Last week, Nintendo rolled out a Nintendo Direct presentation which included a lot of announcements. One of the more unexpected announcements was the unveiling of this pair of NES controllers. These new controllers are re-creations of the three-decade-old original, but this time they sport wireless functionality. In fact, they can only be used wirelessly.
So, for you purists out there who want to avoid any sort of “input lag”, this might prove to be a caveat. That said, this isn’t really a surprise considering their design. While they can be attached to the Switch like the Joy-Con, their button layout stops them from being viable controllers when positioned along the sides the system, Thus, sliding them onto the Switch only serves the purpose of charging.
Another (understandable) limitation of the new NES controllers are that they will be compatible only with the selection of games from the Nintendo Entertainment System that will be made available to every Switch Online member. Considering that the controllers were made specifically for these games originally, this should be a surprise to no one.
But, it is kind of a slap in the face when you consider that these controllers are $60 and the Switch Online membership is only $20. Also, you can only buy these controllers if you’re a Switch Online member, so essentially they actually cost $80. Alright Nintendo, what’s the big deal? An entire NES Classic Edition is $60, so this doesn’t seem like the best deal. But, the collectors and nostalgia-struck casual consumers out there probably won’t mind either way. If you happen to fit in one of those categories, or simply just have the desire to own these controllers regardless, then you can get ready to reserve your pair when purchasing goes live on September 18 (the same day Switch Online launches). According to Nintendo of America, shipments won’t begin until mid-December 2018. So, just keep in mind that you won’t be united with your purchase for a few months.