Let’s face it, for most gamers, the controller never, ever got better than the original NES. Square, solidly built, with a pleasing weight to it, the NES controller is, for many, the defining controller. And now you can use it on your iPad, at least until Nintendo deploys its stable of intellectual property attorneys.
Let’s get this out of the way first; no, this is not an official Nintendo product. Are you kidding? Nintendo would never allow its iconic imagery anywhere near a mobile platform; they’ve got game consoles to sell, after all.
No, instead, this is a knock-off developed by a Chinese company that more or less just copied Nintendo’s intellectual property directly. Really, it’s only China’s refusal to acknowledge any sort of patent or copyright outside its own borders that allows this thing to exist. But it’s still kind of cool.
Game, Set, Match
There are one or two concessions to modern gaming; the four button layout and two shoulder buttons of most controllers have been put onto this, for example. But, in a nice touch, it includes mapping software so you can pair each button to an action in the game you’re playing, a problem with a surprising number of would-be portable controllers. And if that weren’t enough, there’s a handy little stand built into the controller as well, so you can prop up your games and play without any frustration.
Control Your World
There are features we’d prefer to see on this; we know it’s not nostalgic, but some thumbsticks would have been a useful addition. Still, if we’re going use portable controllers with our portable devices, it’s nice to have something that comes with a useful stand and an enormous dose of nostalgia. If you miss the NES, and want to play games the old-fashioned way, this is your best bet.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.