Earlier this month, 8Bitdo sent me some SFC30 Pro and SN30 Pro gamepads to review and after putting them through their paces on all sorts of games and systems, they are a lot better than I was expecting.
To give a bit of context, 8Bitdo already makes some very nice Super Famicom and SNES themed gamepads. Using Bluetooth, these pads can be connected to your PC, Switch, Android mobile and even the original consoles (with a Bluetooth dongle sold separately).
However, what the standard pads lack are additional shoulder buttons and dual analog sticks. Now, 8Bitdo already makes other dual analog ready pads and they aren’t half bad but these new SN30 Pro and SFC30 Pro are a noticeable step up.
This is because 8Bitdo has taken the design of the original Super Famicom and SNES pads and added two more shoulder buttons, dual analog controls and a rumble feature.
Having played with both pads on the Switch and PC a lot, they are very solid and work well across a variety of games. The d-pad is also very good and is a big help on games such as Ultra Street Fighter II and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The additional and lower shoulder buttons are also very comfortable and work well on the Switch games I tested. Likewise with the dual analog controls, to the point that I actually prefer playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild on these new 8Bitdo pads.
As for the rumble, it is good but it is definitely not as precise as the Switch’s rumble setup on the Joy-Cons. It is also a little noisy at times but it still works as it should in a functional sense.
The only real issue I had was that I had to re-sync these pads almost every time I wanted to use them on any given device. While that was somewhat irritating, once synced I had no connection issues for that session.
The battery life is also decent but I would recommend fully charging these pads before using them for the first time.
Overall, as Bluetooth gamepads that effectively compete directly with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in terms of hardware output, it is impressive what 8Bitdo has managed here. Not only have they retained a wonderfully nostalgic design but these classic pads have been updated and improved for modern gaming hardware.
Both the SN30 Pro and SFC30 Pro are released on December 10 and can be pre-ordered via Amazon.
Disclosure: 8Bitdo sent me both an SN30 Pro and an SFC30 Pro for the purposes of this review.
Read my Forbes blog here.
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