The totally unexpected news from September's Nintendo Direct that Super NES games are dropping on Switch for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers was accompanied by the announcement that wireless Super NES controllers will soon be available to purchase by anybody signed up to Nintendo's online service. These new Super NES pads are of the same lineage as the NES pair that released alongside the service one year ago, and despite the fact we've got the originals, the SNES Classic Mini replicas and an assortment of 8Bitdo third party versions already, we can't wait to get our hands on these new-old SNES controllers.
Below we've answered a few questions regarding the new pads, their features, how much they cost and where you can get hold of them.
Are these Super NES controllers identical to the originals?
The pads retain the size, shape and feel of the originals but add the convenience of wireless connectivity, so you're not tethered to the console and forced to sit 3 feet from your 65-inch 4K telly. Unlike the NES versions which featured a rail along the top and connected to your Switch directly for charging (and enabled you to create this alluring eyesore), the Super NES pads are charged via USB-C cable. Less fun, perhaps, but a railing to snap them onto your Switch would have got in the way of the shoulder buttons.
These new versions also include tiny 'ZR' and 'ZL' buttons on the top which further extend their usefulness for Switch games outside the Super Nintendo library offerings. Each region will get its specific version of the pad from back in the day: North America gets the two-tone button version with concave 'X' and 'Y' buttons while Europe gets the multicoloured Super Famicom-alike variant.
Do I need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to buy the Super NES controller?
Unfortunately, yes. The NES controllers, which came in a pack of two, were (and still are, in fact) available to purchase exclusively for Nintendo Account holders with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and it's the same deal with the SNES versions. That'll need to be a proper subscription, too - you can't get them if you're enrolled on the free trial version. On the plus side, these Super Nintendo pads can be purchased individually.
When can I get them, and how much do they cost?
Currently there's no date attached to the new Super NES controller - it's 'coming soon' according to the Nintendo of America website. The corresponding pages on the Nintendo UK website also fail to mention exactly when these little beauties will pop up, but it does mention a price: each pad will cost £26.99, plus shipping in the UK, and $29.99 in the US. Being Switch Online exclusives, the official Nintendo site in your region is the only place to buy them new.
Both sites also mention that purchases are limited to four per account holder.
Do I need a Super NES controller to play SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online?
No! It's important to note that these pads are in no way required to enjoy your Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online games (breathe!) on your Switch - your Joy-Con or Pro Controller will function perfectly well for playing classics like Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past and F-Zero. These are optional extras that simply offer a more 'authentic' feel for enthusiasts and nostalgia addicts. They do feel particularly lovely in the hands, though.
We'll be updating this article with more information as it surfaces. Got any questions about the wireless Super Nintendo controllers for Switch? Share them below and we'll do our best to answer them!