Let me paint you a common gaming scenario…
You’re casually playing on the latest gaming release, and you get to a crucial moment within the game when the game pauses without any input from your end. “Why?” You instantly question yourself, and before you enter into a fit of frustration and rage you are soon prompted on screen that your wireless controller has run out of power. Even after seeing, and dismissing, the repeated warning messages you still manage to get annoyed at the whole situation you’re now in. You’re then forced to get up off your backside and begin the regular search for another ‘charged’ pad, or find yourself emptying your nearby remotes in a desperate attempt to jump yourself back into the game, whilst the game sits there, waiting on pause.
It is pretty safe to assume that you have encountered this common occurrence, especially with the introduction of the wireless controller – the device that is most commonly found alongside today’s current gen consoles. Although the Xbox has its removable battery packs for that quick power fix, the Sony PlayStation has us well and truly shut out in this area, forcing us to plug in our meter long USB cable into our DualShock pad and thus end up attempting to continue our game session with our noses only a few feet away from our large HD screens. This can make most gamers scream out for the need for a longer cable, or even a play and charge kit for Sony’s console…
Thankfully, Snakebyte has us covered here with their Play & Charge Kit for PlayStation 3 (RRP £14.99). This simple piece of kit has two functions in one. Not only can it charge your controller while the console is switched off, it also comes bundled with an ultra long USB cable, so that you can plug yourself in and still be at a comfortable distance away from your big screen display, whilst your PS3 controller is being simultaneously recharged.
Unlike the Xbox 360, charging your powerless PS3 controller whilst the console is switched off is not possible, although I do hope this is fixed via a firmware update in the future. Snakebyte has thought of this scenario and has given us a temporary solution with its Play & Charge Kit. You first plug the bundled USB AC/DC adapter into an available wall power-socket. Then connect one end of the USB cable into the USB port on the adapter and the other end into the PS3 controller. Switch on the power and watch you PS3 pack come back to life as it juices itself back up.
There maybe a few USB adapters like this that you may have laying around, or even tried to connect up to your powerless PS3 controller. Personally I’ve tried plugging in my Apple iPod USB charger to do the same task, but it will not work. It is all down to the AC Adapter you see, the Play & Charge Kit from Snakebyte has the right circuitry to charge the PS3 pad while automatically shutting itself off once the PS3 pad has been fully charged, a nice touch that doesn’t put strain onto the controllers battery.
So this is all well and good if you have the need to charge your pad/s while the PS3 is off. If you find yourself running out of power, mid-game, then plugging in the same bundled USB cable will top you up in the usual way too. The length of the cable is a bonus here, with a generous 3 meters, which is more than long enough to give you enough freedom of movement whilst gaming.
There isn’t much else that can be said about the Play & Charge Kit really, it does exactly what it says on the box. If I were nit picking I’d say the USB adapter could have possibly contained an additional port for multiple pad charging, but other than that the Play & Charge Kit delivers what its meant to do. I’d thoroughly recommend it to any gamer who finds themselves running regularly out of power whilst in the thick of the action.