E3: Nyko Wand Zapper dissapointing, but okay


Nyko is well known among third party controller manufacturers – so it was no surprise when details about the Nyko “wand” alternative Wii-Remote started to surface.  What was surprising was the “trans-port” features the wand boasted over the traditional Wii remote, series of electrical contacts that would allow Nyko to transfer any button on the wand-remote to any new location on a Nyko branded peripheral.  What was even more of a surprise was how disappointing the final result was.

The fault lies not with the wand itself, but with it’s trans-port enabled “Zapper” attachment.  The selling point of the transport technology, in this case, was the idea that an electrical switch triggering the “b” button would create a better feeling “wii gun” than the physical button depression lever we see in Nintendo’s official all plastic “Zapper” accessory.  It could have, it should have, but it didn’t.  Unfortunately, the Nyko Wand’s trigger has a short depth and a sudden stop that feels no better than the product it’s trying to outdo.

The idea was solid, but the execution is poor – the best video game gun accessories simulate a realistic firearm trigger pull – strong resistance for a few millimeters of the initial pull, and then a sudden release of tension after the “shot” has been fired. The original spring-loaded NES Zapper is an excellent example of the kind of simulated resistance that gives a game gun the right feel.

It’s not all bad though – despite the lacking trigger resistance the transport technology successfully re-mapped the A button to a reachable convenient place – the firing hammer. Pressing the B button is as easy as reaching up with your thumb, giving you access to a button often inconvenient to reach with other Wii “gun” accessories.

Bottom line: unless you really need the A button mapped within a thumb’s reach, skip this peripheral… …then again – it’s now worse than any of the plastic trigger zappers, use discretion.