As the launch fo Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Switch looms – like a wonderful, long-awaited birthday – ever closer, a great many fans of the series will have one burning question on their minds: Can I play it with my trusty and dependable GameCube controller?
As we've known for a while, the answer to this question is, of course, an enthusiastic affirmative, as Nintendo is releasing a special adapter alongside the game (in the US at least) which will allow four GameCube pads to be used – the caveat being that said adapter connects to the Switch dock via USB and therefore cannot be used in tabletop mode. It also means that you're tethered to the console via a cable, which – for those of you with especially cavernous living rooms – could be an issue.
Thankfully, the wonders of technology have supplied a solution: the 8BitDo GBros. Adapter. This purple-coloured wonder is a small capsule-shaped device which allows you to wirelessly connect your GameCube pad (as well as others) to your Switch (or PC, if you're that way inclined). It's powered by two AA batteries which deliver around 30 hours of use and comes with its own built-in Home and Screenshot buttons, as the GameCube pad naturally lacks these features.
Pairing the GBros. with your Switch couldn't be easier; just set it to 'Switch' mode (XInput is for when you're using it on a PC), drop to the Controller menu and hold down the yellow 'Pair' button for two seconds. The pad will appear as a Pro Controller and all of the buttons are mapped accordingly without you having to do anything.
In short, the GBros. Works like a charm and provides silky-smooth lag-free input. There's a Micro USB port on the top of the unit which, via the bundled lead, can be connected to the Switch dock, but this causes the console to crash. It's not a massive issue as there's no noticeable latency when playing wirelessly, so we can't imagine you'd want to use a wired connection anyway. We suspect the lead is instead intended to deliver firmware updates to the unit, and, should we get confirmation from 8BitDo, we'll update this review.
The GBros. also comes with a Wii controller port which means you can use any pad which was designed for that particular console; while we imagine that most people will purchase this adapter solely for use with their beloved GameCube pads, it's a nice bonus to be able to use your Wii SNES pad or battered Classic Controller.
While being able to play wirelessly is a boon, we suspect there will be some players who find the fact that their pad is still connected by a wire to an external piece of equipment to be mildly annoying. Nintendo's own wireless option – the Wavebird – could have been the solution here, but sadly it's not physically possible to insert the Wavebird wireless adapter into the GBros., which means you'll just have to get used to that wire, we're afraid. For us, it was never a problem, but we thought we'd mention it all the same.
Where the GBros. really loses out to Nintendo's wired GameCube adapter is that it can only be used with a single pad; if you want four people involved and you all want to use your vintage controllers, then you'll need four (count 'em) GBros. Adapters.
This relatively minor oversight aside, this is yet another must-have product from 8BitDo. It's well made, reasonably priced and works like a dream, giving Smash players the chance to use their preferred controller in a wireless fashion.
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