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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 09:15 GMT
Gamepad contains cooling system
Nyko Airflo wireless controller
New Nyko controller offers wireless gaming and air-conditioning
Playing video games can be an intense affair that will set the heart pumping and the sweat glands working overtime.

But a US company says it has come up with the solution to cramped and sweaty palms.

Nyko Technologies, maker of gaming peripherals, has created game controllers with air-conditioning.

The AirFlo gamepads has a built-in fan under the device and cooling vents on the side of the grips.

"Cool air blowing on your hands as you play helps you stay focused on the game and not get uncomfortable with a clammy controller," said Susan Corben, Nyko's Director of Marketing.

The company has just released a wireless version of the pad for the PlayStation 2, doing away with the need for messy cables.

Nyko showcased its products at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the wireless controller picked up an innnovation award.

Personal preference

The idea for putting ventilation into a controller came from an employee in the sales department.

Susan Corben, Nyko
You have the option to turn the fan off or chose a low or high speed
Susan Corben, Nyko
He took a standard gamepad, took it apart and inserted a small fan-cooling system.

Armed with the prototype, he went to see the boss of Nyko who seized on the idea.

"It is one of our most successful product lines to date," Ms Corben told BBC News Online.

The controllers are available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. There is also a mouse with built-in air-conditioning for PC gamers, with air ducts on the sides.

Having cool air blowing on your hands as you play your favourite racing or fighting game can be somewhat disconcerting at first.

But Nyko says it is just a matter of getting used to the device.

"It is a personal preference," explained Ms Corben. "You have the option to turn the fan off or chose a low or high speed."

The console controllers are about the same size and weight as regular ones. There is no need for batteries as they are powered by the gaming system itself.

The devices range in price from $24.99 to $49.99 and are currently only available in the US.

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