As Nintendo is set to release Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch this December, this news is going to be greeted with great joy, especially from aspiring esport athletes out there. The much adored Nintendo accessory maker Hori has just announced three GameCube-style controllers for the Nintendo Switch set for a release in October. Don’t mistake these as any ordinary GameCube controllers either. Hori has introduced a few noteworthy additions that make them a compelling option that have in essence, beaten Nintendo at its own game.
Themed accessories are the rage these days and as you might expect, Hori has created three different “Classic Controller for Nintendo Switch” versions based on the popular Nintendo franchises Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda. Each controller is colored according to the franchise theme and also has a game logo stamped on the top. The body of the controllers is made of a translucent plastic giving it a unique look.
The biggest change Hori made to their GameCube controller was to alter the shoulder and trigger buttons. The squishy L and R trigger buttons from the original GameCube controller are a thing of the past as Hori opted for more modern and traditional feeling buttons instead. Additionally, they did away with the single Z button and put one on both sides of the controller in a more typical or modern layout. In going this design route that’s similar to the Joy-Con and Pro Controller, they are able to maximize Switch game compatibility. An added bonus is that these buttons are configurable to suit your needs depending on what game you’re playing.
Hori has further improved upon the original GameCube design by replacing the single start/pause button with Switch friendly buttons. These new buttons include home, -, +, screenshot and turbo. The turbo button can be configured to press a button from 5, 10 or 20 times per second. It should be interesting to see what uses it has in various games but some experimentation is likely required. Grip is also improved over the original GameCube controller according to Hori as they have implemented textured, less slippery handles. Grip matters especially in competitive games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate so don’t overlook this subtle improvement.
The controllers are wired and connect via USB on the Nintendo Switch dock. On the negative side, USB connectivity may be troublesome if you have a lot of USB accessories already or if you plan on having more than one of these controllers. On the flip side though, online sources are indicating that these controllers are compatible with Windows 10 (Xinput compatible) making the USB connection a good thing. Another positive is that the controller cable is just shy of 10-feet according to the spec sheet.
If you didn’t know, Nintendo is set to release their official GameCube controller in December but it does come with some drawbacks. Switch users will be required to purchase a controller adapter because the GameCube controllers will have their original connector and not USB. Having to pay extra for an adapter isn’t ideal, but consider the buttons of the original GameCube controller and how it will cause limitations for playing modern games that make use of two triggers and two shoulder buttons. From a usability and cost perspective, Hori has created a compelling option in comparison to what Nintendo is going to be offering. The Hori GameCube controller means no extra adapters required and with the modernized trigger and shoulder buttons, you can enjoy greater game compatibility on the Switch.
If you have concerns about the controller sticks or buttons not having an authentic feel or quality to them, you need not worry. Hori has a long history of creating quality Nintendo accessories dating back to the Nintendo 64. In fact, the Hori made Nintendo 64 controller was considered by many to be a better, longer lasting quality than the original Nintendo made ones. Their reputation for quality has ultimately stood the test of time.
Hori is listing the price at 2,980 yen (approximately $26) with a release of October 2018 in Japan. Pricing and release dates for the rest of the globe is not yet known but we will update as that information becomes available. It’s worth noting that they recently released a Nintendo Switch stand that features four USB-ports that might be handy especially if you are looking at getting one or more of these controllers.