Us gamers are a simple bunch. All we want is to have the best system, the best games and the best experience. But in order for that to happen, sometimes technological boundaries have to be pushed. If they weren’t we’d still be stuck in the 8-bit era of gaming, struggling around with cassette loading and weird red and black joysticks.
The same can be said for gaming accessories and whilst it’s all well and good laying your console horizontally on a desk, having wires tangling your controllers into one huge mess and chucking your disk cases onto the bed once you’ve got to the goodies inside, there is nothing better than making the most of your space, standing your console vertically, ditching the cables for wireless offerings and storing your games nice and neatly in alphabetical order.
This is where Venom and their Vertical Charging Stand for Xbox One X and Xbox One S come in.
A big black slab of plastic, this stand does away with the usual well designed vertical stand that comes accompanying your Xbox One X and Xbox One S, beefing things up a bit, and adding in some pretty cool ideas.
Now, should you be one of those who subscribe to the ‘this console must lay flat’ ideology then you’re probably not going to be swayed into a purchase of Venom’s latest piece of kit. But those who already stand their console upright, wishing to make best use of the tight spaces around their TV, should very much be interested.
Fitting both Xbox One X and Xbox One S thanks to some cleverly placed push buttons that hold tight against your expensive machine, the stand holds the console upright with very little chance of ever seeing it topple over. In fact, even though it caters for both console types, the integration of two further space saving solutions on either side act as elongated feet which means that it is probably more stable, and more secure, than the official Xbox offering. And even when standing loud and proud, all the buttons, trays, ports and slots that you will ever need are still all accessible.
With the Venom logo adorning the front, erupting from one side are two integrated controller charging stations – hence the Vertical Charging Stand name – which will happily hold either a standard Xbox One wireless controller or the Elite variety with ease. Charging and having fully powered controllers at all times is now an essential way of life for a modern day gamer, and whilst only long term use can say how well the charge from the Venom battery packs that replace your standard AA pack hold up, past history of using Venom products over many years proves good.
A bright – perhaps too bright if truth be known – Venom logo lights up either red or green to indicate the charging status of both the two controllers which can be fitted at any one time, and this ensures that worrying about power and loss of connectivity during those heated gaming sessions should be something to leave in the past.
And whilst controller power is one of the essential additions to this stand, a double USB port situated between the two charging areas will still allow you to plug in further accessories and components. In fact, as an all-in-one solution, it seems like Venom have thought of everything. All of this is powered by a single USB cable that slots neatly into the console ports as normal.
Hell, they’ve even made the effort to find space on the other side of the Vertical Charging Stand to fit room for no less than 6 game cases, storing them in a vertical manner side by side. Whilst doing this will mean that you need to leave a little more room than is absolutely necessary, unable to squeeze the stand up against a wall for instance, should you be one of those who refuse to embrace the digital world, preferring to collect games in disk format, then this Venom product will let you store them. I can’t help but feel there is room and space available to have pushed the storage solution up to more than 6 cases though. The gap between each is fairly wide and I would have preferred to see a better use of that space by cutting down on the plastic dividers separating the cases and pushing storage up to 8 or 10.
Frustratingly, the gap between each of these isn’t quite wide enough to fit an official Xbox Seagate Hard drive in instead of a game case. As someone who has put the vast majority of his eggs in the digital basket, it would be great to be able to store a Seagate or two in a similar fashion. Instead those have been left to hang around via the USB cord that attaches it to the console itself. But then this isn’t being marketed as, or sold as, a hard drive holder, so I’m not too sure whether that should really be a negative or not.
See, at the end of the day the Venom Vertical Charging Stand does exactly what it was made to do. It brings together a highly effective vertical stand for your Xbox One X or Xbox One S, two integrated charging options for your wireless controllers, space for up to 6 game cases and two additional USB ports in one small space. It may not be the fanciest bit of black plastic you’re ever going to find, but it’s a simple product that does a brilliant job.
And sometimes the simplest things are the best.