NYKO Wand

Review

posted 12/2/2009 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
One Page Platforms: Wii
I didn’t test the Wand with WiiMotion Plus (I don’t have one yet), and while the earliest Wand models aren’t compatible, Nyko guarantees that all recent Wands will work with the add-on and if you have one that doesn’t work, they’ll give you a free firmware update that adds compatibility.
The Wand comes with its own rubber jacket and wrist strap, very similar to Nintendo’s but colored in Nyko blue. The Wand might function equally as well as the Wii remote, but overall I prefer how it looks and feels, much more like a video game controller than something stolen from Steve Jobs’ R&D lab.

The other half of the Core Pak is a corded version of the Kama, Nyko’s wireless Nunchuk that was released a year ago. This Kama might not be wireless but it gives you an extra feature by using Nyko’s Trans-Port technology. The Wand’s accessory socket is similar to the Wii remote’s Nunchuk jack, but lets the Wand communicate digitally with compatible Nyko accessories. You can plug a regular Nunchuk or other Wii accessory into the socket and it’ll work just fine, but Nyko accessories take advantage of the proprietary Trans-Port.


The Wired Kama, for example, has a rumble motor that mimics the feedback you get from the Wand, so any rumble you feel in the Wand also happens in the Kama. This is a nice extra feature—both Nintendo’s Nunchuk and Nyko’s wireless Kama have no force feedback—and Nyko promises Trans-Port tech will be used in a whole line of peripherals they have planned. It’s definitely superior to the clunky mechanical methods Nintendo uses in its Zapper and Wheel shells.

In terms of ergonomics Nyko’s product once again trumps Nintendo’s. The Kama doesn’t look as elegant as the Nunchuk but it’s a whole lot more comfortable. The Kama’s body is significantly wider and its underside is coated with the gray rubber that’s become a staple of the Nyko line; both changes make for a more solid grip. The base for the control stick is circular instead of the octagonal socket Nintendo’s been using since the N64, and I found it allows for finer control. The C and Z buttons are wide and rectangular, and the Z button has a sloping plastic lip to keep your finger from slipping off. To top it all off the Kama’s cord is several inches longer than the Nunchuk’s and includes a Velcro strap for bundling the cord, similar to a laptop power supply.

The best part about all this? Both the Wand and Wired Kama are cheaper than their first party counterparts, bundled or sold separately. On their own the Wand goes for $35 and the Kama for $15, and the Core Pak is $50. Nyko did what Nintendo should have done from the beginning: bundle both halves of the controller together, and price them competitively. If you’re in need of an extra Wii remote and Nunchuk, don’t drop $60 on the Nintendo peripherals. Save ten bucks with the Nyko Core Pak—the Wand and Kama are overall superior, and hey, even the packaging looks cooler!


A
Nyko has outdone Nintendo again with the Core Pak, their answer to the Wii remote-Nunchuk combo. Both controllers come bundled together and have features and styling that Nintendo's offering can't match, and at $50 it's just a better deal.



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