This week has been a good week to be a fan of retro Nintendo games. On Thursday, Super Nintendo Entertainment System games were added to Nintendo Switch Online, bringing a whole new generation of classic titles to the service. 20 whole games are now available, ranging from 16-bit classics to obscure titles ready to be rediscovered. It's a pretty solid package, but for some, what really sweetens the deal is the fact that they'll be able to play these games with a brand new Switch-exclusive SNES controller.
When they'll be able to play with it, however, has yet to be revealed. As of this writing, the SNES Switch controller is slated by Nintendo as simply "coming soon," with no set release date in sight. Whenever it does come out, it will be exclusively available from Nintendo’s website for $29.99.
In the meantime, anyone interested can pre-order the controller while they wait. All they have to do is be a member of Nintendo's rewards program (or sign up for a Nintendo Account if they're not) and wait for an email that will let them pre-order.
It’s worth noting that Nintendo's limiting the amount of controllers that can be ordered to just four per Nintendo Account. Moreover, the controller is exclusively available to active Switch Online subscribers. Everyone currently enrolled in a free trial is going to have to upgrade to a full subscription if they want to get it.
Nintendo stresses that the SNES Switch controller is strictly optional for playing SNES games on the Switch. That said, the controller does make a fair case for itself. Besides its faithful look, it does come with a few modern upgrades, like wireless connectivity and the ability to be charged with a USB-C cable. This is a step up from the Joy-Con-esque NES controllers Nintendo has released for the Switch, which have to slide into the console to charge. This makes it impossible to charge it and play properly at the same time.
The SNES controller also boasts a tiny pair of "ZL" and "ZR" buttons in addition to its original layout, which should make it a viable option for games outside the Switch Online SNES library, like the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening coming later this month. With that in mind, retro fans with the cash to spare may want to seriously consider their options.