Hardware Review: Nyko Power Grip for OLED Vita

What if I told you that you can play your Vita, even if you have bigger hands, comfortably and for twice as long?

The Nyko Power Grip won me over years ago and has never left my OLED Vita.

But I can’t just tell you that, or this review would be way too short. It would also mean that you wouldn’t get the complete picture. So let’s start with a bit of history.

2012. Vita fever is in full swing. Persona 4 Golden, Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the list of great games for the system looked impressive. Enter Marcos (that’s me). I bought an OLED Vita along with the first (and by then only) season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead and a three-month subscription to this new-fangled “Playstation Plus” service. I was in heaven. I played for hours.

Or wanted to.

I kept running out of battery, actually. Not because the Vita has a poor battery life, but because I simply played it that much. So, what to do? Well, I could keep it connected, but if I were to do that I might as well just buy a TV, a PS3 and become a slave to the big screen. No. I wanted mobility.

Enter the Nyko Power Grip.

It wasn’t all about battery life, either. The ergonomics were so much better with it. More on that later.

I was living in Calgary, Canada at the time, and let me tell you, I went to pretty much every EB Games in town looking for this thing. I looked online but only found scalpers selling it for a huge margin. EB Games was selling it for under $15 (Canadian dollar was still strong then) but they were out of stock. Until they weren’t. And I bought one.

Battery life

The Nyko Power Grip promises to double the battery life of the OLED Vita. That’s how it was sold to me. And it does. Well, it did for the first year or so. In the intervening years the battery doesn’t hold a charge as well as it used to. But it aged way more gracefully than my smartphone which cost me way more than $15, so it’s not that bad.

The reality is that I could easily get around 7 or 8 hours of play time with high brightness on the screen, the Wi-Fi turned on, sound, all the bells and whistles. And that’s not bad at all.

Ergonomics

While it sold mostly on its promise of longer playtime, the Nyko Power Grip actually makes the Vita comfortable. Not bearable, not “OK”, but actually comfortable. The nudges for the fingers are placed just so, and the curved handles follow a better line than that of the original Vita design.

It adds a considerable amount of bulk to the Vita in all three dimensions, and a bit of weight, so if extreme portability is your priority (in which case the Vita is still quite big for you, I imagine), then you might want to shy away from it.

If what you want is comfortable playtime with twice the battery power, then oh boy, does this thing deliver.

This is the same grip but for the LCD Vita. Same ergonomics, same battery life.

Should you get it?

Well, yes and no.

If you want extra battery life and a more comfortable hold, and don’t mind a bit of extra bulk, then by all means, go ahead. Just make sure to stay clear of the scalpers trying to get $200 (!!) out of a you for a new one for the OLED Vita.

If portability is your main priority, then you might shy away from this. But honestly, Vita doesn’t really fit into the pocket of your favorite pair of jeans anyway, right? So you might as well carry a bit more kit to be comfortable.

I’m in love with mine and have recommended many people to buy it. I don’t know why it took me so long to write this review.

If you want to get yours, please use the following affiliated links. It won’t cost you anything extra, but it’ll help us cover the costs of running this site.

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