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Microsoft  
Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit
Type: GameTech, Peripheral
From: Microsoft
Usage: Xbox 360
Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit
While Gillette has built a very successful business model around "giving away the razors to sell the blades," Microsoft seems to have a methodology all its own: "Overprice everything and let them eat cake."
Posted May 31, 2006
By SHAUN CONLIN, EVERGEEK MEDIA
 
For the Xbox 360 owner who has it all, guess what? There's more.

If you're a sucker for branded convenience, the Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit includes a self-contained NiMH battery that fits into your wireless Xbox 360 controller as well as a charger tower that plugs into a household electrical outlet. As a bonus for your US$30/CA$40 investment, the packaging is really tough and you'll feel like a hero once you and your electric carving knife get through it.

The battery itself allows for something around 25 hours of play off a single charge, after which you remove it and wait a couple hours for it to charge up again, which sounds like a 120 minute hassle, so Microsoft conveniently included a second dock space on the charger to accommodate a second self-contained 'box-branded battery of NiMHness, allowing you to swap out a dead one for a fresh one on-the-fly (or charge a second battery for a second wireless controller, obviously). However, wouldn't you know it, a second self-contained NiMH battery is not included in the "kit," but does sell separately for US$12/CA$15. So really, the Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit isn't really convenient unless you shell out a total of US$42/CA$55, in which case you have a great wireless power solution for nearly uninterrupted gaming.

Then again, there's always the wireless X360 controller tether, the Play and Charge Kit for US$20/CA$30 (for a battery and freakin' patch cord?!) which will charge your battery while you play (or go away), though that negates the whole wireless freedom thing and otherwise makes for a limp cord of dangling loneliness cluttering up your game space most of the time (unless you put it away after each use, in which case, you're anal and will proably go for the handsome little quickie charger anyway).

But here's the thing: you could buy 4 rechargeable AA NiMHs, which also fit into the Xbox 360 wireless controller, two at a time, plus an AA charger for about $20, aka a whole lot less. Or, you could buy a bulk-sized box of 50 generic, disposable AA alkaline batteries for about $20 and be good for a way long time--with a few spares for your other electronics to boot. But that would just be convenience at a fair price, not branded convenience at a Microsoft price.
 
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2.25 (out of 5)