While wandering the hallowed halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, we happened to find a lot of junk. And not just worthless products that nobody needs, but also junk that makes one wonder what kind of business strategy can be behind selling a product that everyone else makes. There has to be a limit to how many different approaches one can take to heapdphones while keeping the cost down, but the answer to that riddle did not lie in the row after row of headphones in the North Hall.
The Central Hall was home to the super booths, like Samsung and LG, which each was easily half the size of a suburban Wal-Mart. Within all that, we found a bastion of light coming from a booth that had something we actually care about – gaming. The booth belonged to Nyko.
The big news with Nyko was expansion into co-branding products. Nyko is known for their gaming accessories, usually in the form of branded controllers, charging stations and that snazzy zoom lens for the Kinect. Well now through an unlikely pairing, the company is striking out into new territory. And who would make up the other half other this unlikey pair, you ask. None other than Yo Gabba Gabba. That’s right, Nyko has paired up with the amazingly popular kids show to producce 2 co-branded prducts.
The first product is the Brobee Hip Pack. The face of the green furry fellow makes up the main storage of this fanny pack. With two seperate compartments inside, there’s just enough room to carry your electronic device and some extra accessories. The hip pack is designed to accommodate the Nintendo 3DS, but if you’re a fan of the series or know someone that is, this pack can be used to fit just about any device the size of a 3DS. Oh, and did we mentiion that Brobee’s mouth is removable so that his expression can be changed on a whim?
The second product of the pairing is called Muno Time. This clock/dock combination fits any of the Nintendo DS line from the original DS up to the most current 3DS and charges them. It is also compatible with iPods and iPhones for charging and audio playback. We weren’t told how far back that compatibilty goes, but we’re assuming the 3GS is the limit. The dock has motorized hands that wave with the Yo Gabba Gabba songs pre-loaded into the device. And it’s not just one or two songs, Muno Time comes with 30 full songs pre-loaded. We weren’t able to test the speakers as the display unit was in a plexiglas cases, but we figured to sound quality would be fine for a clock/radio. You won’t be able the throw a party, but it should be more than enough to get you out of bed.
No release dates were given for the Yo Gabba Gabba products and the same goes for pricing. We were told though, that there will be other products that will include the rest of the cast.
Nyko is also branching out into the tablet accessory market, but in a decidedly different way. Most accessory manufacturers go for the iPad because of its install base, but Nyko has made accesories for another hot selling tablet, the Kindle Fire. There are two accessories that Nyko is producing for the tablet. The first is called the Power Case and is a case with built in battery, effectively doubling the battery capacity of the tablet. The case also relocates the power button to the front for easier handling with less accidental presses.
The second product, the Speaker Stand for Kindle Fire, is just as the name implies. It’s a stereo speaker stand that can hold the Kindle Fire in either portrait or lanscape and plays audio from two side mounted speakers. The dock is self powered and can run for up to two hours. There is a stylus convienently stored in the base for touchscreen use and the Kindle Fire’s charger can be used to re-energize the tablet and the speakers at the same time.
Lastly on the list of newness at the Nyko booth were accessories for the new Playstation Vita. Among them were a case/power adapter combo called the Power Armor kit. There was also the Power Grip which adds Playstation like grips to the side of the console for easier handling. Finally there was the Speaker Stand which not only charges the Vita with the Vita’s own charging cable while playing back audio through it’s speakers, but also comes with a simple wireless remote that allows for simlpe media controls like play/pause, forward, and back.
Nyko might not make the consoles or tablets, but as we saw with their new products at CES this year, it’s appareant that they know how to make them even better.
The Marduk Rating:
Growing up the son of a West Coast Video Manager, Sean-Paul has literally been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Starting as a wee little boy in his room with a 7” black and white TV and his Atari 2600 with Tank Plus, not much has changed, just the room and television have gotten bigger. When not gaming, Sean-Paul is usually cooking, watching anime, or riding his bike around Singapore and dreaming up his next computer build.