Microsoft Play and Charge Kit for Xbox 360

Microsoft Play and Charge Kit for Xbox 360
  • Microsoft Play and Charge Kit for Xbox 360
  • Microsoft Play and Charge Kit for Xbox 360
  • Microsoft Play and Charge Kit for Xbox 360
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Simple to use, 30 hours in a single charge, low charge time, USB powered, Power Meter on dashboard, uninterrupted game play

Cons

  • None to speak of

Bottom Line

A brilliant idea and the perfect compliment to the wireless Xbox 360 controller, the Play and Charge kit is a must have for Xbox 360 owners.

Would you buy this?

One new and supremely useful feature of the Xbox 360 game console is the wireless controllers. However, as with any wireless device, power management is a concern. Running on a set of AA batteries, the controller lasts about 40 hours before you need to replace them. At about $8 for two batteries, this quickly becomes an expensive overhead for the luxury of wireless gaming.

Microsoft foresaw this problem and provided a solution for gamers who want to save a wad of cash. Made available at launch, the Play and Charge peripheral is a great idea and one that comes highly recommended for all 360 owners.

The device is a NiMH rechargeable battery pack which replaces the standard battery housing and can be recharged with a special USB cable. Recharge time varies, depending on how you use the controller during the charge time. Leaving the controller connected without using it will garner a result of about 4 hours for a full charge. The average charge lasts about 30 hours on the Play and Charge pack, which is a lot less than regular batteries but since it is rechargeable this loss of performance is negligible.

The finest feature of this peripheral is the fact that you can use it without interrupting your game. If you lose connection to your console during game play all you need to do is plug the charge cable into the front of the controller to continue playing. While you are playing, the Xbox 360 charges the controller. In addition, a meter is added to the Xbox 360 dashboard to let you know how much power you have left on the battery for those that want to charge before they lose the connection.

The cost of this pack is a little high for some but when you consider the savings of no longer needing disposable batteries, it isn't such a problem. You could buy regular rechargeable batteries instead but to make them effective, you would need to buy at least four to allow for uninterrupted play and they would work out costing about the same in the long run. We highly recommend the Play and Charge pack to anyone using a wireless controller for their Xbox 360; the convenience alone is worth the price tag.

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