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I refused to buy another controller for my Xbox for when my boyfriend comes round. He used to bring his own around and usually forgot to take it home again, frustrating on his part! He ended up buying a controller with a play and charge kit to keep at my house. That meant he didn't have to worry about leaving his main controller at my house anymore.
~*~ Price and packaging ~*~
This Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller and play and charge kit is available to buy from places like Amazon, Play.com and Tesco. It normally costs between £35 and £40.
As this is an official Microsoft product, it comes in the normal green and white packaging. Included inside is the wireless controller and the play and charge kit. On the reverse of the packaging there is a diagram and instructions on how it works in many different languages.
~*~ Controller ~*~
The controller itself is the official Microsoft Xbox wireless controller. It has quite a big, chunky feeling to it, but the buttons are placed in a comfortable position so you don't have strain your fingers to get to anything when you are playing a game. This controller features two analogue sticks, a directional pad, back and start buttons and the normal A, B, X and Y buttons found on Xbox controllers. In the middle of the controller is the back and start buttons and the silver Xbox guide button. On the top, there are left and right triggers and bumpers, these are positioned in a lovely position and again, there is no strain trying to reach them. The bottom of the controller features a hole to put in a headset jack, this holds the wire in place without any problems. At the back, there is a battery pack, this can be taken off without any problems by using the button at the top, there is a long strip hole where the play and charge kit can be plugged in to charge the battery pack.
The responsiveness of the controller is fantastic and sitting over the other side of the room poses no trouble for the Xbox to pick up what I am pressing on the controller. When the battery is low, it can sometimes cause problems, but that is to be expected. I don't have any problems at all with the controller and the big, chunky look and feel of it means that as far as wear and tear goes, it is very robust. It's been dropped a few times and shows no damage and still works as it should.
~*~ Play and charge kit ~*~
The play and charge kit is, essentially, just a wire. It is exactly the same as the play and charge kit you can buy on its own, it has the same length, everything is the same.
The wire has a USB on one end that allows it to be plugged into the Xbox then on the other end there is a long connecter that plugs into the top of the controller. The end that goes into the controller has a little light on it that goes red when it is plugged in, then when the controller is fully charged it changes to green indicating that it has finished.
The length of the wire is nice and I can plug the USB end into the back of the Xbox out of view and it will still reach to me sitting on the sofa (only just!), so it doesn't cause a nuisance and I don't have to sit on the floor or anything whilst it charges. It's around 10ft in length.
I guess this play and charge kit kind of defeats the point of having a wireless controller as when it is on charge it is, obviously, wired to the Xbox but it doesn't create a problem for me as it only takes a couple of hours to recharge the battery pack and then it gives me around 30 hours of gameplay before needing to be charged again. I think it is a worthwhile piece of kit as changing and recharging normal batteries poses more of a nuisance to me than having to have a wired controller for a couple of hours. You can continue gameplay whilst it's on charge so I don't think it's much of a problem.
For the price, I don't think this is a bad way of buying both the controller and play and charge kit at the same time. It saves having to order two separate products and as for monetary value goes; it's roughly the same price as buying the items separately. Both items are the official Microsoft products and are made to a high quality. I definitely recommend this combo.