When I first received Nitho’s Xtra Battery Pack for the 3DS, I was the slightest bit confused. I’ve seen my fair share of products designed to extend the meager playtime of Nintendo’s newest handheld, but this accessory was noticeably different.
Unlike most other peripheral manufacturers, who tend to limit their accessories to basic black, Nitho took great pains to perfectly match their Xtra Battery to the candy-colored top shell of the Aqua Blue 3DS unit. Moreover, while solutions like Nyko’s original Power Pak+ replace the original system power cell, the Xtra Battery instead clips effortlessly to the back of the system. Still, while these aspects of the design are interesting, the truly strange part is what the Xtra Battery lacks.
Though it includes handy cutouts so as not to block the left and right shoulder buttons, Nitho’s solution covers the back of the 3DS system entirely. This means, of course, that there is no access at all to the IR port or a stored stylus (not to mention the game cartridge currently in place). After a bit of head-scratching I came to realize that I was, as the kids say, doing it wrong. The Xtra Battery Pack isn’t a constant solution for the 3DS‘s paltry power. It is instead a handy emergency charger.
The Xtra Battery’s 2000 mAh cell easily charges via the original 3DS AC adapter or the included USB cable. The low profile device can then be slipped into your carry-on for long trips or your system case for those terrifying moments when your battery indicator starts to blink before the next convenient in-game save point. When the internal 3DS battery gets low, simply attach the Xtra Battery Pack and press the conveniently located button to charge your 3DS even when access to AC power isn’t feasible.
Not only does this make it a great solution for the traveling gamer, but also for those who want extended playtime — up to six additional hours — without the bulk associated with other battery solutions. At an MSRP of $19.99, it’s a nice supplemental power source for the 3DS that doesn’t break the bank. The only problem? This accessory won’t be available at retail until Q1 of 2012.
Review materials provided by: Nitho