Despite setting a first-day sales record and being generally well received by critics, the Nintendo 3DS has met with its fair share of complaints. From criticism of the narrow visual “sweet spot” for the system’s 3D effect to reports of related headaches and dizziness, a minority of gamers have found the system less than satisfying. But even those of us still enamored with our new handhelds can easily agree on at least a single flaw: poor battery life.
With a touted three to five hours of play time per charge, avid gamers likely find themselves forced to return their systems to the charging cradle daily. Adjusting things like brightness level or 3D depth and toggling off Wi-Fi can help eke out a bit more juice, but as these features play heavily into the full game experience I often find myself reluctant to do so. A new accessory from Nyko, however, has helped to ease the plight of this particular 3DS gamer.
Rather than simply replacing the system’s internal battery, the Power Pak + actually supplants the entire underside of the 3DS. Using the included mini screwdriver you remove the bottom casing and the 1300 mAh cell therein, and replace the works with Nyko’s super smooth, ultra-high capacity battery. The installation process itself is simple enough, but since the Power Pak + only comes in black those of us with Aqua systems do lose a bit of visual appeal.
This, coupled with the weight and bulk that it adds to the handheld, could have easily made the Power Pak + an outright failure. I’ll be the first to admit that the larger footprint can make lengthy sessions of button-mashers like Super Street Fighter IV utterly cramp-tastic, but the catch is it actually makes marathon sessions possible.
Though it does significantly increases the size of the system, the Power Pak + performs as advertised; even when set to comfortably high levels of brightness and 3D my system easily lasted twice as long as with the original battery. And if netting you six hours of regular play time isn’t enough to pique your interest, other more patient outlets have reached a nine hour benchmark using power-saving settings.
With a $20 price tag the Nyko Power Pak + is the first must-have 3DS accessory. The added bulk will likely render many system cases or protective shells unusable (though it does still fit nicely within my HORI Compact Case), but this is a more than a fair trade-off considering the gain in battery life. The Power Pak + charges using the standard 3DS AC adapter, but those concerned about losing the functionality of the charge cradle can pick up Nyko’s optional Charge Base for a mere $10 more. Either way the Power Pak + is the very easiest of recommendations.
WIRED: an affordable solution that double 3DS battery life, optional Charge Base available
TIRED: adds to system weight and bulk, won’t easily fit in some cases, single color option
Review materials provided by: Nyko