Nintendo Switch N64 Controller | Gallery & Impressions - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Nintendo Switch N64 Controller | Gallery & Impressions

It was great to see the Nintendo 64 finally get some love on the Switch. Even if it’s coming at a bit of a premium, getting to revisit some of these classics on Nintendo’s handheld is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. With all of the classic game libraries on Nintendo Switch Online comes retro controllers, and things are no different here with the Nintendo 64. Let’s take a look. 

Gamers around the world can purchase the wireless Nintendo Switch Nintendo 64 controller via the My Nintendo Store/Nintendo Online Store. For gamers in Japan, the controller runs ¥5,478 (roughly $48 USD) which is pretty much on par with the rest of the world. This marks the first time that Nintendo has officially released the Nintendo 64 controller since back in the console’s heyday. 

The Controller
As for the controller itself, there’s quite a lot to like if you’re a fan of the original. I can’t comment on whether or not the analog stick will break down to a loose mess like the originals, but everything else about it here is spot on. Being a modern Switch controller, there are a few additions here that bring it in line with everything else. The top of the controller features a ZR button (used to access the menus for save states, changing games, etc.) offset to the center right with the Home button right behind that and the capture button snuggly sitting on the left center. A USB C charging port is nestled right in the middle at the top with a pairing button to the back left of it.

The Nintendo 64 Switch controller does come packed with rumble built in, so no need to break out the old Rumble Pak. In terms of feel, I will admit that it has been quite awhile since I played any games with the peripheral, but I think it feels pretty good overall. Of course, no all the games that are currently on the service use the feature, but those that do feel pretty decent. 

Taking a look at the back of the controller, you will notice that the original port for the Memory Pak, Rumble Pak, and the Transfer Pak is completely closed off. Instead, this appears to house some of the more modern innards of the controller. I’m not doing a tear down here or anything, so that’s just my guess. This addition actually makes the controller feel quite a bit heavier than the original controllers, but maybe just about on par with how it would feel with a loaded Rumble Pak. 

Just as with previously released replica controllers from Nintendo for the Switch, using the N64 controller will make a special controller icon show up in the application that you are using. This is not limited to the N64 apps, either. These will show up in the Famicom, Super Famicom, Mega Drive and more. It really doesn’t matter, other than for bragging rights or something like that.


Missed Opportunity
I really do like this controller and having the ability to play N64 games with an official wireless solution here on the Switch. While I can’t think of anything major to complain about, I think one of the biggest selling points of the original Nintendo 64 controllers was the variety. At the N64 launch, there were six controllers to choose from - gray, black, red, green, yellow and blue. I understand that doing something like this for a peripheral that is ONLY for sale online to Nintendo Switch Online members is probably just not financially viable, but it would have been cool to see. Could it still happen? Maybe, but I highly doubt it. 

The Nintendo 64 controller seems to be one of those love it or hate it kind of things to some gamers. If you fall into the latter camp, obviously, this isn’t going to change your mind. For those of you out there looking for something very true to the original, you will definitely want to pick this controller up. It’s a good modern take on the classic that just works right out of the box. 

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