New NES controller vs 8Bitdo SN30 Pro: Which should you buy?

These products are aimed at very different people. The NES Wireless Controller offers a near-faithful recreation of the original tool to play classic NES games on the Switch. But if you're looking for a retro alternative that can handle your heaviest gaming loads, 8Bitdo's SN30 Pro Controller is it.

Different strokes for different folks

We still don't know everything Nintendo's NES controllers are capable of, but considering the lack of extra buttons on them, it's clear the controllers were designed with the idea that they would only be used to play the classic games released for the Nintendo Switch. In contrast, 8Bitdo offers a much more versatile product. It pairs with the Nintendo Switch as a Pro controller, meaning it's capable of being used to play all Nintendo Switch games with full motion and rumble controls.

That the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro controller was designed to work with other platforms is a big bonus. It means 8Bitdo will continue to update its firmware to not only improve its functionality with existing platforms but maybe even add newer ones in the future.

NES Wireless Controllers will be perfect for the classics

You need a subscription just to buy them and they probably won't be useful for anything other than playing NES games on your Switch. But if you just want the ultimate marriage of nostalgia and modernity, the NES Wireless Controllers by Nintendo are perfect. What it lacks in ubiquity it makes up for in compatibility, with the controllers able to snap onto the side of the Switch for some charging time of their own.

8Bitdo's SN30 Pro can serve all your other needs

While 8Bitdo's offering might not be completely faithful to the product it was inspired by, it does offer a much more complete set of features. You're getting full Switch controls including joysticks, Z buttons, and all the normal face buttons.

It acts as a Pro controller when connected, meaning you'll have full capabilities in games which utilize the Switch's unique motion controls. And when you're done on the Switch, you can even hook it up to your PC or your Android phone to play games with it on other devices.

Quentyn Kennemer