Tag Archives | Nyko

Nyko Solves Kinect’s Small Apartment Problem

When Microsoft launched Kinect for Xbox 360 last November, it came with one big gotcha: You need at least six feet of open space between you and the motion-sensing camera, and preferably more. If you had a small apartment, Kinect was not for you.

Finally, third-party peripheral maker Nyko is trying to solve that problem with Zoom for Kinect, a $30 clip-on accessory that’s supposed to decrease the amount of open space required. Whereas Kinect’s ideal range is 8 feet to 10 feet, Zoom for Kinect reduces the ideal range to between 6 feet and 8 feet.

When trying out the Zoom for Kinect at Nyko’s E3 booth, I didn’t notice any issues with sensitivity. Actually, I was able to get within one arm’s length of the Kinect and still have my movements detected, although players have to stand farther back when more than one person is involved. The Xbox 360 only warned me to back off when I got within a foot of the device.

Zoom for Kinect is nothing more than a set of wide-angle lenses that sit in front of the Kinect camera. The attachment slides over the Kinect unit and locks into place when the lenses match up. The idea is so simple that I’m surprised Microsoft isn’t selling its own version, but I’m glad someone has given consideration to folks who don’t live in luxurious open spaces (read: college students, New York residents).

The Zoom for Kinect peripheral goes on sale August 16.


Nyko One-Ups Nintendo With Wii Wand+

Despite the Wii’s innovative motion controls, Nintendo’s Wii Remote is nothing special to hold, especially compared to the elaborate design of an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 controller. That makes fertile ground for Nyko, whose third-party Wii Remotes, or Wands, feel just as mediocre for $10 less.

At CES, Nyko is showing off the Wand+, which is the same size as a regular Wii Remote, but includes the functionality of Nintendo’s accuracy-boosting Wii MotionPlus dongle, no attachments required. Best of all, the Wand+ will sell for $40 when it goes on sale in late February — the same price Nintendo charges for a standalone Wii Remote (Nintendo’s MotionPlus attachment costs another $20).

There are some other nice design flourishes, too, like a soft coating and rubber backing that includes comfortable grooves over the rear battery pack. And it comes in partial or all black.

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An Abundance of Cool Console Controllers

E3 featured a lot of brand new controller accessory announcements, but these slightly less prominent new products, from DreamGear, Nyko,  and PDP were almost drowned in the hype tsunami over input devices like Microsoft’s camera-based Project Natal.

Finally, Finally, Finally: Xbox-like controls for the PS3

shadow1Gamers with large hands have suffered with the Playstation dual-shock-style controller for more than 10 years. Ever since the Xbox first appeared on the scene, with its comfortable, ergonomic controller, Playstation gamers have longed for a crossover controller that features the analog-stick layout the Xbox uses. Well, the wait is finally over. The DreamGear Shadow is a third-party wireless gamepad for the PS3 which features the asymmetrical Xbox-type analog-stick orientation, on a pad with a slightly grippy rubberized texture, and with nicely curved trigger buttons to boot. With an MSRP of $60, some desperate PS3 players will probably be able to forgive the fact that the Shadow requires a USB dongle for connectivity.

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