Nintendo's Wii Console has more different controller types than any other system, offering the vast array of games, including retro titles from console history clearly needed something a little more conventional.
From the off Nintendo offered the Wii Classic Controller, a very simple gamepad with a mixture between SNES and Gamecube layout, it pretty much does the job and current costs around £14.99 in most stores.
The controller came under some criticism for two reasons, one the controller cable that emerges from the bottom of the controller and secondly because the controller isn't completely wireless.
Snakebyte have decided to cover both options offering both a wired "Retro Controller" and wireless "Wireless Retro Controller" solutions, they were kind enough to offer us some samples to play with and tell you what we think.
Both controllers have the exact same ergonomic design, just different connectivity. The shape of the Snakebyte controller is slightly more suited to those who've previously used PlayStation controllers, the shoulders are rounder and fit nicer in the palms over Nintendo's Classic Controller.
The gameplay buttons, analogue sticks and directional buttons all feel right and work to satisfaction, however the upper shoulder buttons feel somewhat "spongy", a flaw also shared by the Classic Controller.
Obviously the wired version is simply plugs in and your away, the wireless version isn't quite that simple. First of all you've got to turn the power switch on (well duh) then you need connect the dongle to your Wiimote and finally hit "Home" to try and sync the Retro Controller and Wiimote together.
We had a little trouble getting this to pair first time (we had to hit the FC pin button on the back) but after that it paired every time without problems.
The wired "Retro Controller" available in both black or white comes in at a retail cost of £14.99, the same price as Nintendo's official controller, however having looked around a few online retailers it seems that you can get the Snakebyte controller for under the £14.99 retail price.
The "Wireless Retro Controller" on the other hand retails for £24.99, again you can probably find it slightly cheaper if you simply shop around - but basically the wireless element will cost you around an extra £10.
Overall the Snakebyte controllers are pretty solid, we've seen far worse in the world of third party controllers, the "Wireless Retro Controller" does offer something that Nintendo's product doesn't, for those who really want wireless and don't have a Wavebird it should be a definite consideration.
3rd party controllers suck.
Definite pass here, I'm going to keep waiting until I see the Nyko Wing controller, since that's the only 3rd party accessory that looks worth it.
Also, has anybody else heard about the new 3rd party Wii remotes? I saw them the other day on Play.com and they look pretty poor, although at least it's only £17.99. It's available in blue, pink and white, and although I aren't going to get it, some thoughts on how good it is would be appreciated.
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