8BitDo have always made some of the best third-party controllers on the market, especially for retro gaming and the Switch. Their SN30 Pro+ was basically the best Pro Controller if you didn’t want to deal with long-term drift, but now the company is finally releasing a sequel.
Called the 8BitDo Pro 2, the PlayStation-styled controller is effectively a cheap upgrade from the excellent SN30 Pro+ Bluetooth pad. You’ve got the same rough layout of the D-Pad, sticks, face buttons and the Start/Select buttons, but the back now has two back buttons. Crucially, there’s a dedicated button for switching between mobile/Switch/PC/D-input gaming, instead of the “press a face button while holding start” combo that the SN30 Pro+ needed.
The face buttons look like they’ve gotten a slight redesign as well, with a slight convex shape instead of the concave design of the Pro+. There’s a quoted 20 hour battery life and customisations through the 8BitDo software suite. HD Rumble fans will be disappointed though: there’s only regular rumble vibrations in the Pro 2, although that may not be a huge factor depending on what you play and on what platforms.
The 8BitDo software will support the same range of trigger, button mapping, macros and vibration modifications as it does for the Pro+ today. You’ll have access to more profiles on the new controller though, courtesy of a toggle located between the left and right sticks.
The 8BitDo Pro 2 is currently available for pre-order through Amazon US, although it’ll cost you $85 with shipping included. It’ll be sold online from April 12, but if you’d rather wait a few weeks, 8BitDo will be stocked at JB Hi-Fi, The Gamesmen, Big W, EB Games, Mighty Ape, Amazon Australia and Catch of the Day for $89.95 from May 6 (June 6 for New Zealanders).
There’s mention of changes to the D-pad, although from what I can see the design looks fairly identical to the SN30 Pro+ I have at home. But we’ll find out in a couple of months when the 8BitDo Pro 2 makes its way to Australia. The back buttons for Smash look particularly handy, and I’m keen to see if there’s any improvement on input latency in wireless mode. (If you’re more curious about that stuff, a fan has compiled a huge list of how every controller handles.)