Console gaming does not have an enormous presence at CES, but popular accessory manufacturer Nyko brought a few new toys to the show. Nyko's new battery packs for the PS4 controller and the PS Vita will not redefine gaming on Sony devices, but they could come in handy for longer play sessions.
Tom's Guide tried out Nyko's new Sony accessories and what we found was simple but practical. The PS Vita (2000 Series) Power Grip and the PlayStation 4 PowerPak (both $19.99) focus on keeping Sony devices charged without mussing up the systems' natural designs.
Of the two products, the Power Grip was the more dynamic. The PS Vita 2000 is a slimmer, redesigned version of the Vita that's out in Japan but has yet to hit the United States. The Power Grip is a frame with one handle on each side that locks into the Vita via microUSB.
In addition to giving players a more console-like way to grip the handheld system, the Power Grip acts as a secondary battery pack. Nyko claims that the frame effectively doubles the battery life of the Vita, which could be useful for long trips or for gamers who make use of the Vita's Remote Play connectivity with the PS4.
(Streaming PS4 games onto the Vita generally works well, but can play merry hell with the unit's battery life.)
We found that the Power Grip was comfortable to hold and added very little weight to the Vita, but until we try the unit for ourselves, it will be hard to say whether it really increases the battery life twofold. The frame will be available when the Vita 2000 Series gets a formal U.S. release date.
The PowerPak plugs directly into the rear of the PS4 controller, and felt very unobtrusive. Nyko representatives explained that they designed it to conform to the existing DualShock 4 design, and it feels just as comfortable to hold as an unadorned controller. Although Nyko asserts that this device will double the PS4 controller's battery life, we will need to confirm that with a full battery test.
Nykos CES presentation was, in a lot of ways, like the company itself: unassuming, but potentially very useful, especially if you're about to embark on a marathon gaming session of eight hours or more.