We caught up with the NYKO folks at Digital Experience on Wednesday and saw some of the new products (and John’s initial impression of the new Kama), but our Thursday meting still had a couple of items we hadn’t seen yet. These included the new Wand for the Wii and the Metal Pedal for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The Wand has subtle differences from the Wii remote, but it is the exact same shape and size. The changes are mostly cosmetic or designed to alter the appearance, but the trigger, battery cover and the port on the bottom are completely different. The trigger and battery cover are coated in textured rubber for better grip, while the bottom port is designed to allow for NYKO peripheral integration (Trans-Port mapping technology) into several other products from the new line. Some of the buttons and lights are moved around slightly, but in the same general area on the surface. I played with it for a while, including an integrated gun-grip unit, and it seemed to work well without any noticeable issues and was very responsive. Overall, it felt real good in my hand and would have been tough to find any real difference from the Wii remote that could impact how we use the remote to play games.
UPDATE: DAN Here is a more eloquent description from NYKO of what Trans-Port technology is. It offers things the Wii Remote cannot do:
Trans-Port allows the A and B buttons on the controller to be digitally remapped to compatible accessories. Currently, the Wii Remote cannot do this and, instead, compatible accessories (such as the Wii Zapper and Perfect Shot) use a mechanical trigger to activate the B button, with no capability to activate the A button (must reach over and depress manually, directly on the Wii Remote itself.
The Metal Pedal was announced in the middle of December along with the Kama, Wired Wing and Charge Station Quad and was as good in person as the announcement suggested. Sean took the challenge of playing Rock Band on the PlayStation 3using the double pedal setup using two of the Metal Pedals. Sean said the response was very good and the feedback was solid. The Metal Pedal is constructed of durable plastic and had a metal plate on top, heavy duty spring, spacers to prevent it from being pushed two far down and rubber feet to grip all floor surfaces.
Both of these look to be keepers from NYKO when they hit later this year. The Metal Peddle will ship with a splitter and retail for $19.99, with availability sometime in Spring 2009. The Wand will retail in the $30-$40 range when it hits retail. We expect to have full reviews up on both these products when they ship to retail later this year.