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XS Starter Pack

Ardjuna Seghers


SnakeByte Wii Peripheral Roundup

Snakebyte is not as familiar a name in the console peripheral market as, say, Joytech or Logitech, yet the company does offer an interesting range of third-party controllers and accessories for Nintendo's Wii - a console that has surprisingly few such alternatives considering it is the best-selling one of the 'big three' (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii).

Starting off with Snakebyte's XS Starter Pack, this consists of a Wiimote plus nunchuck (which SnakeByte refers to as a Wireless XS controller and Motion XS Extension). They come in a cardboard box with transparent cutouts to show the products off, accompanied by a small instruction leaflet and batteries.

Aside from being cheaper than Nintendo's equivalents, the immediately obvious difference is that in addition to traditional Wii white the XS peripherals are available in pink and glossy black - great news for those who have clad their Wii in a funereal tone to match their PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Elite.

Obviously, the shape and build also differs from first-party controllers. The Wiimote has the same physical dimensions as the Nintendo original, but the speaker grille is shaped like a triangle with rounded corners and the D-pad has rounded direction keys. Along the bottom where the fingers grip is a light-grey rubberised section, which does offer a better grip than the Nintendo version but spoils the look somewhat.

Button layout and feel remains largely identical, with a few minor changes. The 'power', 'plus', 'minus' and 'home' keys are rubberised rather than hard plastic, which is a nice touch. Less welcome is that the power and home buttons are now raised, making them far easier to press accidentally.

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