Look, I do not know how much time you spend in the video game accessory aisle at your local Best Buy. I like games a lot, but I do not like the elegant surround headphones, the silicone covers for control, the bags to carry on the console or anything else that is not critical on those shelves. But charging the batteries in my Xbox One controller can be a hassle, so from time to time I'll take a look and see if anyone has found a superior method to the exchange of rechargeable AA batteries or the use of the Microsoft Play & Charge cable. .
There are lots of media that can hold and load the controllers of your gamepad, but I think they are a monstrosity. So that is not an option. In addition, most of them have a cable that escapes from the back and require their own power outlet. No thanks.
A few months ago, I came across Insignia's $ 20 battery charging station designed specifically for Xbox One S. And it's almost perfect. Microsoft should be doing this by itself. What a good device.
Insert it into the USB port of the console and then it is aligned to the left of the optical unit. There is a small padlock on the back that pushes the dots on the side of the Xbox for added security. There is no logo in the Insignia box indicating that this is an authorized Microsoft accessory, so I am almost surprised at how directly it is designed around the One S hardware. The charger has two battery packs at a time, with lights to indicate the state of charge. They are orange when charged and white when the battery is completely full. Two batteries are included in the box. Microsoft only provides you with a battery with the $ 25 Game and Charge Kit. It uses the USB power from the console for juice from the batteries, so there is no additional power cord to worry about.
I really liked this method while I had the One S. When playing alone, it allows you to always keep one battery charging while the other is in your wireless controller. Maybe it would be less convenient if you constantly use two gamepads for the multiplayer mode, but I never encountered a situation in which the Insignia loader was inconvenient. It is not necessary to connect the gamepad to the console to recharge it when there is always a new battery waiting.
In addition, there is still a USB 3 port for external hard drives or anything else that needs plugging. Battery packs charge fast enough. Some people seem to think that Microsoft's own batteries last longer, but it worked well for me.
But last month, I upgraded to the Xbox One X … and Best Buy (owner of the Insignia brand) does not seem to be making the same boot for the ultra-powerful Microsoft console. The USB port on the X is on the right side, so the current model simply will not work. I would not mind if the color does not match if I did it.
So for now I'm stuck with the Play & Charge kit. To make matters worse, it seems that it does not charge third-party battery packs, only those from Microsoft. Hopefully, Best Buy decides to put an updated model sooner rather than later.
Update: Dave Ryan on Twitter told me that Amazon also makes its own version of this. But again, only for the One S until now. Amazon charges the batteries at the top instead of the front, and as a result is a bit more bulky. The same concept, however.
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