How to use fewer batteries this summer in video game controllers

Summer time means the kids are home and the video games are a popular indoor activity when the weather gets hot outside.

Many video game systems, like the Wii, the Xbox, and the PlayStation have wireless controllers.  Those are useful because they get rid of annoying wires that seem to get in the way while you are playing the game, but the tradeoff for wireless is the battery life on the controllers.  Many controllers use AA batteries and players must remember to replace the batteries when the controller runs out of juice, hopefully not in the middle of a game.canstockphoto9529222

A video controller can go through these batteries very quickly. For instance, the Wii controller can go through two AA batteries in 25 hours of playtime, which can obviously add up if the kids are using the Wii a lot.  Wireless Xbox and PlayStation controllers will also burn through AA batteries pretty quickly.

What's a parent to do? One option is to purchase a lot of batteries at one time. AA batteries are often less expensive when purchased in bulk quantities. Another option is the AA rechargeable batteries. They are a greener choice and for devices that are used a lot, such as game controllers, high-capacity rechargeable batteries may be a good choice.  Some good choices are the Eneloop rechargeable batteries made by Panasonic and the Energizer rechargeable batteries.

Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Energizer Rechargeable Batteries Energizer Rechargeable Batteries

Consumer Reports states "Rechargeable AA batteries usually score on a par with standard alkaline batteries per charge. A benefit of rechargeables is that you can select the capacity of the battery suitable for its use. For 'high drain' applications such as digital cameras, you can buy higher capacity rechargeable batteries (2400maH or more). What is unknown about rechargeables is how many charge/recharge cycles a pair offers—manufacturers claim 'thousands.' We hope to verify that number in future testing."

AA batteries power many toys, video game controllers, and other popular gadgets in our homes.  For information about tossing or recycling batteries, visit www.call2recycle.org or earth911.com.

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