The PlayStation Vita is packed full of the latest technology, which consequently draws a lot of power from the handheld’s built-in 2210 mAh battery. Thus, the Vita needs to be charged after only 3-5 hours of playtime, depending on the strain you’re putting on the battery. And with dedicated handheld gaming hardware offering the ability to play while on the go, it’s often used when traveling—only to be hindered by the relatively short battery life.
Enter Nyko’s Power Grip for the PlayStation Vita, an ergonomic enclosure for the PlayStation Vita that provides a more comfortable grip and doubles the PlayStation Vita’s battery life.
As a solution to the Vita’s battery life woes, the Power Grip is a win on all fronts. Not only does its built-in battery keep the Vita running for an additional 3-5 hours beyond the Vita’s own battery’s 3-5 hours of runtime, but it does so for the price of just $24.99. By comparison, this is just half the price of Sony’s own first-party solution, and it does bring some added functionality to the table.
I suspected that the Nyko Power Grip for PS Vita would be great during those times I needed extra battery, but at first glance, it appeared as if the added grips would make the PS Vita too bulky, heavy, and less comfortable in general. Plus, I feared that the Power Grip could interfere with some of the Vita’s features—such as the rear touch screen. And while it does indeed make the rear touch panel a bit more of a reach, it adds enough comfort to justify the stretch.
The Power Grip has a soft rubberized finish to it, preventing slippage and clammy palms. The two handlebar-style grips are surprisingly comfortable and give more of a feeling of support when holding the PS Vita. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but when using the Power Grip, I’ve noticed that my hands and wrists cramp and fall asleep less than when I’m using the PS Vita alone. Now that I’ve been using it, I can’t imagine going on without it.
The design of the unit allows for access to all of the PlayStation Vita’s vital points, except it does block the game cartridge port. Poor design planning. However, the Power Grip easily and quickly can be locked or unlocked by securing itself into the Vita’s dock connector—so removing it to gain access is a breeze.
With the PlayStation Vita being a handheld system designed for use on the go, and having the Power Grip’s added battery life, it would seem that the pair would be a match made in heaven for users traveling with the Vita. But the sheer size and design of the Power Grip contradict its portability goals. The Power Grip won’t fit into any pant or coat pockets, and will have a had time fitting in any spare laptop sleeve pockets. Unless you’re traveling with a backpack or messenger bag—or planning on carrying the Vita/Power Grip combo around in your hands—it’s going to be difficult to bring the Power Grip with you. Then again, the PlayStation Vita isn’t the easiest to pocket device in the first place.
If you could use the added battery life and don’t mind carrying around a sizable companion for your Vita, then the Power Grip is a great purchase at $24.99. If space is tight, you may want to look into more portable solutions. However, because it is so comfortable, it’s a welcome addition to a PlayStation Vita that’s primarily used at home.