Rechargeability is provided thanks to the two replacement battery casings, which have two NiMh rechargeable batteries attached to the underside of the casing. On the outside of the casing are two metal contacts, which interact with those on the base station. It must be said the replacement casings are a tight fit, but once attached they are very secure and one can barely notice difference between these and the original covers so they won’t upset the aesthetics.
There is one slightly unfortunate design flaw, though not one that’s too drastic. Since the batteries are attached to the bottom of the casing you can’t use the Sync button, and must insert a pair of standard batteries instead. This is something of an inconvenience when moving to different consoles, but one that is easily solved and shouldn’t be too prevalent unless you’re constantly playing on other people’s consoles.
Performance is one area that’s tricky to gauge, primarily because it depends wildly on what games you are playing. Nintendo state that using good quality alkaline batteries one should expect thirty hours usage, but I’ve always found this rather optimistic. In reality performance can very wildly from fifteen to near thirty hours. Zelda: Twilight Princess, for example, is notoriously heavy on the remote’s batteries but games like Excite Truck aren’t that heavy at all.
During many hours of arduous fun testing the replacement batteries proved to be more than capable. You won’t get quite as much out of them as regular alkaline batteries, but then these can be popped back on to the charger after a session so unless you’re chronically forgetful then you should never run out of batteries.
More convenient than individual rechargeable batteries, and far cheaper than constantly buying new ones, the Joytech Wii Power Station does what it needs to do at a very good price. Elegant design and solid build quality only add to the appeal, making this a near-perfect solution to an annoying little problem.