Fancy a new Zelda-themed Pro Controller for your Nintendo Switch? No worries, Power-A has got you covered.
The accessory maker will be releasing a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Blood Moon wireless pro controller for Switch next month on 15th August for $ 54.99. Pre-orders are now live.
Here’s the rundown, courtesy of an Amazon listing. As noted, it won’t support HD rumble, IR, or amiibo NFC.
“Officially licensed by Nintendo, this PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo combines beauty and performance. Each rechargeable controller features world-class art, along with awesome gaming features. Program two mappable Advanced Gaming Buttons on-the-fly, tilt your way through turns with motion controls, and enjoy up to 30 hours of gameplay on a single charge. So great, you may never want to put it down. Includes a 10ft (3m) USB-C charge cable, plus PowerA backs all products for 2-years to reinforce quality commitment. Can be used when Nintendo Switch is docked or undocked. Does not support HD rumble, IR, or Amiibo NFC. Multiple variables affect battery life estimate.”
We’ve also got some additional screenshots:
The Blood Moon in Breath of the Wild is an event in the game that returns Link’s fallen enemies to life. Would you be interested in a controller based on this? Tell us down below.
At Xbox, we believe that providing our fans with choice and opportunities to express themselves is a core part of our mission, empowering players to more closely connect with their gaming experience, express their personalities and individualism, and put their own unique stamp on their Xbox identity. Five years ago, we introduced Xbox Design Lab as a way for our community to design their very own official Xbox Wireless Controllers. Since then, we have seen hundreds of thousands of unique designs that allow users to express their creativity and bring their inspirations to life. Xbox Design Lab has been there to celebrate milestones, such as birthdays, sports team championships and even marriage proposals, with engraved controllers! Last October, we paused Xbox Design Lab as we prepared for the launch of Xbox Series X|S and our new Xbox Wireless Controller. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Xbox Design Lab is back to help you to once again create a controller that’s unmistakably yours.
What is Xbox Design Lab?
Xbox Design Lab is a customization program that offers different ways to create your own personalized Xbox Wireless Controller. Fans can color-customize nearly all the external parts of the controller including the body, back case, D-pad, bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks, ABXY, View, Menu and Share buttons. With Xbox Design Lab, you can customize a controller to match your creative style, tell a story, or celebrate a special moment. From there, you can further personalize your design with laser engraving to add your name, Gamertag or custom 16-character message. We’ll then hand-make your controller and ship it to your doorstep with free shipping.
What is new with this latest update?
Starting today, our new Xbox Wireless Controllers are now available in Xbox Design Lab. Players will receive all the benefits that come with the newest generation of Xbox Wireless Controllers, including improved ergonomics for a wider range of hand sizes, better cross-device connectivity, easier sharing, and reduced latency.
Players can choose from 18 different available colors for most controller parts and we are introducing new colors like Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Electric Volt. Most of our color options are made with plastics containing 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials by weight.* These color options will reduce the amount of waste plastic that ends up in landfills and ensure we are all doing our part to take care of the planet. We believe this work is critical and will continue to increase the amount of PCR that we use in our products. We are also adding a new black-on-color ABXY button option, as well as a new black-on-white color option for the View, Menu and Share buttons.
We have a bold vision for customization through Xbox Design Lab, and this update is just the beginning. Our team is hard at work developing new processes, testing new materials, and innovating so that we can continue to evolve the Xbox Design Lab experience. Over the coming months, we will share more information about new customization opportunities and new ways to personalize your gaming experience.
UK distribution for the HORI Flex — the Japanese accessories manufacturer’s accessibility-focused controller — finally began last week and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a sample of this rather remarkable new device.
This little controller (well, quite sizeable, actually) has been available in Japan since last year, and features a frankly baffling array of options and inputs which enable you to attach a variety of buttons, sensors, sticks and more via 3.5mm jacks to create a totally unique control set-up.
As you’ll see in the video above featuring the lovely Alex-from-Nintendo-Life (full name), this could be as simple as attaching a single button for a specific input, or creating a bespoke control environment tailored to your personal comfort and physical ability. Suddenly, playing one-handed or with your head or feet or any other method you so wish becomes viable, and the world of Switch gaming becomes much more inclusive. Check out the video above for a small sample of the potential this controller opens up for gamers of all abilities.
Alex looks at how the controller can be used for a variety of games, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Sonic Mania and several more. And if all that wasn’t enticing enough, the video also features Alex’s rather lovely kitchen (we haven’t been this jealous of an island since dreaming in Animal Crossing), plus shots of prime British feet.
What more could you possibly want of an evening? Grab yourself a beverage and enjoy.
8BitDo has a long and enviable reputation when it comes to third-party accessories, having produced some of the best controllers we’ve seen in the past few years. A short while back it released the superb 8BitDo Pro+, a Switch Pro Controller rival that mixed the design language of the SNES and PlayStation pads to create one of the most comfortable and responsive interface options money could buy.
Fast forward to the present, the 8BitDo is releasing a new version of the pad. On the outside, it looks rather similar to the original, but it offers some significant upgrades over the previous model. The most obvious is the inclusion of two additional ‘paddle’ buttons on the back of the controller, located where your fingers ‘rest’. These can be programmed (more on that in a second) with custom inputs, giving you even more control over the in-game action (Hori’s excellent Split Pad has a similar feature).
Another big advantage the Pro 2 has over its older sibling is the ability to quickly toggle modes (Switch, Android, D-input, X-input) using a mechanical switch, rather than having to hold various buttons when powering the device on. This is handy because the Pro 2 can be used on other systems, such as your smartphone or PC.
The next big update relates to software rather than hardware. Like the original 8BitDo Pro+, this new model can be re-mapped and tinkered with using software – however, rather than having to be near a computer, you can now use the Android or iOS app on your smart device. As well as changing which button does what, you can adjust the sensitivity of the sticks and triggers (analogue trigger support is not present on Switch, though, for obvious reasons) and have multiple button and directional inputs mapped to a single button – so, for example, you could have the combination for Ryu’s fireball special move in Street Fighter II mapped to a single button press. You can create custom profiles for any configurations you cook up, and switch between them at the touch of a button.
Outside of those changes, the Pro 2 isn’t massively different from the original Pro+ – and that’s a good thing as the first model was (and still is) comfortable to use. A textured surface has been added to the underside of the pad, but that’s about the only other difference. Like the original Pro+, the 1000mAh Li-on rechargeable battery (20 play hours on a 4-hour charge) can be removed in the event of it refusing to hold any juice, which is good from a sustainability perspective – there’s no need to bin the entire pad when the battery dies. Rumble is included (not HD Rumble, however) and it has gyro support as well.
Should you upgrade if you already have the original 8BitDo Pro+? That’s a tricky question to answer, because while the improvements are welcome, it’s not like they radically change things. The ability to toggle between modes is fantastic, as the button combinations on the original pad were difficult to remember, while the gripper texture and additional paddles are genuinely decent improvements – as is the ability to re-map buttons via a smartphone rather than a computer. However, the ‘feel’ of the controller remains largely unchanged, and, like the Pro+, there’s no NFC support.
If you’ve yet to take the plunge and are looking for a decent Pro Controller replacement, then we’d heartily recommend this pad, though.
The 8BitDo Pro 2 launches on April 12th in North America and April 30th in Europe. Thanks to 8BtiDo for supplying the unit used in this review.
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