I didn’t mind the PlayStation 3 controller, but its evolution on the PlayStation 4 platform is an improvement in just about every way. The sticks, triggers, size and weight all feel much better.
There’s just that battery life.
Nyko hopes to fix that with the Nyko PowerPak for the PlayStation 4. The PowerPak follows the trend lately of extra batteries for your smartphones and other devices with built-in batteries. The battery plugs into the Micro USB port on top of your controller and, at the press of a button, acts as a charger for the controller.
In that way, it’s hard to argue against the accessory. Indeed, the PowerPak does increase the battery size as you’d want and if that’s all you care about, you can’t go wrong with this. That isn’t all there is to it, though.
The PowerPak is easy to install and from a visual standpoint, it matches the aesthetics of the PlayStation 4 controller quite well. Once it locks in, it looks like part of the controller. If it was, though, we wouldn’t see nearly as much praise heaped on this iteration of the DualShock.
For all the life to a given charge that the battery adds, it adds an equal amount of bulk, and it makes the controller kind of a pain to hold. Not only did the extra bulk displace my ring fingers, which was mildly annoying, it actually got in the way of me fully depressing the triggers on the controller. If you’re playing a game that doesn’t make heavy use of the triggers, this might not be a problem, but shooters and, ostensibly, racing games, for example, become downright unplayable. If Nyko could adjust the design of this device to make it fit the way players hold the controller better, it might be a useful one.
If you hold your controller such that you push the triggers with the tips of your fingers instead of the pads, this may not be a factor for you. If that’s the case – check this out. It extends the battery life, is easy to install and remove, and doesn’t add enough weight to be annoying. For the rest of us, though, an extra-long Micro USB cord is a better investment for those extra long gaming sessions.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, the PowerPak is $19.99 suggested retail price, and lower at some other retailers.