nascent state of the VR industry, a few of their products were ready to go. So here we have the Nyko Charge Block, available in Single and Duo packs. Let’s take a look at this interesting accessory, and see if it’s worth the asking price.
A Problem You Didn’t Know You Had
Are you tired of having to wrangle your Micro-USB cord from your PS4 after you’re done playing, in order to plug in and charge your DualShock 4 controller? If you’re like the average gamer, probably not. It’s not that big of a hassle, to be honest. Yet, Nyko believes that their Charge Block accessory line will be useful enough that gamers will pay up for the privilege of being able to wirelessly charge their controllers. After spending a week with the devices at home, I have to say I see the appeal.
Nyko’s Charge Block product comes in four different SKUs before factoring in color options. The Charge Block is available for both the PS4 and XBox One, and in Solo and Duo configurations; the designation indicates whether you receive a single Block, or two in tandem. The front of each Block can pop off, and a familiar Micro-USB plug can be seen, which can then be inserted into the back of another Block. Up to four Blocks can be daisy-chained in this manner, and the whole thing plugs in via USB cord into either the included wall adapter, or directly into your console. The wall adapter supports up to two Blocks, while the PS4 supports up to four Blocks on its single USB 3.0 connection; this is likely due to the wall adapter having a standard 5.0 V output.
Installation is easy; you plug in a little dongle into the back of your DualShock 4, which has metal contacts on its underside. When you’re done playing or want to switch controllers, you slot your controller onto the Block, and it slides right into place. Assuming your Block is wired up correctly, the sides of each active Block light up with two white LEDs. They flash when actively charging, stay solidly lit when the charge is complete, and stay off when nothing is on top. While the LEDs are very bright, they can become annoying if your console is in your bedroom at night; ideally, the LEDs could’ve turned themselves off after some time at complete charge. This is a minor complaint, however.
In case you didn’t think about it, that dongle becomes essentially a permanent piece on your DualShock 4. The device is so small, you cannot feel it while playing your games normally, and it also does not feel to add any noticeable weight to the controller. The controllers still sit on a level surface just as before. This is one of the least intrusive console accessory I have gotten my hands on. It simply adds convenience without getting in your way.
With all the news about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s battery woes, you may feel a little cautious at the thought of charging your DualShock 4 battery after every play session. Well, there’s some good news on that front: in our testing, it appeared that short sessions of under an hour didn’t seem to draw enough battery out of the controller to trigger a charge. What this means is that using the Nyko Charge Block shouldn’t deplete your DualShock 4’s battery any faster than normal wear-and-tear.
Nyko has created a very convenient accessory with the Charge Block line. While plugging in a Micro-USB cord to your DualShock 4 may not be high on your list of annoyances, once you have a Charge Block (Solo or Duo), you won’t want to go back. Wireless charging is in all the latest tech these days: smartphones, smartwatches, and now video game consoles. Installation is painless, and the ability to daisy-chain up to four blocks, even mix and matching between PS4 and XBox One, will be appreciated by multiplatform gamers who want wireless for all their current consoles. At $14.99 for the Solo and $24.99 for the Duo, if you have the money, our recommendation is to splurge for the Duo, since each unit’s individual price falls to $12.49. Get ready for a wireless charging future.
Review unit(s) received from manufacturer for review purposes. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.