Nyko, champion of useful accessories-we-wanted and useful accessories-we-didn't-know-we-wanted alike, had some new hardware to show on the E3 floor. Let's take a look at their three major pieces:
- The Nyko Free Fighter was a professional-grade arcade stick, boasting the added quality of ambidexterity via a compact modular design. The joystick component and button components could be detached and then switched, and could even remain in a separated position via use of an included cable. Extra features included four programming macro buttons, as well as speed-programmable turbo operations. The components were as high-quality as one would expect given the significant asking price, a solid $179.99. You'll be able to get your hands on the Free Fighter in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- The Nyko PlayPad and PlayPad Pro were controllers designed specifically for use with mobile devices (iOS and Android), and should both retail for under $50 in Q4 2012. Both offered a robust, HID-compliant (hardware standard) controllers, though the issue is that apps need to be specifically programmed to take advantage of the hardware. Nyko's solution? An app called "Playground", which allows input mapping from the controller to a touch surface. For instance, the app allows the "A" button to correspond to a button touch or swipe that the user can define via a snapshot of the game itself. It's a shockingly natural way to include accurate controller support in titles not specifically designed for it, and should come in handy with more advanced titles that can't really get by with touch-only controls, such as 2-D fighters. Both controllers were solid and felt well built, though the PlayPad Pro had a significant advantage in comfort.
- Finally, the Nyko PowerGrip Pro is an inclusive solution for the Nintendo 3DS, serving simultaneously as a protective case, expanded battery pack, and Circle Pad Pro for those titles that support a second slidepad. The battery numbers in particular were impressive: you'll get anywhere from two to three times the charge of the Nintendo 3DS alone. Admittedly, the unit added some real bulk to the 3DS and would no longer be suitable for pockets, but if you don't mind the extra pounds, it's a solid option. The PowerGrip will retail for only $29.99, and just like the others, should be released in Q4 2012.