Nintendo’s NES Classic Returns Today, And With A Wireless Controller Option

In a stroke of business genius that disadvantages eBay resellers to the great joy of gaming enthusiasts and general consumers, Nintendo has relaunched a limited run of the NES Classic, The Verge reports. Amazon began listing the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic console at a little after 8 a.m. EST this morning, at a retail price of $59.99.

This should surely satisfy long-time retro-gaming fans as well as those simply looking to dip into the nostalgic past offered up by their 1980s and 1990s childhoods — given that the supply shortage when the system was first released in 2016 meant that most people hunting for the hottest holiday gift came up empty. Even worse, a predatory market of resellers had capitalized on the shortage and frequently sold genuine systems at a significant mark-up or profited in the trade of cheaply-made clone systems from China and the ignorance of an insatiable demand as reported by Polygon.

Though you can’t exactly slot original cartridges in the diminutive NES Classic given its rather small physical size, there are 30 games included on the console. Iconic titles such as Castlevania and Double Dragon II are joined by hidden gems such as Balloon Fight and StarTropics. Of course the classics are also included: Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros. 1,2, and 3, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Super Contra, Mega Man 2, and Donkey Kong are also included with purchase.

Gray market modifications are also popular although their legality is in dispute – mods allowing the system to play any game originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Alongside the exciting news afforded by the current re-release of the NES classic with both online retailers and brick and mortar locations comes an announcement of an inexpensive wireless controller for the console offered up by popular third-party peripheral manufacturer 8Bitdo. After retiring their NES Classic compatible NES30 wired controller earlier this year, Gizmodo reports that the company has released a new solution in the form of the N30.

Less expensive, coming in at a suggested retail price of nearly half of its former iteration at $25 (the NES30 model sold for ~$40), the N30 is sleeker than its predecessor as well. A dedicated 2.4 GHz wireless connection is provided by a dongle which plugs directly into the NES Classic. When powered on, the dongle and the controller pair automatically, making the experiences painless and easy. The shoulder buttons on the NES30 have been removed, and the four primary face buttons have been arranged into a square grid more akin to the traditional, original Nintendo controller.

One unfortunate drawback – at least according to Gizmodo – of the newer N30 over the older controller is that it will no longer work with desktop computers, having been made specifically for use with the NES Classic console. The former utilized a universally acknowledged Bluetooth protocol to enact its wireless functionality whereas the N30 uses a dedicated 2.4 GHz connection. Whether intrepid hackers or modders can rectify this design flaw remains uncertain.

Whether a casual fan of Mario and Zelda or a lifelong gamer dedicated to reviving 8-bit classics into the modern gaming era, the recent news that a new supply of NES Classics is about to hit the hands of consumers this summer comes as very welcome news indeed.