If you’re a PlayStation or Nintendo Switch player, you know you need to keep a cord nearby in case your controller runs out of charge mid-game. If you’re an Xbox gamer, however, it’s a little trickier — those gamepads still rely on AA batteries so, while you can easily pop in a new set when needed, you may have to resync the controller to your console, which can be a real hassle when you’re in the middle of a match. OtterBox, better known for its protective cases, is now looking to make your charging experience seamless with its Power Swap Controller Batteries.
These new batteries aren’t just regular rechargeable batteries — those wouldn’t solve the common problem of losing connection with your system while you make the switch. Instead, Otterbox came up with a cage that you plug into the battery compartment, and then each battery gets inserted into that. The key to a seamless swap is the small reserve cell in the cage, which maintains power to the controller for about 30 seconds, which is just about enough time to pull out the drained battery and replace it with a fresh one from the dock.
Each battery has a low battery indicator on it so you’ll get an extra heads up to change out the pack; you won’t be caught unaware by a message on the screen or an unresponsive controller. The batteries can be popped out with one hand too, so you never actually have to stop playing.
Each $60 set comes with two batteries, so right out of the box you have one to play and one to keep ready in the charger. There’s a dock to power up both at the same time, though you can also plug in the included USB-C cord to charge batteries right in the controller. Also included in the package are two cages, one for the Xbox One gamepad and one for the Xbox Series X|S, so you don’t have to worry about buying the “right” set for your system, or having to pick up a replacement if you decide to upgrade your console later on.
Even if you don’t have an Xbox you can still benefit from the Power Swap Controller Batteries, since Xbox gamepads are compatible with both Windows and Mac desktops and even mobile — Otterbox made sure that the new battery didn’t interfere with the Mobile Gaming Clip it introduced back in January. And the extra space in the company’s Gaming Carry Case should be enough to carry your extra battery and cables as well.
The OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries will be available on otterbox.com starting June 15th, though you’ll also see them on microsoft.com and Amazon as well. And that’s $60 for the entire set; right now the batteries won’t be sold by themselves but it’s not out of the question if this new charging solution takes off.