NES Controllers Coming to Nintendo Switch

You'll be able to play NES games on Switch the right way with these classic controllers.

Nintendo is releasing some classic NES controller peripherals for the Nintendo Switch. While these controllers slide into the Switch dock like the standard Switch controllers, it appears that they’ll only really be useful if you’re playing the classic NES games included as part of Nintendo’s online subscription service for Switch. So far as that goes, though, they look like they’re going to do a great job of recreating the experience of playing those games on an NES controller since they are basically NES controllers (minus the wires).

Actually, that whole wireless bit makes us wonder why Nintendo was so insistent on including wired controllers with the NES Classic Edition. We suppose they just wanted to cut down on costs. 

Regardless, these new NES controllers look to combine the best of modern and classic. They can be wirelessly charged via the Switch docks, appear to have no latency issues, and look pretty cool on the side of your Nintendo Switch (even if it’s not yet clear how they work with any non-NES Switch games). Best of all, you can grab two of them for $60. There’s no word on a release date, but you can pre-order them starting on Sept. 18. 

Sadly, it doesn’t sound like Western gamers are going to be able to get their hands on the awesome Famicom retro controllers that are being released in Japan. Oh well…we suppose the NES controllers are also nice.

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Speaking of nice, the collection of NES games you get with the Switch’s premium online plan actually looks much more robust than some initially speculated. It’s no substitute for a proper Virtual Console collection, but it looks like Nintendo is committed to regularly adding classic games to the service over the coming months and beyond. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014