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Xbox One Play and Charge Kit Review
on 22 November 2013
I will keep this review short and to the point with everything you need to know to base your decision on.
Firstly this is the Official Battery Pack and cable for the Xbox One Wireless Controller. On the back of the controller is the plastic door, which when you slide it off you will find the battery compartment. You can either use 2x AA Batteries or you can place this battery pack into the compartment (the pack neatly fits into the battery compartment and doesn't rattle).
Essentially, when you've installed the battery pack you have a built in battery (with the advantage that it can be replaced later down the road as lets be honest, batteries don't last forever). The micro USB cable that comes with the battery pack is a decent length at 2.8m and feels sturdy, both end connectors are of a high quality and fit into the controller and console well. There is an LED charging light which is yellow while charging and then turns white when fully charged, sadly as of yet you can't check the battery charge level through the dashboard as you use to be able to do on the 360.
Now onto some great news, when the controller is plugged into the console using the charging cable it disables the wireless functionality of the controller and it instantly becomes a fully wired controller, sending both data and taking power from the cable, while at the same time disabling the battery while it charges which takes a total of 4 hours. Even better news is when the console is in standby mode the battery pack can still be charged meaning you don't need to leave the console switched on.
On the issue of how long it lasts on a full charge, well I got this with my console last night at a launch party and played through the night, I would say I've gone around 7 hours and the battery is still going strong! I did ask the manager at GAME and he said they are projected to last around 30 hours on a full charge when new, aided by the fact that the new controller uses "WiFi Direct" technology which is quicker than standard wireless but also uses less power at the same time!
Pros: No more disposable batteries * the battery pack fits well into the controller and doesn't rattle * 4 hours to fully charge and it can charge in standby mode * the cable is a decent length and feels like it will last * good value given how much disposable batteries costs * Last a long time on a charge
Cons: other than not being able to check the charge level through the console there are none.
VERDICT: Some people will say it's wrong that you have to buy a battery pack in the first place and that it should be built in, yet I look at it the other way, if it's built in completely and can't be removed then you have to fork out for a new controller when the battery dies and they're not cheap. I love the fact that when it's plugged into the console you effectively have a wired controller and the fact it can be charged while the console is in standby mode is a bonus. This is essential if you're serious about gaming and it will save you loads of money in the long run as disposable batteries are expensive as we all know!
UPDATE 8th December 2013: I am consistently getting 22+ hours from the battery, one tip i would give is to remove the battery pack when the controller isn't being used or charged as this does seem to help hold its charge!
UPDATE February 2014: There has since been an update to the Xbox One Console which has added a battery level indicator at the home screen