In the last few years, nostalgic video game devices like Nintendo’s NES Classic and Sony’s PlayStation Classic have been all the rage. It’s clear that many adult gamers today want to recreate the gaming experience they had as children, but buying a shrunken down game system isn’t the only way to do this. 8Bitdo’s SN30 Pro+ gaming controller ($49.99) was designed to mimic the look and color scheme of the class SNES controller, but with a few modern additions to make it easier to use on today’s games.
If you used to own a Super Nintendo back in the 1990s, then the SN30 Pro+ will instantly look familiar with you, and yet distinctively unfamiliar. It’s almost as though someone took the original and glued handles and a couple of thumbsticks onto it. This gives it the appearance of something halfway between an NES controller and one of Sony’s DualShock controllers. The controller also has two trigger buttons that the original SNES model lacked.
These added buttons and thumbsticks are key to the success of this gamepad. The original SNES controller worked well for its time, but modern games simply utilize more buttons and multiple thumbsticks are essentially a must for 3D games.
Usage and Gameplay
Despite having a similar configuration to Sony’s DualShock controller, the SN30 Pro+ is not compatible with any of Sony’s game consoles. It is compatible with Nintendo’s Switch, however, and it also can connect to PCs, Macs, and Android devices using Bluetooth or a USB cable.
8Bitdo includes a software utility that allows you to remap the buttons to support various games. It also supports a somewhat rare feature that gives you granular control over the triggers and analog sticks.
PCMag reported in their review of this device that its the first time they have seen a sub-$100 controller that has this feature. The reviewer at PCMag also indicated that the controller worked nearly perfect in the games that he tested and that the direction buttons on the SN30 Pro+ were superior to the ones on Nintendo’s Joy-Cons. The controller’s vibration is apparently weaker than the Joy-Cons, but the reviewer went on to say that the controller worked perfectly with solid vibration when used on a PC.
8Bitdo retails the SN30 Pro+ for $49.99. At this price point and with its reportedly excellent performance, the SN30 Pro+ is well worth considering if you need a new controller for your PC or Nintendo Switch. It’s significantly less expensive than buying a new set of Joy-Cons, which retail for $69.99. Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller also retails for $69.99, and while it is on sale for $62.06, it’s simply can’t stand up against the $49.99 SN30 Pro+.