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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Product Review #005: PowerA Nintendo Switch GameCube Wired Controller

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Reviewer: Allan J.

Manufacturer: PowerA

Style: Nintendo GameCube Style

MSRP Price: $24.99

Buy PowerA's Nintendo Switch GameCube Wired Controller from Amazon here.

If you have ever played with a GameCube controller, you know that it is one of the stranger controller styles that Nintendo has released over the years—though Nintendo hasn’t really focused on normal when it comes to controller design for most of their consoles—but strange or not, there’s just something about the controller that you’ve gotta love. Ergonomically, it just fits in your hands the right way, and the buttons, while weirdly placed, seem to just be where you need them to be.

The GameCube controller is also the preferred controller of most competitive Smash Bros. players, as the first fiercely competitive iteration of the Smash Bros. series was Super Smash Bros. Melee, for the Nintendo GameCube. The next few generations of Nintendo consoles after the GameCube had compatibility with the GameCube controllers, either through direct ports on the console like with the Wii, or through an adapter like with the Wii U. Now, PowerA has released a wired GameCube-style controller for the Nintendo Switch, and I tested it out to see how well it performed

Almost, But Not Quite the Same

The first thing I noticed with the PowerA Wired GameCube Style Controller is the slightly larger D-Pad. I actually never minded that the D-Pad on the original GameCube controller was a bit on the tiny side, but a slightly larger one is certainly not a horrible thing to have—though the smaller one is a bit easier for quick movement changes in certain situations. The next features I noticed were the added L and R shoulder buttons, and the +, -, menu, and capture buttons, which are visually the only other differences found with the PowerA controller in comparison to the OG GameCube controller.

If I am holding a GameCube controller, and then immediately pick up the PowerA version, I can definitely tell the difference weight-wise, as the OG controller carries a bit more heft. To some this may be more of a positive than a negative, but I have always preferred some weight to my controllers, as it just feels a bit more solid that way—but to each their own.

The left toggle just felt a little off with the PowerA controller. It felt almost like the toggle was sitting up a bit too high. Sure enough, when I compared the PowerA controller to my actual GameCube controller, the toggle is slightly higher up on the PowerA. This felt a bit off, but is definitely not so bad that I couldn’t eventually adapt.

Controller Response

The responsiveness of the left toggle, however, was a little bit more of an issue for me. I was playing Guacamelee! and trying to complete a specific combo in a tutorial that was particularly left-toggle heavy, and it felt like I was pressing the correct buttons spot-on every time, but I just wasn’t hitting the combo. Thinking maybe I just sucked, I switched over to my Joy-Cons in the grip, and I nailed the combo right away. I was surprised that it was quite a bit more responsive on the Joy-Cons than with the PowerA controller. The rest of the buttons were actually very responsive, and I had no other issues with the controls; but again, in direct comparison to the OG controller, the buttons did feel a bit… not sure how to describe it other than maybe less solid? It just felt like the buttons, not unlike the entire controller, were lighter weight than the OG model. Again, nothing deal-breaking, just different.

One thing that is great with the wired controllers, aside from the obvious price-point advantages, is that there is zero input lag, and if you are bringing this controller to a tournament with tons of other people in the same area, all using wireless airspace, the risk of interference is a real thing. The wired controller quite effectively eliminates that problem—though I have a 2-year-old daughter who certainly supports the argument FOR wireless—and overall, left toggle aside, the PowerA controller did perform smoothly and without issue.

Pros & Cons

The pros of the PowerA GameCube controller are:

  • it’s ergonomically nearly identical to the OG controller

  • it has a slightly larger D-Pad which is very responsive and smooth to play on

  • it carries a very reasonable price tag, at $24.99.

The cons, as I discussed, are:

  • the left toggle is a bit tall for my taste and not horribly responsive

  • it does not support HD rumble, IR, motion controls, or Amiibo NFC.

These features may or may not be all that important to some players though. It really just depends on what game you are playing and what you need it to do.

I can say that for the money you pay for the PowerA Wired Controller - GameCube Style for Nintendo Switch that you get your money’s worth and then some. It’s not quite as good as the real thing, but it’s a good runner-up. I am happy to add this controller to my Switch lineup.

Final Score: 7.5/10

Buy PowerA's Nintendo Switch GameCube Wired Controller from Amazon here.

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*Controller Provided for Review By PowerA

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