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Product Review #003: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller -Super Mario Silhouette (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Reviewer: John B.

Manufacturer: PowerA

Style: Super Mario Silhouette

MSRP Price: $49.99

Buy the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller from Amazon here.

Pro Controller Performance Without Pro Controller Price

Looking for a more traditional alternative to the Joy-Con, but don’t have $70 bucks to spend on a Pro controller? PowerA has you covered with their enhanced wireless controller. It has basically the same design, but for $20 less. They also go on sale on Amazon for less than that quite a bit; even if you don’t find a sale, its regular price is still lower than the best price I’ve seen on Nintendo’s Pro controller. Performance-wise, it fits comfortably in the hands; certainly it’s easier to hold than an undocked Switch with the Joy-Cons attached. The contours of the controller are smooth and ergonomic, making for a controller ideal for longer gaming sessions.

Bluetooth Connectivity

The wireless connection is solid and fast; I didn’t notice any kind of lag between button input and response on screen across multiple games I played. I tried it on games that required fast response times like Mega Man 11, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, and Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and didn’t notice any loss of performance from when I was just playing on attached Joy-Cons. Syncing it to the Switch is as easy as it is with any other controller; get to the controllers screen on your Switch, hit the sync button, wait for the lights to flash, and you’re done. It took ten seconds.

Programmable Buttons

The controller features two “Advanced Gaming Buttons” on the back to which you can assign a function. You can only assign one button to each AGB, which at first seemed a little strange to me. If hitting this button has the same effect as hitting the X button, why program this when I could just hit the X button? I did find them incredibly useful in racing games or games that required holding one button down constantly. Squeezing the AGB reduced the strain on my hand over long periods of time over pulling a trigger button to accelerate or holding down another button with my thumb. Eventually I also found them easier to use for quick-twitch actions; I could just squeeze that button faster than I could press any button on the pad. So while I was disappointed that I couldn’t program complicated combos in and perform them at the press of one button, I did find them very useful once I gave them a chance.

Battery Life

The packaging boasts that the two AA batteries needed to power the controller will last for over 30 hours, and so far so good. I’ve put around 25 hours onto the controller and I haven’t seen a battery low indicator yet. And it comes with batteries, so you don’t have to worry whether you have any batteries for a while after buying it. I’d recommend buying a set of rechargeable batteries to go with the controller so you don’t have to keep buying more. Or maybe you’re the president of Duracell and you can make it rain AAs whenever you want, I don’t know; I still say get the rechargeable stuff, though.

Graphical Variety

PowerA offers its enhanced wireless controllers in a number of different colors, as well as some with cool graphics on the faceplate. My review controller was the Mario Silhouette style, which is a pretty cool design; they also offer Legend of Zelda and Diablo inspired controllers. As much as I liked my Mario design, I think the Link Silhouette is probably my favorite.

Overall, we’re looking at a solid, reliable controller that will run you less than the official controller will cost you. The two programmable Advanced Gaming Buttons add a convenient new dimension to the controller. I wish it had an internal rechargeable battery instead of taking AAs, but if that’s your only problem, you’re doing pretty well.

Final Score: 9/10

Buy the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller from Amazon here.

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*Controller Provided for Review By PowerA

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