In case you missed it, last week 8BitDo announced a new DIY kit that lets you turn an original Nintendo 64 controller into a wireless gamepad for the Nintendo Switch. It could be an ideal project if you want a more authentic way to play classic Nintendo 64 games on your modern console, or maybe try out some modern games with a retro gamepad.
Nintendo sells a wireless Nintendo 64 controller of its own. But despite releasing over a year and a half ago, the official version can be annoyingly hard to come by. The $49.99 controller often sells out quickly whenever new stock is available, and availability is limited to subscribers of Nintendo’s online service. 8BitDo’s kit, meanwhile, gives you the warm fuzzy feeling of upcycling old hardware rather than letting it collect dust.
8BitDo says the kit can be installed without the need for any soldering, includes an LED status indicator, and should offer 8 hours of playtime on a single charge. You charge it via a USB-C port on the included rumble pack, and because the mod involves removing the original controller cable you get a small plug for the hole.
As well as the Switch, 8BitDo’s website says modded N64 controllers will also work wirelessly with Android, and the company has confirmed it they’ll connect to Windows PCs.
8BitDo has put out similar DIY kits for other retro controllers in the past, offering wireless-compatible hardware for gamepads from the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis.
8BitDo is selling its DIY kit in a couple of different variants. There’s a $29.99 bundle that includes the Mod Kit along with a rumble pack that also serves as the controller’s rechargeable battery, or a $39.99 bundle that adds a more durable replacement hall effect joystick in case your Nintendo 64 controller’s original stick has worn down or broken over time. You can also buy the hall effect joystick separately for $19.99. As of this writing, 8BitDo’s website lists the kit as shipping on July 5th.
Update June 8th, 10:40AM ET: Updated to note the kit also lets modded controllers connect to Windows.