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    « REVIEW: X-Men Arcade | Main | CES11: Dolby Digital Does Critial Damage »

    CES11: A Fistful of Nyko

    Written by Mark Hagan

    We know what you’re thinking, just another set of third party controllers and devices we don’t want or need. Trust me, I know where you're coming from. When it comes to choice of controllers, especially in the console world, quality has usually been in the hands of the parent company. In the past, licensing restrictions and simple competing economics forced 3rd party manufacturers like Nyko to choose cheaper materials to undercut their 'parents'. Now it seems those days are far behind.

    Nyko came out, excuse the pun, guns ‘a blazin’ at this year's CES. They introduced a new line of impressive PlayStation Move peripherals -- the assault rifle inspired Power Shot and pistol modeled Perfect Shot -- for all your digital marksmanship needs. The Power Shot can be configured to be used with or without both halves of the Move system by way of a removable grip which can house the navigation controller, and can also be turned toward the left or the right, making it a comfortable fit for southpaws as well. The wildly popular Wiimote Perfect Shot will see an upgrade with the Perfect Shot Pro, the main difference being added vibration feedback. Though no colors have been finalized for the PS3 or Wii versions, the digital camo paint job we got our hands on was pretty badass, so we're going to hope that colorway makes it onto store shelves.

    The PS3 also sees two new gamepads that we were really impressed with. Named Raven, one variant comes in the standard Dual Shock layout, the other features alternate Xbox 360-inspired analog stick placement. In both of its forms, the Raven has L2 and R2 triggers, as well as a toggle switch on its back to swap the mapping of the 1 and 2 buttons. Supremely handy for the PS3 games which require you to aim and shoot with L1 and R1 respectively, and very good news for the Dual Shock haters out there. The weight and velvety feel of the controller had all of us drooling to pick one up immediately. I was so impressed with the feel of the Raven, I would drape myself in them if it were socially acceptable.

    The 360 wasn’t neglected despite Microsoft's harsh third party licensing restrictions. Though the days of RROD seem to be behind Redmond, the infamous Intercooler accessory got a very stylish upgrade to match the new Xbox 360 Slim body. The Intercooler STS diverts the hot air jetted out of the console's side vent to the front of your system, and in theory away from your home theatre setup, or whatever you may have stacked near. The “TempSmart” technology also enables the device to automatically sense when and how hard the cooling system needs to work. Though I'm skeptical of its practicality, it does turn your 360 into a Ferrari-looking monster of sex appeal, but the question remains, what is the Intercooler STS compensating for? We’ll leave that for you to decide. The black gloss finish may make your matte black 360 Arcade look a tad out of place, if aesthetics are you’re thing.. And we know they are.

    Nyko will also be releasing some very cool controller docks for the PlayStation Move and Nintendo Wiimote. The LED notification rings had us mesmerized when we dropped in our exhausted motion controllers. These charge bases will be available in dual and quad charge configurations, assuring even Goro or Kintaro's controllers will never run out of juice.

    The 3rd party peripheral world is a scary one. It is usually a case of buyer beware and you get what you pay for scenarios. Nyko has really raised the bar the last few years and have produced well built and attractive add-ons and game pads. Look for most of these products to hit store shelves early this spring at incredibly reasonable prices. Stay tuned for more news when they release.

    Check out the gallery for more shots of Nyko's upcoming products!

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