One of the best things about CES is getting to see all of the new third-party controllers and peripherals that will be coming out in the future. Power A rocked our Buyer's Guide back in November when we checked out their Power A Pro Pack mini Wiimote and nunchuck controller. On paper, it's a shrunken down Wiimote and nunchuck that are 35% smaller than normal and coated with a thin rubber shell. In your hand, it just feels a lot better than Nintendo's own controller, which will feel like a gawky piece of plastic as you've used the Power A a few times.
Power A will be introducing a new mini Wiimote later this year that takes AA batteries instead of AAA, offering a lot more power, and it will have the equivalent to Wii MotionPlus built right into the controller. It's not quite as small as the Pro Pack mini Wiimote, but is still about 25% smaller than the original controller. It also adds glowing buttons that can be cycled to different colors, including one that matches the controller itself. Of course, the lights can be switched off and they are planning a new range of colors for the product, including a nifty digital camo that I hope they produce.
These new controllers felt solid in the hand with bit more heft than the Pro Pack Mini, but still with that reduced size that just fits in your perfectly in your palm. They addition of AA batteries is great, as it means you'll have to swap batteries less often, and built in MotionPlus? I'm sold.
However, Power A isn't just about Nintendo's Wii. They also have new items coming up for the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, and even the Nintendo 3DS. Plus, more Pokemon and LEGO coming as well. Read on for more.
Here's a rundown about Power A's new items for this year:
Mini Pro EX Controller for Xbox 360 and PS3
- If shrinking down Wiimotes did it for Nintendo controllers, then why not bring it to the other consoles? Power A's Mini Pro EX controllers for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 shrink down the controllers into a tight little package, which admittedly felt surprisingly robust when I took it through Gran Turismo 5. Not that that any modern controller is as gargantuan as the original Xbox's "Duke" controller, but for a racing game or an FPS where your hands are going to be in a very similar position for a long time this feels a lot more comfortable. Glowing lights and metallic styling complete the package for an impressive little (and we mean little) controller. The PS3 version carries over the staggered analog stick layout from their popular PS3 Elite controller.
Air Flo Controllers for PS3 and Xbox 360
- Have you ever played Call of Duty or Halo for several hours in a row, only to find that the death grip on your controller has resulted in sweaty palms? Air Flo wants to fix that by pumping coolness through your controller with a two-speed fan that sucks in air through the back of a controller and hosing it out into your hands. The result is a nice (but not annoying) cool breeze that blows constantly onto your mitts. It might sound gimmicky, but I remember some white knuckle moments in Black Ops where I was trying to kill a billion soldiers, only to discover I needed to kick barrels over. This would have come in handy back then. Glowing TRON-esque lights add visual pizzaz to these controllers.
Pokemon and LEGO
- With the Pokemon Black and White Versions coming out this year, as well as the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Power A has some licensed Pokemon and LEGO accessories that provide bling to your Wii and DS all over again. Their Pirates Play and Build Controller is a lot darker than the multi-colored offering from last year, and provides some skull and bones fun. Pokemon will be getting everything from cases to styluses branded with your favorite ball-catching game.
- Power A has the official license from Nintendo for 3DS accessories, and they'll be putting out everything from screen protectors to full-sized protective cases and more, all branded with the Nintendo label. Power A's Nintendo DS starter kit were a very popular item, and they're continuing that by offering several different kits for the 3DS as well. The one I checked out was very hefty, and included things like earbuds, a car charger, screen protector, and a very hefty case. The 3DS isn't going to be cheap, and you're going to want to protect it in one of these cases.