While it is functional on a utilitarian level, Microsoft's play and charge feature for the excellent Xbox 360 wireless controller is a pain to use. It takes a very long time to charge the device and the idea that to do so you need to turn it into a wired controller during the charging process defeats the purpose. Into this problem steps Nyko's charging base for the Xbox 360. There's not much to say about a charging station. It either works well or it doesn't. This one works. On top of that, it looks cool. (Although not as cool as Nyko's PS3 charge station. Check out our feature on that one.)
The charge station uses a drop in design and Nyko's own batteries which will replace those that came with your wireless plug and play controllers. The fact that it plugs into a wall outlet instead of a USB connected to the Xbox 360 means that it should charge faster for, according to Nyko, up to 25 hours of play time. We didn't test it that long, but we did put it through some particularly long "Fallout 3" sessions and the batteries never let up. Storing the controllers in the charge base is simple and clutter-free. When we came back to get gaming, the controllers were ready to go.