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 very big, which is not necessarily a bad thing – just something to be aware of.
The NES30 Arcade Stick is a little larger than two Switch consoles stacked on top of one another, and thicker, too. It’s big and solid, which makes it optimal for staying planted when you’re getting fast and furious with fighting game combo action. The Joystick on the left is replaceable if you feel like you want a custom option from Sanwa, and the buttons are standard 30mm arcade models which can also be swapped out if you’re not entirely happy with the feel.
In my relatively amateur opinion, however, 8bitdo did a good job with the stock joystick and buttons included with the controller. They feel like a genuine arcade experience, with satisfying, audible clickiness for the buttons and just enough resistance when you’re rotating that stick. It’s a much better experience overall for pulling off special moves vs. using the existing Switch controllers, and really amps up the fun factor for Ultra Street Fighter II, as well as the many re-released classic SNK fighters available for the console.
The console also features a dedicated turbo button, and a switch for changing between X-input and D-input modes, as well as wired USB support for PC and Raspberry Pi devices, via the included 3-meter USB cable (which is also used for charging the internal battery). It gets 18 hours of playtime on just an hour or two of charging, which is plenty for a single charge, and works with Windows, Android, Mac, Switch and Steam wirelessly via Bluetooth, too.
Functionality aside, the best thing about the NES30 Arcade Stick might be its charm. The use of NES (or Famicom, depending on your model) inspired colors and graphics really makes for an attractive package. Depending on your interior decor tastes, it could even be a central conversation piece adorning a coffee table or curio cabinet when not in use.
The NES30 Arcade Stick is available to pre-order from Amazon for $79.99, and will ship starting on August 20.