The original Nintendo Entertainment System’s bundled controller is burned into the memories of millions of gamers for its unergonomic boxy corners that dug into your hands and made long gaming sessions a real test of endurance. It’s remembered fondly, but only missed for nostalgic reasons, so 8BitDO turned it into a wireless charger instead.
Editor’s note: Before anyone asks, there’s no Australian dates or pricing on this one just yet. I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if anything pops up. — David.
Best known as the maker of some of the best third-party controllers, including the highly customisable Pro 2, the incredibly tiny, but still very useable, Zero 2, and even a mostly faithful recreation of the OG NES gamepad, 8BitDo is also no stranger to dabbling in gaming-related tech accessories. It still sells a cube-shaped Bluetooth speaker with a giant D-pad on top for controlling volume and playback, as well as a very retro-looking NES-inspired computer mouse that’s cute, but also seems to have no love for ergonomics.
Once again taking inspiration from the iconic NES, the 8BitDo N30 Wireless Charger for Mobile is boxy like the classic console’s bundled gamepad, but does away with physical buttons and a D-pad so a smartphone can sit flush on its top surface and make a more efficient connection to the 15-watt wireless charging coil hidden inside. In place of real buttons are graphics that seasoned ‘80s cheaters will recognise as spelling out the Konami Code.
Other features include over-voltage protection, over-current protection, over-temperature protection, and an LED charging indicator that only lights up when a device is drawing power providing another way to know if the wireless charging coils are properly aligned. And while you won’t find any buttons on its top surface, it does look like 8BitDo has included the NES gamepads’s red action buttons as a set of four wheels allowing the charger to roll back and forth across a desk: something that’s bound to become a satisfying fidget habit.
The 8BitDo N30 Wireless Charger for Mobile is available now for $US20 ($AU29), and looks to be about the perfect size to slip into a stocking.