8bitdo

This $20 DIY kit makes your NES, SNES or Mega Drive controller wireless

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, Hack, hardware | No Comments

I have to hand it to 8BitDo. At first I thought they were just opportunistically hawking cheap hunks of plastic in an era of unparalleled nostalgia for retro games, but… well, who am I kidding? That’s exactly what they’re doing. But they’re doing it well. And these new DIY kits are the latest sign that they actually understand their most obsessive customers.

While you can of course purchase fully formed controllers and adapters from the company that let your retro consoles ride the wireless wave of the future, not everyone is ready to part with their original hardware.

I, for example, have had my Super Nintendo for 25 years or so — its yellowing, cracked bulk and controllers, all-over stains and teeth marks compelling all my guests to make an early exit. I consider it part of my place’s unique charm, but more importantly I’m used to the way these controllers feel and look — they’re mine.

8BitDo understands me, along with the rest of the wretches out there who can’t part with the originals out of some twisted concept of loyalty or authenticity. So they’re giving us the option to replace the controllers’ aging guts with a fresh new board equipped with wireless connectivity, making it a healthy hybrid of the past and present.

If you’re the type (as I am) that worries that a modern controller will break in ways that an SNES controller would find laughable, if it could laugh, then this will likely strike your fancy. All you do is take apart your gamepad (if you can stand to do so), pull out the original PCB (and save it, of course), and pop in the new one.

You’ll be using more or less all the same parts as these famously durable controllers came with (check out this teardown). The way the buttons feel shouldn’t change at all, since the mechanical parts aren’t being replaced, just the electronics that they activate. It runs on a rechargeable battery inside that you recharge with an unfortunately proprietary cable that comes with the kit.

If you’re worried about latency… don’t be. On these old consoles, control latency is already like an order of magnitude higher than a complete wireless packet round trip, so you shouldn’t notice any lag.

You will, however, need to pick up a Bluetooth adapter if you want to use this on your original console — but if you want to use the controller with a wireless-equipped setup like your computer, it should work flawlessly.

If you buy it and don’t like it, you can just slot the original PCB back into its spot and no harm is done!

There are conversion kits for the NES and SNES, the new Classic Editions of both, and the Sega Mega Drive. At $20 each it’s hardly a big investment, and the reversible nature of the mod makes it low risk. And hey, you might learn something about that controller of yours. Or find a desiccated spider inside.

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Check out this adorable Bluetooth controller for the Nintendo Switch

Posted by | 8bitdo, e3 2018, Gaming, Nintendo Switch | No Comments

8bitdo debuted a bunch of gaming controllers at E3 this week, but honestly, we only care about one. The Zero 2 is an adorable little Bluetooth controller that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s compatible with all sorts of systems, including desktop computers and Android devices, but the size makes it perfect for playing the Nintendo Switch on the go.

And as you can see by the “classic” color scheme above, the peripheral maker was clearly interested in evoking some serious Nintendo nostalgia, with a device that looks a lot like a Super Nintendo controller at first glance.

The Zero 2 sports four number buttons, select, start and a D-pad on the front, with L and R buttons up top, flanking a microUSB port. All have a solid click to them, though the company didn’t have a full operational unit we could play with (the controller isn’t coming out until the end of the year).

I suspect that the diminutive size means it won’t be ideal for long gaming marathons, but it does beat having to hold the Switch for an extended period. Better still, it can be connected to a keychain, so you’ll never lose the thing.

No pricing has been announced.

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8bitdo’s new wireless controllers are perfect for your new SNES Classic

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, game controller, Gaming, hardware, Nintendo, SNES, SNES Classic, SNES Mini, TC | No Comments

 The SNES Classic Edition is out today, and is probably currently en route to those lucky enough to have scored a pre-order, and being picked up by bleary-eyed fans who set up early at game store locations around the world. Reviews have been almost universally positive for the small console, which is not surprising, so a lot of folks will probably also be in the market for accessories –… Read More

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8Bitdo’s SN30 Pro and SF30 Pro controllers available for pre-order

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, hardware, TC | No Comments

 8Bitdo’s retro Bluetooth game controllers are among the greatest gifts you can get a gamer, since they’re so versatile and so well-designed (especially for those who remember fondly the early console days). The company’s latest controller is now up for pre-order, and it’s an homage to the SNES gamepad that can do a lot more in terms of connecting with modern devices,… Read More

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8bitdo’s NES30 Arcade Stick is a big, beautiful fighter companion

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, hardware, Nintendo, Reviews, TC | No Comments

 If you’re looking for a little more arcade feel for your Nintendo Switch, look no further than 8Bitdo’s NES30 Arcade Stick. The Bluetooth controller accessory is compatible with a range of platforms besides the Switch, and it’s a well-made gadget with careful attention paid to how buttons and the joysticks feel, giving an authentic arcade cabinet experience. It’s also… Read More

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8bitdo’s new SNES-inspired retro gamepad is a dream Nintendo Switch controller

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, hardware, Nintendo, TC | No Comments

 Ever since 8bitdo updated their NES30 Pro and other game controllers with Nintendo Switch support, I’ve been using them as the primary way to play on the console. Now at E3, 8bitdo has revealed a new model that might just become the best Switch controller of all time.
The SNES30 Pro (and SFC30 Pro, as its Super Famicom coloured variant is called) has all the buttons you need for full… Read More

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8Bitdo’s retro Bluetooth controllers now work with Nintendo Switch

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, Nintendo, TC | No Comments

 Need more controllers for your Nintendo Switch? If you already have some of 8Bitdo’s excellent Bluetooth, classic system-inspired game pads lying around, you’re all set thanks to a new firmware update. Even if you don’t yet have any of these, it’s worth picking some up since they’re very affordable, ergonomic and stylish. The update to the controllers expands… Read More

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Use Nintendo Switch controllers with the NES Classic with this adapter

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, hardware, nes classic, Nintendo Switch, TC | No Comments

 Nintendo Switch controllers are flexible, if flawed — the latest hardware they work with is the NES Classic, via 8bitdo’s $17 Retro Receiver, and a new firmware update available now for that little dongle. The wireless accessory already lets you connect a range of Bluetooth controllers to your NES Classic, including 8bitdo’s own NES30 controller replica, and PlayStation 4, Wii… Read More

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8Bitdo’s NES30 and Retro Receiver for NES Classic is the ideal wireless controller

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, Nintendo, Reviews, TC | No Comments

8bitdo-nes-classic2 If you are one of the lucky few who either managed to get an NES Classic Edition already, or who will likely be getting one this holiday as a gift, then you’ll notice right away that the controller included is barely usable, thanks to a short cord. That’s where 8bitdo’s new NES Classic wireless control kit comes in. The included cord is so short that there’s already a… Read More

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8Bitdo’s NES Classic Edition wireless controller kit adds retro gamepad options

Posted by | 8bitdo, Gadgets, Gaming, TC | No Comments

1-hero-notext Got a new NES Classic Edition but woefully disappointed at the official controller’s short, corded-only options? Third party alternatives are popping up, but the new NES30 Classic Edition Set and Retro Receiver are a good bet, and are up for pre-order now. The kit is from 8Bitdo, which has been making wireless and wired retro versions of classic control controllers for a while now, and… Read More

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