By Steve Baltimore / January 12th, 2018
I recently purchased a Nintendo Switch, thanks to Xenoblade 2’s release, and while I like the Joy-Cons I wanted to see if there was any alternative to the Classic Controller Pro. I decided to hit up our partner Play-Asia and see what they had in stock. I found two Bluetooth controllers made by 8Bitdo, the 8BITDO CRISSAEGRIM NES30 PRO and the 8BITDO SF30 PRO CONTROLLER GAMEPAD, so I decided to do a review to compare the two and see if they gave you enough bang for you buck and were a good alternative to the Classic Controller Pro.
The first controller I will discuss is the 8BITDO CRISSAEGRIM NES30 PRO. This is a very compact and slim controller with a nice NES retro theme design. It has all your standard buttons, D-Pad and analog sticks. It is compatible with your Switch, PC, Android and iOS devices. What this controller lacks is motion sensing and rumble functionality. This is kind of a deal breaker if you plan to use this exclusively on the Switch, since some games like Zelda: BOTW do use the motion controls during gameplay. The only major complaint I have with this controller is that it is really too small for my big hands. It measures around 5 inches in length, 2 ½ inches in height, and is around ½ an inch thick. The fact it is so thin leads to my second complaint, that the top triggers are all in a row with R2 and L2 positioned towards the top center of the controller instead of behind R1 and L1. This lead to me pressing the wrong button a lot during my time with it. Which was a while, considering the battery went around 8-10 hours before needing to be charged.
While I think this controller does have a few flaws, for its $38.99 price tag if you’re looking for a small, simple controller to use on an android device or PC for emulation, this could fit the bill nicely. Despite it being too small for my hands, it was very easy to sync up to my various devices and was very responsive. All of the buttons and sticks feel great and you can tell this is a quality made controller. That Retro NES style still looks pretty sweet after all these years.
Next up we have the 8BITDO SF30 PRO CONTROLLER GAMEPAD. I really love this controller. It’s a bit bigger than the NES30 PRO, so it fit in my hands nicely. This controller is a bit thicker as well which allows for the standard top trigger layout. This controller is designed in that classic Super Famicom style and even retains the button colors. It does feature rumble and motion controls, so using this will work on most games on the Switch. I’ve used this controller for around 80 hours of my Xenoblade 2 playtime and it has been fantastic. The controller feels very comfortable in your hands and lasts around 8 to 10 hours on a single charge. The buttons and sticks are well made and you can feel the quality when you put this bad boy to use. I tried the controller out on some of my Steam games on my PC and it worked flawlessly there as well. This controller costs a bit more than the NES30 PRO, coming in at $49.99, but if I were picking between these two this is the one I would go with every time.
Both of these controllers were provided by Play-Asia for review purposes. Links in this article are affiliate links which help fund the site. You can use the code below to get 3% off a purchase.