With the Xbox One containing three USB ports – two on the back, one on the side – and the console itself having a limited amount of HDD space, if you pick up an external drive to provide more storage space, you’re already down to two available ports. If you have a need to charge two controllers at a time, you’re all done. Not only that, but you have to have an unsightly cable hanging out of the side of the console. Of course, when new peripherals are released – a console-powered headphone set, or the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner for example – you’ll be chopping and changing cables all day.
That’s where the PDP Energizer Charging System comes into play.
Contained in the box is a piece of plastic containing the two charging ports, another piece of plastic that acts as a sort of tripod foot, two rechargeable battery packs, two controller battery covers, and an AC adapter. To assemble, you just clip the foot to the charging section (which was a bit fiddly on our test unit due to a slightly strangely cut edge on one of the pieces, but once it was clipped on, it wasn’t going anywhere) and connect up the AC adapter. Replace your controller batteries and battery covers, and slide your controllers into the stand until they click. Instantly, the area around the top of your controllers will light up – green for charged, red for charging – and you’re on your way.
The secret here is the battery covers. They each have a small rectangular hole in the center, which exposes a conductive plate. A matching plate on the charging stand means that you don’t need to deal with cables at all, mess around with replacing batteries, or play around with the battery cover. Just drop your controller onto the stand, and you’re done. As it’s powered from the mains, you instantly get at least one of your USB ports back. Not only that, but as the device isn’t all that bad to look at – the light-up parts give it a bit of a TRON effect, in fact - you can put the device anywhere you want. It could sit on the table in front of your gaming couch for example, rather than needing to be tethered to the console.
The batteries it comes with are 1200mAh Energizer Recharge Battery Packs, which the packaging claims provide “up to 40 hours of playtime.” We’d say that may be pushing it a little, in all honesty. We managed to get a solid 25 hours out of a single charge – certainly not longer than a standard Xbox One Play ‘n Charge battery, that’s for sure – but given that the charger works as a sort of controller shelf too, we’re not seeing it as a problem. When we’re done playing, we just drop the controllers onto the charger, and we know firstly that they’ll be charged and secondly, that we don’t have to play a round of The Great Controller Hunt before we can play.
You do lose the freedom of being able to charge the controller whilst playing, which could be an issue if you only have one controller to hand. If you have two, you can just use the charged one whilst the other one is charging of course, but whether this is a game breaker or not really depends on your situation.
The PDP Energizer 2x Xbox One Charging System is available for $29.99 in the US, and £21.99 in the UK – cheaper, if you look around – and when you consider that an official Play ‘n Charge kit for a single controller retails for only $5 less in the States, and £3 less in the UK, this becomes a bit of a no-brainer. The PDP Energizer Xbox One Charging System is a winner in our eyes – it does exactly what it claims to do, and does it well.