Since the invention of smartphones such as Android and IOS, mobile use has massively expanded throughout the years. Nowadays a smartphone is a necessity in life and we literally use it in almost all of our everyday tasks, such as driving, cleaning, and personal health. With our technology becoming more and more powerful each year, mobile gaming has come to the point where its graphics and overall entertainment is extremely enjoyable compared to phones back in the late 2000’s.
Right now phones such as Samsung, Lenovo, and Alcatel, have even adapted to Virtual Reality, offering an almost similar yet not as perfect experience compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This provides wonders on what mobile VR can offer.
Hardware Gaming Companies such as Nvidia is also offering their own mobile gaming platform, known as the Nvidia Shield, where they advertise it as more powerful than a convenient smartphone that is ready for streaming from desktop PCs. All in all, with our technology improving every single day with new advancements, research, and inventions, we can ensure that the future of mobile gaming is very bright. One day it might live up to the standards as a major computing platform for gaming where it might compete against consoles and PCs, but that still has a long way to go.
Nevertheless, mobile gaming has a bright future. And here we have the SNES30, a retro-styled mobile controller by 8bitdo.
About the SNES30 Controller
The SNES30 is a mobile controller that’s design is based off the controllers of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It has the same feel and almost the same size as the SNES original controller though a bit heavier because of the batteries. Also found internally is a built-in ROM for firmware upgrades.
It is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OSX. To add up more to the fun, you can connect two SNES30 on an iOS device for multiplayer support. It can also connect via its included cable, has exclusive Wiimote Emolution for the Nintendo Wii, is compatible with all kinds of emulators, and has a battery life of 20 hours.
The first thing that came to my mind was “It is so nostalgic to look at.” The SNES console and the Famicom are familiar childhood gaming platforms to many and I grew up with them myself. So seeing a controller that has the same style and feel as those controllers was really pleasing and nostalgic. Technical-wise, the SNES pad layout was simple and effective and was one of the first to introduce shoulder buttons. The wide backing although flat made it easy to support the pad for really robust gaming.
The 8BitDo SNES30 controller is packed in simple box that packs multiple cardboard boxes inside also. The packagine inside of it is the controller itself, a manual, cable, and accessories. Upon removing the SNES30 from its designated position, you will see two boxes, one for the cable, and one for the keychain and phone ring holder.
The keychain is sturdy and is entirely built of metal. It has an 8bitDo logo, and its founding date of 1983. Besides the keychain, it has the phone ring holder which is also made from metal, and the cable is a straight tangle-free design.
User Experience & Conclusion
Let’s break it down for the 8BitDo SNES30 gamepad.
First up, build quality: this is a really superb product in terms of construction and while I’m tempted to tear it down to see what’s inside, overall its a really responsive piece of work. Physical-build is great with the plastic really sturdy, even harder than the original SNES quality and the subtle texturing gives it a really good grip. The bulk added by the battery isn’t that sizable but it adds up to a better grip experience with this gamepad and the weight is just right.
Button feedback is good overall including the shoulder buttons. I’m not sure if button travel is up to spec with the original SNES pad but for most games its just right, fighting game fans though might feel that corners need to be a bit more rounded so it slides easier when sliding through buttons on the D-pad. For the wireless performance, this one’s really decent and range is good. If you’re using a larger AIO screen or tablet you can do so from a good distance as long as LOS is clear and interference is minimal.
Overall, the 8BitDo SNES30 gamepad is a great controller for games that don’t require stick controls like older games and mobile platformers. But as most of us who look at this pad, its most important feature is perhaps allowing us another chance to have the feel of nostalgia of the original SNES legacy gamepad without being very limited to game choices. Being able to relive the classics doesn’t get as legit as this and the 8Bitdo SNES30 delivers.