Being in the gaming peripheral space must be a strange gig. The products made are designed around constantly trying to figure out the needs of gamers and making it, but never being as exciting as the newest software announcement. This is the world Nyko inhabits. They are constantly working to make a gamer’s life more convenient. This was the theme of their E3 booth, as they showed off items that makes life more convenient, less nauseating and less prone to being filled with the screams of freshly stepped on cats.
First on the tour was their Charge Blocks. There are versions of these for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; they are simple black blocks that allow the gamer to click a controller in place for a quick charge. Designed to sit on a coffee table next to a couch or recliner, they can also be connected with each other to make a “stack.” This means that only one outlet would be needed to charge multiple controllers. The PS4 version is fifteen bucks for one or twenty five for a pair, whereas the Xbox One version is twenty for one or thirty for two. The price difference is because Nyko includes a rechargeable battery pack for the X1 controllers.
Nyko also has a pair of devices that plug into the controllers themselves. One is a microphone/chat speaker, dubbed the SpeakerCom, that allows the player to skip wearing a headset, or for a concerned parent to monitor what their child is hearing. The chat comes in freely, but the mic is always muted unless the player presses a convenient button on the bottom to speak, walkie-talkie style. This guy will be going for twenty five dollars. The other controller plug in option is a hand cooling fan, the Intercooler Grip, meant for the sweaty gamer. That one goes for twenty.
Considering the recently launched VR headsets, Nyko noticed a couple of things that they can release to help. Motion sickness is a common complaint from heavy users of the device, so Nyko released an acupressure wristband, the VR Motion Band. A simple band with a bead to be positioned a bit lower from where the hand meets the wrist, these are colored black and red to appeal more to a gamer. When most people hear about these things, they tend to scoff. Any veteran of a cruise ship will attest to these, though. They work. Nyko will be charging ten a pop for these.
The final item they had to show is a device called the VR Guardian. The whole thing is made up of four motion sensors and a wristband. The player sets the cameras around the floor, simulating room scale, and then wears the wristband. If the player crosses the barrier that these create, or if someone or something besides the player encroaches on the space, the wristband will vibrate, alerting the gamer. Considering that pets and children tend not to know when they aren’t wanted (which is always), this seems like it could be a useful solution. The price for this set up is currently being decided, but will be around one hundred or less.