Pros: Nice looking, easy to get on
Cons: Interferes with some buttons, much more expensive than the silicone alternative
After Wii users began to accidentally hurl their remotes into televisions and relatives, Nintendo thought it might be best to create a silicone sleeve to hold the remote. This serves the dual purposes of making the remote both grippier and less dangerous. For those who want something cooler than a cheap rubbery skin for their remotes, CM4 is offering the pricier, better-looking Catalyst sleeve.
The Basics: An Upscale, Easy to Use Sleeve
The Catalyst, at a list price of $20, is a faux-leather remote sleeve with a zipper up the back. It is long enough to hold both the remote and an attached MotionPlus add-on. It comes in black, grey, red or pink and has perforated sides like a racing glove.
The Catalyst is certainly much easier to put on than a silicone sleeve, which has to be stretched over and around the remote (silicone sleeves designed to hold the MotionPlus are particularly problematic). Unzipped, the remote slides easily into the Catalyst, after which you zip it up, close a snap at the bottom and are ready to go.
The Downside: Silicone Just Works Better
The problem with the Catalyst is its skin’s thickness. While a silicone sleeve is thin and clings tightly to the remote, the Catalyst material is probably twice as thick as silicone and doesn’t flatten out on the remote the way the silicone sleeve does. This makes certain buttons slightly more difficult to press, particularly the up directional button. It can still be done, but it feels a little awkward.
The thickness of the sleeve also interferes with some of my favorite Wii remote chargers, most notably Nyko’s Charge Base IC, which will not work at all with the Catalyst. (If you want to use the Catalyst with a charger, your best bet is probably the Memorex Wii Dual Controller Charging Kit.)
The only places the sleeve is not thicker are at each end of the remote, where the silicone sleeves add extra cushioning. This means that the sleeve actually offers less real protection than its silicone alternate.
The design of the Catalyst also partially covers the remote’s speaker, although probably not enough to really matter.
Verdict: Better Looking But Less Practical
The Catalyst is a nice looking and unusual sleeve that classes up the remote but may just slightly hamper performance. If you are looking for the best protection for your remote and your furniture, it cannot beat the much cheaper silicone version, but if you’re looking for ease of use and something that just looks nice, the CM4 might appeal to you. Just don’t throw it into your TV.