Recharge Your Wallet

Posted on October 31, 2010


Not all gamers (like not all people) care about “being green” or being environmentally friendly, but who doesn’t like to save money?  A simple way gamers can help out the environment and save some moolah is by utilizing rechargeable batteries in your controllers. Here are some suggestions if you’re not sure what brand to purchase.


Microsoft’s Play & Charge Kit

When it comes to buying accessories, I almost always go for the original manufacturer’s product because they tend to be more reliable, and I like my electronics to match.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Price: $20 (cheaper online)

Components: One rechargeable battery back; lengthy usb charging cable

Overall thoughts: The only reason it doesn’t deserve a perfect score is that these batteries (and especially the kits that come with the red controller) don’t hold their charge like they’re supposed to right out of the packaging. Numerous gamers (including myself) have experienced issues with the batteries not holding their charge even though the directions were followed. (The package includes directions saying that it won’t hold its charge for very long initially, but will improve over time). Granted, it still receives a high score because when it does work properly, it’s a blessing. For those who play games long into the night solo or online with friends, nothing is more convenient than plugging in a cable to extend your play time. (PS- If you leave your controller plugged in once you turn off your system, it will continue charging.)


Nyko Charging Station for the Nintendo Wii

This is one model of the Nyko charging station. There is a more stylish one made by Nyko that’s about $10 more (view). You can also find stations that charge up to four controllers at once.

Score: 4 out of 5

Price: $25 (cheaper online)

Components: Two rechargeable batteries; additional rechargeable batteries can be purchased for around $10

Overall thoughts: An absolute must-have for those who play their Wii on a regular basis.  It would receive a perfect score if the rechargeable batteries had a longer, fuller lifespan. However, the price and the money it will save you on AA batteries gives it a high score.


Sony’s PlayStation 3

Be proud, PS3 owners, you don’t need to worry about purchasing rechargeable batteries because that’s how they are made! For those who were unaware, the PS3 controllers have rechargeable batteries built into them, so when they run low on juice, all you need to do is plug it in with the USB A to USB mini B cable it came with. The only downside is that the cable it comes with is annoyingly short, so it is unpleasant to try and play games while letting the controller charge. I solved this issue by purchasing a 10-ft cable online. However, for a stylish and convenient way of charging multiple controllers, here is one made by Energizer:

Score: 5 out of 5

Price: $25-$35 (usually cheaper online)

Components: Stylish charging dock that fits two PS3 controllers, charges another two with the USB cables (sold separately); AC power cord

Overall thoughts:  The controllers themselves get a perfect a score because 1) it is a rechargeable controller by design, and 2) the lifespan of the batteries are amazingly long.  (The dock also shares this score due to its stylish look and option to charge up to four controllers.)


Don’t Forget: There are many brands and models of charging stations and rechargeable batteries, most of them can be purchased cheaper online than in stores, and regardless of how often you game, a rechargeable battery will save you money in the long-run.

Note: Batteries CAN BE RECYCLED! Visit for information on how to do so.