Nintendo has never been known for having great third-party peripherals. Until very recently, controllers made by independent companies were cheap, unreliable, burdened by shitty connectivity issues, and overall, just plain bad. But indie controller makers like 8BitDo are changing all that.
8BitDo’s new retro-inspired SN30 Pro+ went on sale on Amazon today, and the ultra-customizable paddle really gives Nintendo’s flagship Pro Controller some stiff competition. The SN30 Pro+, which comes in three designs inspired by classic Nintendo consoles (I like the Super Famicon model best) is a bit wider than the Pro Controller, but the extra real estate makes for an extremely ergonomic playing experience. With the same rumbling haptic feedback, motion controls, and Bluetooth functionality, the SN30 Pro+ brings along all the core necessities of the Pro Controller, but what makes 8BitDo’s new unit exceptionally enticing here is its customizability feature.
The Ultimate Software, which is available on Windows and Mac OS, gives users complete control over the buttons and various inputs of the SN30 Pro+. Buttons can be remapped, inputs can be combo’d together, and the whole thing can be fine-tuned for players who want that extra bit of control. Compared to a company like Nintendo, which has never given players too much freedom in the customization department, 8BitDo’s new unit feels insane. Gone are the days when a player had to resort to a shitty Mad Catz controller if they wanted to play Mario 64 with something other than the wonky N64 paddle.
For serious players, especially those who spend their time meticulously battling on fighting games, the SN30 Pro+ is an attractive purchase, allowing gamers to finally iron out all the kinks and own their own style. The SN30 Pro+ supports the Nintendo Switch, Android devices, Windows, Mac OS, and many DIY consoles with Bluetooth. As of now, it still doesn’t work with PS4 or XBox One, which is a bummer, but it would come as little surprise if 8BitDo or some crafty gamers came up with a workaround.