Nyko Energy Pak - Accessory Review

Never Change Batteries in Your Balance Board Again

Nyko Energy Pak
A "port relocator" makes it easy to recharge your balance board. Nyko

Pro: Nice design, saves batteries.
Con: Quality control issues have resulted in a small percentage of duds. 

I dream of a world where everything is rechargeable. A world where I don’t have a drawer full of batteries, some of which seem to have died. A world where I never have to open up a little compartment and put in batteries, paying careful attention to their positive/negative orientation. For me, Nyko’s Energy Pak for the Wii Balance Board brings that dream one step closer to reality.

The Design: Nicely Done

Normally, the Balance Board requires 4 AA batteries, which you replace whenever you notice the board has stopped responding. Nyko replaces these batteries with a battery pack.

The design is rather clever. Once you put in the battery pack and attach a “port relocator” to the bottom of the board, it appears as though the power input port is a natural part of the Balance Board. You don’t remove the battery pack to charge it, but simply plug the power cord into that little socket. Voila, a rechargeable Balance Board.

Quality: Some Defective Units Make This a Gamble

The Energy Pak worked fine ... after Nyko sent me a replacement for the first one they sent me, which didn’t work at all. After that first failure I checked the user reviews on Amazon.com and found that consumer experiences with the Energy Pak varied widely. There are an alarming number of people who bought defective units.

If you buy one that works, it’s a well-designed device, but beware of lemons.

The PR guy I dealt with said that Nyko is “aware of this issue but it has been very limited, they've only had to replace a "handful" of units.” This is quite possible - my experiences with Nyko have generally been quite positive, and user reviews are always impacted by tendency of disgruntled customers to put more effort into conveying their experiences - but it is a problem worth mentioning.

Conclusion: I Liked It Once Nyko Replaced the Bad One

Offering 30 hours of play time when fully charged, the Energy Pak is, when it works, a wonderful way to skip battery hassles. My ideal world isn't here yet, but with every electronic device I don't need to put batteries in, it gets a little closer. Thanks Nyko, for getting me one step closer.

UPDATE: While the first Nyko Energy Pak didn't work, that replacement is still working almost a decade later. True, I don't use my Balance Board much nowadays, but the Energy Pak actually lasted longer than my first Balance Board did, and is still working in my second one.

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