Bottom line: These are both excellent accessories that could make gaming more convenient for any Switch or Switch Lite owner. They look and feel great, while being super functional.
Awesome Pikachu design
Fun Pokémon pattern inside case
Zippered storage space in the case
Motion controls and mappable buttons on controller
Controller comes with AA batteries
Controller has rechargeable battery with up to 30 hours
No HD rumble nor amiibo scanning in controller
Only six cartridge slots in case
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It's kind of crazy to think that Pokémon's 25th Anniversary has come and gone. As part of that celebration, PowerA released a pair of Pikachu-themed accessories for the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite: a wireless controller and a carrying case.
I've been able to test the two out for the past couple of weeks with my original Switch and my Switch Lite. They're both perfect items whether you're a collector of all things Pokémon or are looking for the best accessories for Nintendo Switch.
PowerA Pikachu 025 gear: Price and availability
The Pikachu Switch controller and carrying case are two separate items that can be purchased at Amazon, Best Buy, and PowerA's website. The Wireless Controller sells for $50 while the carrying case sells for $20.
PowerA Pikachu 025 gear: Stylish and perfect for both Switch and Switch Lite
The case is designed to fit the larger Nintendo Switch, but also includes a removable insert that makes it work with the Switch Lite. Similarly, the wireless controller works with both the Switch and Switch Lite, and is easy to connect to your system.
When I opened the case, I was delighted to find a fun pattern depicting Ivysaur, Blastoise, and Charizard in various poses. Blastoise is admittedly really small for some reason while Ivysaur is humongous, but it's still really cool to look at. This pattern shows up in the zippered storage section, on the back of the cartridge slot flap, and on the interior bottom of the case.
The case features a rubber handle making it more convenient to transport on-the-go. Additionally, the storage area is large enough to hold a couple Joy-Cons, earphones, or other small accessories, but cannot fit the charging adapter that comes with the Switch or Switch Lite.
Here's a great perk for any collectors out there — the wireless controller comes in an awesome case with a flap on it. The flap snaps shut with magnets, features an awesome watercolor picture, and lists information about Pikachu. It looks great on display for anyone that doesn't want to open it.
As you'd expect from PowerA, the controller works excellently as well. The buttons and triggers press in nicely while the ergonomic design feels good in my hands. The motion controls also worked beautifully while I played games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Luigi's Mansion 3. The weight isn't as hefty as the Pro Controller, but in my opinion it's far more comfortable to hold than the lightweight Joy-Cons.
Plus, there are mappable back buttons that you can easily assign functions to using the included instructions. This can really give you an edge when playing difficult platformers or competitiive multiplayers. If you don't want to use those back buttons, don't worry. They won't do anything out of the box unless you take the time to map them.
I was surprised to find that the controller comes with a 10-foot charging cable. This actually made it possible for me to sit on the couch and charge the controller while I played. The battery life goes for roughly 30 hours before needing a recharge. As long as you're charging it between uses, you shouldn't run out of juice.
PowerA Pikachu 025 gear: Where Pikachu falls short
I was really impressed with the PowerA Pikachu case and controller overall, however there was one area for each accessory that I felt could have been improved.
The case only has room for six game cartridges and then also includes two smaller slots for microSD cards. If you're someone who prefers to purchase physical copies versus digital downloads, this might not be enough room for you. It's actually kind of odd considering most Switch cases provide room for eight to 10 games.
Now turning to the controller. As with other PowerA gamepads, this one doesn't have the ability to scan amiibo, nor does it provide HD rumble. While these features aren't absolutely necessary for enjoying most Switch games, it can put you at a disadvantage during certain extras or minigames. It would have been nice if these features had been included.
PowerA Pikachu 025 gear: Competition
There are also other PowerA Pokémon-themed controllers. For example, there's one for each of the starters from Sword and Shield. These basically function the same and have up to 30 hours of battery life, but there are more designs to choose from.
The best Nintendo Switch controller is undoubtedly the Pro Controller. It's heftier than many other Switch controlllers and has a great fit in your hands. Not to mention, it also features amiibo scanning, motion controls, and HD rumble. It's the ideal option as long as you're willing to pay the high price.
If you're looking for some other controllers that don't cost quite as much, I highly recommend the the Tutuo Joy-Pad. The two halves function similarly to Joy-Cons, but can also be charged independantly with a cable.
PowerA Pikachu 025 gear: Should you buy it?
You should buy these if ...
- You're a collector of all things Pokémon
- You want a reliable third-party controller
- You want a protective hardshell carrying cases for your Switch or Switch Lite
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're not a Pikachu fan
- You want a controller that can scan amiibo
- You want a case with more than six cartridge slots
Both the PowerA Pikachu case and wireless controller are excellent accessories for the Nintendo Switch. The Pikachu designs looks awesome and they both provide several conveniences to make both Switch and Switch Lite gaming sessions more convenient. If you're a Pokémon fan, you should definitely consider picking them up.
You'll just want to note that the case only has slots for six games while the controller doesn't feature NFC scanning or HD rumble. As long as these factors aren't a big deal for you, these will make excellent purchases.
Bottom line: This gamepad provides motion controls, an ergonomic shape, and a fun Pikachu design. Plus, there are mappable buttons on the backside to give you an edge during challenging game sessions. It works with Switch and Switch Lite.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.