News Article

Weirdness: These Chinese Game Controllers Look Wii-ly Familiar

Posted by Damien McFerran

The designers at Xiao Bawang clearly ran out of ideas

China has recently lifted its ban on games consoles, and as a result we're seeing a few new challengers arrive on the market in the hope of leveraging the country's massive number of potential players.

One such outfit is Xiao Bawang, the company which tried — and failed — to conquer China with its NES clone more than twenty years ago. Since then Xiao Bawang has made a name for itself producing cheap consumer electronics, but the firm is back in the video game arena with the G20, a Linux-based console which will be backed by peripherals such as yoga blankets and exercise bikes. Perhaps Nintendo's proposed Quality of Life strategy has a new rival?

However, it's the console's controller which has caught our eye — it's an almost exact copy of the Wii Remote, as you can see from the image below.

The G20 will also allow users to stream movies and surf the web, and will cost around $95 USD when it launches in China on April 10th. It will be sold exclusively through Chinese retailer Alibaba, and we wouldn't recommend holding your breath for a global release.

[via techinasia.com, gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (34)

epicdude12302

#2

epicdude12302 said:

Wow! What a rip-off! I'd understand if those were made by Nintendo for China, but if this console is successful, Nintendo might sue.

element187

#5

element187 said:

@epicdude12302 @Nik-Davies nobody can sue anybody in China. They don't have copyright laws... In fact they even boast about it in China with a popular joke "Our copyright laws says we have a right to copy your idea"

Lawsuits don't matter. If Nintendo wants a piece of that China market they will be competing with blatant rip offs of their idea..... In fact they will run into businesses that will use Nintendo's logo and seal of quality emblem, because they don't care.

Moshugan

#6

Moshugan said:

It'll be interesting to see how The Real Thing will fair against all of these copycats. It won't be good if Nintendo will price it's products too high, but if they can make the public understand that their original products are of that much better quality then maybe they'll succeed.

LostHeaven

#7

LostHeaven said:

China at its best, again.

Anyway, plagiarism aside, the controller does feature something I always wanted the Wiimote to have: 4 bottom buttons. It always felt odd being able to play VC NES games with it but having to pull a different controller for SNES ones.

kenzo

#9

kenzo said:

@LostHeaven

Theres no one stopping Nintendo from making a dongle that gives 4 bottom buttons. Think of it like a mini-mini classic controller.

PJR0cks

#12

PJR0cks said:

@SahashraLA
I don't think they actually restrict you from all online interactions, but there is a lot of censorship going on.
Anyways even if they manage to make hardwares that are as good looking as Nintendo they will never be able to make the Games, and that's where all rip off companies show their weakness, Quality Games.

FX102A

#13

FX102A said:

And they get rid of one of Nintendo controllers' best features, a good d-pad for the Sony-inspired abomination on this thing.

torotoid64

#15

torotoid64 said:

@SahashraLA in China most Social websites such as Facebook,Twitter and Tumblr (I think) are banned or heavily monitored however they still have news websites and information websites such as Time.com are allowed
(Fun fact: most Sony websites are blocked in China )

kenzo

#16

kenzo said:

The Great Wall of China was the ancient equivalent of the internet firewall and censorship. Ironically China was an advanced technology civilization but isolated itself from the World and the West caught up and surpassed it, and China is still trying to catch up fair or foul.

KingMike

#17

KingMike said:

Nothing really new. China's been copying game controllers forever.
(though mostly for clone consoles and android/whatever consoles)

Dreamz

#19

Dreamz said:

@FX102A So true. The four ABXY at the bottom are nice touch, but that abortion of a D-Pad they ripped off from the PS is just silly.

Dark-Link73

#20

Dark-Link73 said:

Leave it to China to blatantly copy the best of the best. Well, you know what they say: "Imitation is the best form of flattery." ;-)

duffmman

#21

duffmman said:

I do wish the Wiimotes had x and y buttons. Then you could play SNES games on the VC without having to connect a classic controller or GCN controller. And before you ask, the A and B buttons while being in incorrect places could take on the roll of the L and R buttons for the few SNES games that used them, this actually works fairly well for the GBA emulator on the Wii when you map the buttons to a wiimote.

ToniK

#22

ToniK said:

The best way to fight this problem IMO is to make superior products instead of endless lawsuits that lead nowhere. No way these cheap clones can make it in the market unless the chinese really know nothing about gaming which might be the case, I wouldn't know really.

HopeNForever

#23

HopeNForever said:

I thought Nintendo's products are usually sold in the People's Republic of China under the iQue brand, and they don't even use the term original "Nintendo" anywhere on products or packaging.

By the way, these aren't necessarily the first Wii Remote-like controllers in China. I am aware there were various, modern NES clones fashioned after Wii consoles and controllers, but who could say more powerful, less notable consoles with similar motion controllers couldn't exist somewhere in the Chinese black market?

The PlayStation Move is a blatant rip-off of the Wii Remote, and that controller comes from a big, respectable Japanese company called Sony Computer Entertainment, and not to mention it is sold everywhere, including North America, where the people are lawsuit-trigger-happy.

Kaze_Memaryu

#24

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Well, China. That's bound to give you a better image!

@HopeNForever Strictly speaking, Sony had the idea some time before Nintendo, but they were too cowardly to try it until Nintendo's success - and then they waited some years with it to avert massively negative media.
Also, both controllers work radically different (light position detection and infrared for WiiMote, Camera-based position scan and lightbulb for PS Move).

lamco

#26

lamco said:

Rip-offs never fail to make me smile :D especially that Ign article posted by @BinaryFragger
Can't wait to see this in the local market next to the painfully shoddy counterfeit designer clothes.

Squid

#27

Squid said:

We could have an entire game of Spot the Difference that uses these knockoffs!

Squiggle55

#28

Squiggle55 said:

I thought there was a ban on foreign consoles but there have always been various knockoffs. Is this not true?

Windy

#30

Windy said:

that Badminton game pictured looks cool! I wonder if that's packed with it.

BulbasaurusRex

#31

BulbasaurusRex said:

I wish the actual Wiimote had 4 buttons on the bottom. It would make the controls less awkward for sideways Wiimote games like "Metroid: Other M" and "Kirby's Return to Dreamland," and it would also let us play VC SNES games with the Wiimote.

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