By Rob Wright
The debate about which is better - PC gaming or console gaming - often breaks down into a simple discussion about controllers for shooters. PC gamers frequently lament the lack of accurate aiming ability with a basic console controller thumbstick, as opposed to the precision of mouse and keyboard. For most PC gamers who wish for a better way to control the crosshairs in console games, the FragFX PlayStation 3 Controller ($59.99) from Splitfish may be a welcome development.
The FragFX includes a mouse as well as a thumb controller for the PS3.
The FragFX is designed to bring mouse and keyboard functionality to the PS3, and looks very much like a basic mouse and keypad setup - sort of. In addition to a mouse and keypad that are colored black to match the PS3, the FragFX also features a left-hand grip controller with a thumbstick instead of a keyboard with WASD keys for movement. Thus, players still retain some traditional console controller functions, but precision mouse aiming.
The FragFX mouse includes the same four-button configuration as a basic PS3 controller, located on its left side. The mouse also includes a zoom button on top, and the left-hand grip offers a speed dial to increase the pace of the game as well as a "Frag" button to adjust mouse sensitivity. While the keypad itself is small, the mouse and left-hand grip work quite well together; the grip also acts as a Sixaxis motion controller just like a regular PS3 controller. The FragFX works with all PS3 games and is easy to connect to the console. If you know somebody who's looking for PC gaming comfort on this console, look no further.
Nyko Charge Stations
By Rob Wright
One unfortunate drawback of wireless console controllers, be they for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii, is a nagging power issue. Controllers gulp down their battery power before you know it, and gamers find themselves forced to shut down whatever game they're deep into to replace batteries or plug controllers back into their consoles - neither option is any fun. Thanks to Nyko Technologies' controller chargers, though, gamers won't have that problem anymore. Nyko offers charge stations for all three next generation consoles.
Although Nyko offers Charge Stations for the PS3 and Xbox as well, we shot Sarah with the dual Wii battery pack model.
The PlayStation 3 Charge Base ($39.99) holds four PS3 controllers and, like all three chargers, plugs into any standard wall outlet. PS3 controllers charge simultaneously through mini-USB ports on the charge base. The Xbox 360 Charge Station ($29.99) is slightly different: the station holds two Xbox 360 Wireless Controller batteries with LEDs to indicate when the batteries are fully charged. This means that gamers can have two batteries ready to swap into their controllers at any time.
The true gem of Nyko collection, though, is the Wii Charge Station ($29.99. It houses two Wii Remotes and keeps them topped up with rechargeable batteries that also come with the unit. Anyone who has played the Wii for more than a day knows how quickly motion controllers gobble up the power of the two double As inside its remote. Nyko's product swaps out regular batteries for two NiMH battery packs plus specially designed grip covers that are actually better than those on the original Wii Remote - these replacement covers include a small opening that exposes the NiMH batteries to the charge station connectors. When gamers finish playing with the Wii, simply park the Wii Remote into the charger station sitting upright, and its battery power will be replenished. Two controllers regain a full charge in eight hours. Avid Wii gamers can't help but treat the Nyko Wii Charge Station as a must-have product.