There's a good chance that, as of today, you own multiple Nintendo Switch controllers -- even if you haven't dished out the cash for an extra set of Joy-Con controllers or Pro Controller! It was revealed today that all 8bitdo controllers capable of firmware updates (most of their modern controllers) are now compatible with the Nintendo Switch! You can see the compatible controllers in the gallery below. Check out NintendoLife editor Damien McFerran playing Ultra Street Fighter II on one of his 8bitdo pads. This is old-school bliss:
If you're unfamiliar with 8bitdo, they've been producing multiple retro-style video game controllers based on various Nintendo designs. Your author can't personally attest to their quality -- we've never reviewed any of these controllers -- but we've heard anecdotally that they feel sturdy and well-built, and offer a great gaming experience free of latency.
This is a huge development for Nintendo Switch owners. Almost everything worth owning on the Switch right, or worth owning in the near future, now can be played with others: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra Street Fighter II, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Snipperclips, most of the NEO GEO classics... Gaming on the Switch is so much better with a friend, but controllers can be expensive. If you're wanting an extra pair of Joy-Con or a Pro Controller, you can expect to cough up anywhere from $70 to $90.
The 8bitdo line of controllers are highly affordable, and will make for perfect additional controllers for multiplayer games -- especially the retro-inspired games like Puyo Puyo Tetris and Ultra Street Fighter II. Most of the 8bitdo controllers can be found at Amazon or wherever else you like to shop for about $35. Many of you already have some laying around for your emulators!
The only concern we have right now: we don't actually know if Nintendo is okay with this. Nintendo is very picky about how its customers play its games. The fact that these controllers aren't officially supported by Nintendo, lack a few face buttons that you'd find on a Switch controller, and don't have HD Rumble makes us think that Nintendo may release a firmware update in the future that specifically targets these controllers to render them useless. If that happens we'll let you know. In the meantime, these are affordable, attractive, reliable controllers for your Nintendo Switch. Check out a few screenshots of them in the gallery below.