OtterBox has unveiled it’s newest gaming accessory during E3 2021 that players will definitely want to check out.
OtterBox has already launched a number of gaming related products as part of their “Designed for Xbox” program this year, including mounting brackets for mobile play, protective cases, and more. Today, however, they’ve got another reveal for E3: the OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries.
I had the chance to chat with the nice people at OtterBox and see a demo of it in action…and it’s pretty damn cool.
Coming up with the idea was something relatively simple. They wanted to study people and how they actually game; so that’s exactly what they did. The had a team research gamers in their homes and other spaces to figure out what people were looking for and how the way they played could be benefited by their products.
One thing that seemed to continue to pop up was the need for power solutions. It’s something OtterBox has wanted to get into for a while (and recently have for mobile cases), but now they’re ready to help players with their Xbox Controller’s lifespan.
This isn’t your average replacement battery pack. Instead, what you’re getting a set that includes the docking station and TWO battery units that can be swapped out. That’s not the most important part, however. The nifty thing here is the “cage” that attaches to the underside of the controller, hooking right into the battery compartment area.
This allows for the unique “hot-swap” function of the device which will allow players to change out the battery in the Xbox controller WITHOUT pausing or losing sync. Normally, changing out the battery means taking the whole controller offline, which obviously messes with the game you’re currently playing. While this may not be a huge deal for some, it can be especially frustrating while playing online or in the heat of an epic moment.
The Cage itself holds a quick 30-second charge, so even when you take out the battery unit, the controller is kept powered up. While that doesn’t seem like much time, it’s more than enough to swap out with the second battery from the docking station. Mostly because the entire change can be done one-handed.
So not only are you able to keep the controller charged, you can change the battery while still playing (or running as it would be in my case during multiplayer matches). I had my doubts, honestly, when I read about this in the press release I was sent, but after seeing it in action, I was stunned. The process was insanely simple and easy to do with one hand, not even having to take your eyes of the screen if you didn’t want to.
Some other notable things I learned during my discussion with OtterBox is that the docking station and individual battery units are all equipped with USB-C ports. That means the batteries can be charged by themselves without needing the dock. So if you’re taking your game on the go (using the controller with a mobile setup or visiting a friends house), you’ll still be able to charge the spare battery and not need to take the dock with you.
On top of that, the set includes, out of the box, compatibility cages for both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S controllers. This means you won’t have to buy an additional accessory to fit the controller you have or even when you upgrade to the next-gen. It is important to note, however, the Power Swap isn’t compatible with the Elite Controllers. Considering those have their own built-in rechargeable battery, that’s not as big a deal.
Even better, this whole setup works in conjunction with the other OtterBox controller products. So if you’re gaming on your phone using the controller mount, the Cage fits in there as well, so you won’t have to choose one or the other while you’re playing.
The OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries are going to be on sale (for $59.95) starting June 15th (Tuesday). Not pre-orders, unit are ready to go and ship out so you won’t have to wait much longer to get your hands on these.
You’ll be able to get your orders in directly through OtterBox, Microsoft, or Amazon.