One of the nice things about the Wii is the wireless Wiimote. The Bluetooth controller is comfortable to use and doesn't feature a cord to tether your to the console. The add-on nunchuk though does require a wire that connects to the Wiimote in order for you to use it. Nyko's looking to set all those old nunchuks free from the cord with their aptly named Cord-Free wireless adapter for the Wii nunchuk.
The Cord-Free is a housing and dongle designed to work with the current Nintendo nunchuk. The housing enables a nunchuk to sit inside and the cord to be wrapped around the base and hidden in a rubber cover. The housing is also a transmitter and holds the power source consisting of two AAA batteries. For battery life, expect around 60 hours of use before you have to replace them. The housing is open on top and by the front buttons. With the nunchuk placed inside, the additional width produced by the case is pretty insignificant. I found the housing to be pretty comfortable too hold and something I didn't notice after a few uses. It does add a little weight to the nunchuk but I can honestly say I didn't notice it at all. The product also doesn't make the controller bottom heavy and overall I think the balance is still there when I hold it.
To hide the cord, you wrap it around the base and tuck it inside a rubber sleeve. The nunchuk plug then plugs into the front neck area of the Cord-Free device. The scheme hides away the cord well and the rubber sleeve not only makes it look better but helps keep it from being unwrapped. I did have a little problem with the placement of the plug. Since it sits in the front at the base of the nunchuk, I found the side of my pinky does rub on the top of the plug during gameplay so I had to consciously make myself grip the nunchuk a little higher.
In order to talk to the Wiimote without a wire, the Cord-Free includes a dongle which is plugged into the base of the Wiimote and captures the motion produced by the Cord-Free base. The dongle adds a few inches to the Wiimote but doesn't getting the way and you won't notice any added weight. You'll need to push in the dongle with a little force as it is possible to be plugged in but not snapped in all the way. The first few times it wiggled around even though it had a connection so a little stronger push finally locked the dongle in. The distance in between the dongle and the base can be as far as 15 feet. I don't know anyone that would play with their arms that wide out so 15 feet should be plenty. Syncing up the dongle with the unit was pretty hassle free. Both have an LED that blinks in unison when the two are talking to each other. The blinking might annoy people though so I wish there was a way to either mute it or make it a solid light. One way I guess would be to just tape over the LEDs if it becomes bothersome.
The design though does add bulk and doesn't look as clean. I'm not that big of a stickler for looks as long as it functions well but I know there are people that area. Some even say it looks downright ugly and I can't argue with that either. It's a matter of personal preference and opinion so if you don't mind the looks of the Cord-Free then what you get is a good product that produces lag free gaming freeing you from the cord of a previously owned nunchuk. It's definitely not for everyone and if you prefer a true wireless solution you will want to wait for Nyko's Kama Wireless Nunchuk but for those that want to make their current nunchuk wire free this product does the job well.
So how well does it perform? Not surprisingly, it works quite well. I say that because I expected the Nyko product to perform well and I used it at a few conventions early on. Playing through various games, I didn't notice any lag or weird gameplay experiences. I have to say I really enjoyed not being tied to the Wiimote with a cord. It really helped me out as my child had nothing to grab when I was using the setup. Being totally wireless, I'm wondering why Nintendo didn't go with this scheme in the first place. In any case, the Cord-Free does the job in taking and old nunchuk and freeing it from the bonds of the Wiimote.
The Cord-Free from Nyko certainly won't win any beauty pageants but it certainly works as advertised. The setup easily converts a current Wiimote nunchuk scheme into a wireless haven for gamers. While it does add a little weight to the nunchuk, it's nothing that you'll really notice. If you don't want to toss away that old nunchuk for a new wireless one by Nyko, the Cord-Free is a good substitute as long as you can get over the aesthetics.
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