Apple snuck a nice little surprise in its round of Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV updates yesterday with the addition of support for Nintendo’s updated classic game controllers. As spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith and confirmed by MacStories, Nintendo’s modern SNES and N64 controllers now work with updated Apple devices with macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16 and up, whether using a wired or Bluetooth connection.
While neither MacStories nor Troughton-Smith was able to test whether the Sega Genesis and NES controllers work with Apple’s devices, we’re assuming Apple added the same functionality. The Verge reached out to Apple to confirm, and we’ll update this article if we hear back.
In the release notes for macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16, Apple notes, “many additional Bluetooth and USB game controllers are supported by the Game Controller framework on macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16 and later,” but doesn’t specify which ones. This same note was included in the iOS 16 and tvOS 16 release notes as well, so this feature may have been available on iPhone and Apple TV with last month’s update.
Nintendo originally made its classic controllers available to use with its Switch Online service, which comes with access to collections of SNES and NES games. It also offers a library of N64 games, but it costs an extra $49.99 for one year of access on top of the $3.99 / month Switch Online subscription.
But now that both Steam and Apple have added support for the classic controllers, you don’t necessarily need a Switch Online subscription if you want to play games with them. Apple also added Switch Pro and Joy-Con controller support to the iPad and iPhone in June, in addition to the PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series Controllers last year.