Nintendo is launching a dedicated wireless NES controller for the Switch

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo announced a new, wireless NES controller for its Switch console, so players can enjoy classic titles coming to its online subscription service with the gamepad they were designed for. The company is launching its PSN and Xbox Live-like online service on September 18th, and with it will come 20 classic Nintendo titles that you’ll get for free, with more arriving on a rolling basis.

This new controller, which is sold as part of a pair of two, is designed specifically it seems to help you play those classics in the most nostalgia-fueled setting. The bundle will cost $59.99 and starts shipping in mid-December of this year.

Image: Nintendo

Unfortunately, it looks like there is one catch. On the webpage for the new controller, Nintendo has posted this message: “Limit one purchase per Nintendo Account with paid Nintendo Switch Online individual or family membership. Offer not available for trial membership.”

That seems to suggest you’ll only be able to buy one set of these devices, and that the purchase is restricted to those who purchase the company’s upcoming online service subscription. When reached for comment, a Nintendo spokesperson confirmed that only one set can be bought per Nintendo Account holder, and that the controllers are only sold as a bundle of two once Nintendo Switch Online goes live on September 18th. Free trial users are not eligible, Nintendo says.

Update 9/13, 7:49PM ET: Clarified that Nintendo is only selling the controller in a bundle of two, and that it is only available for purchase once Nintendo Switch Online goes live on September 18th, with each Nintendo Account holder allowed one bundle purchase.


Nintendo has finally made their own version of Netflix. This is something folks have wanted for ages. I hope they keep expanding it and bring in SNES and n64 at some point.

It could be pretty damn popular if they do it right, and not just dribble in a handful of NES games.

Unfortunately this is Nintendo & you’d be foolish to have your hopes high on Nintendo not fudging this. The fact that this only includes NES games is a great example of that. I fully expect Nintendo Entertainment System to exist solely on the Switch, future consoles be damned. You need only look at Virtual Console as a clear example of that.

This could’ve easily been a service called Virtual Console for classic Nintendo games from numerous systems that was only accessible with a Nintendo Online Network subscription. They could’ve sold the games individually like they did on Wii U and Wii for those not subscribed to Nintendo’s Online Network. They fudge every opportunity to make money online. They are utterly terrible at understanding how to internet.

When we said we wanted themed Joy-Con… well, how should I put it..?

Not literally. We were thinking curvi…er corners (oh man I can’t wait to see strangers at airports sporting these as handheld!)

But the singular controller aspect is awesome.

They’re not meant and probably dont function as joycons.

The direct had fine print that explicitly stated that they don’t work as joycons, though they do connect to and charge via the joycon connectors.

Do they charge by USB-C? Can they become wired controllers like the Pro controller and many of the 8bitdo controllers can?

They charge off of the Switch itself, and Joy-Con docks if you have them.

Looking at them more closely I see the rail. Thanks.

So they’re charging $20 for the privelage to spend $60? On the webpage for this they describe it like it’s a special deal, but you can’t sven get it without the online subscription.

That’s one way to put it, I guess. They’re charging $20 for an online service that comes with classic games. As part of playing the classic games, they are giving you an option to buy retro controllers.

I think this is a great way to keep people from scalping.

Yea it completely kills the benefit of scalping as anyone can get these.

If you don’t have the subscription, then what can you even use these controllers for? They’re specifically for the NES games.

And so offering them only to subscription holders avoids confusion ki "I can’t use these with my NES, or with Mario Kart 8" and such.

1 word…MINE!

If they can’t also be comnected to a PC for use with emulators, this is just an epic fail.

this is technically a joycon…and if you can pair a joycon to pc and android then…

lmao… yeah, that’s exactly what they want you doing with them.

Because Nintendo are all about supporting emulators!

Cool, I got hooked back on to the Nintendo drug and at the moment I don’t want to go back to rehab. It’s too bad these can’t be used with the Classic editions which biggest fault is their short wired controllers. It would be nice if Nintendo could coordinate their efforts a little better.

Hopefully, too, they have enough stock so that all those that subscribe and want them get them, rather then running out 2 days later.

personally, I would have preferred SNES controllers as they can easily be used for NES titles, but I am sure those are coming next year, Nintendo is just supporting my addition by trickling these products out now.

Seems a little pricey for two controllers, isn’t that the same price as the NES classic?

How you even compare this to the classic baffles any semblance of logic. Two different products, two different markets, two different technologies baked in. You’re not using NES classic controllers on Switch and they certainly aren’t wireless. Of course they sell them with profiting in mind. That’s what a smart business does.

That’s cool and all, but what happens when you lose one or one breaks? With that self imposed limit, how would I replace?

If it breaks, you send it in for repairs. XD

They are cool and all but $60 is ridiculous. You can get an entire NES classic for that, or a superior 8bitdo (although only one.) I know Nintendo is having a run, and they will probably sell plenty of these, but they are pushing the limits of nostalgia. I’d honestly probably do $40, which is still high.

Speaking of the NES classic, I wish they would support the controllers they are currently selling. For a Japanese company they are acting a lot like Apple.

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