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E3 2010: Vogel's TwistDock for the PlayStation 3 (Impressions)

Posted by: Tina at 6/19/2010 11:36 PM
E3 doesn’t just show off upcoming games and hardware developments while proving/disproving rumors. There are also a myriad products to be discovered on the floor, one of which was Vogel’s TwistDock for the PlayStation 3. When the original trailer for the console accessory was released, it seemed to be rumored to be the next PlayStation, particularly given an announcement date of June 2010 (aka during the Electronic Entertainment Expo).


The TwistDock accessory for the PS3 slim (which also fits the phat) not only docks your console in the optimal position for ventilation, but also organizes and charges your controllers. Instead of harassing your controller’s USB ports with constant plugging in and out, the TwistDock comes with an attachable port add-on to keep Sony’s ports protected and unscathed. It also protects your controller from siting in a harmful position, although I always make sure to take heed as to the best placement to minimize destruction on them.

Nonetheless, the TwistDock has a very stable and uncluttered docking station for both your controls. The advantages, beyond protecting your USB port on the controllers, also include being able to charge them without the PlayStation 3 being on. Since charging is not mediated through the console’s computer, Vogel’s has created a fast-charge system. An indicator light will notify you of the battery’s status: whether it be dead (red), charging (yellow), or charged (green). Any system that decreases the amount of exposed wires is always a welcomed benefit, too.

If you feel like charging any of your other controllers (such as a guitar controller) or even your other gadgets, there is a stock of more USB ports to plug and charge them comfortably and neatly. Vogel’s is certain that most storage options for the controllers eventually incite warranty issues by either desensitizing the buttons by constant pressure from storage in drawers and the like, as well as constant use of the charging port.

Vogel’s has been known to work previously on accessories for flat screen television sets but, noticing the low quality accessories already in the market for gaming consoles, they decided to turn their efforts toward that direction. The TwistDock has two mottos, one of which proclaims, “Level Up PS3.” The insinuation here is twofold. Firstly, Vogel’s is attempting to level up the quality of game accessories.

The level up quality also speaks to the design of the dock, which takes advantage of Manhattan’s architectural design regarding skyscrapers. You can definitely discern the similarities between the idea of maintaining a breadth of real estate with buildings erected in New York City and maintaining the real estate of your media center. Heat distribution is most optimal at this position. After tearing a PlayStation 3 apart, Vogel’s determined that the maze of plastics placed for guiding airflow would be best utilized from an upright position with airflow coming directly from the top.

There’s an additional package of cables you can pick up (including the HDMI cables) that fit the TwistDock more appropriately, clearing the extensions of wires from view as much as is physically possible. If you’re not a stickler for neatness to go this far, you can use the cables already at your hands.

So, how did they do it? Roughly 6,000 PS3 gamers contributed to Vogel’s research by answering an assortment of questions in order to gauge the issues with PS3 storing. They determined that the biggest issue was the mess of wires and inability to stack your other electronics on the PS3. Given its slightly curvaceous design, the PS3 isn’t the most fitting as a base for other electronics and hence the issue of minimized real estate. Why start with the PS3? The answer is simple: the PlayStation 3 (particularly at the time of the Slim’s conception) is the most expensive console, and Vogel’s therefore deduced that PS3 users would be the most likely to want top-of-the-line accessories for it.

While they are currently focusing on bringing the TwistDock for the PlayStation 3 to retailers by Christmas time, aiming at a selling price of $99, Vogel’s is keeping in mind the popularity of other consoles and admitted to working on prototypes for other undisclosed console docking stations that they will release by the end of the year to the next year. Pre-orders are currently being taken in Holland, with the first products being shipped the first of July in the Netherlands. They are planning for more in-depth announcements in the first week of September, when they will be releasing pricing and availability details.