A New N64 Controller: A Review

A new unofficial N64 controller has come out in the last couple years that shares the same form factor of the original.  Now ripping off the exact design of the N64 controller probably isn’t completely legit, but Nintendo is probably busy defending more profitable markets than the extinct hardware market so they get away with it.  Whoever “they” is.  There is no name of any manufacturer given on the packaging or on the controller.

All in all it was pretty much worth what I paid.  $10 plus shipping.  While new controllers are hard to find, turns out a good used one might be better than this knockoff.

My original un-used N64 controller to use as a benchmark for comparison.

Our knockoff contender. Is it good enough to stand as a replacement for future worn out N64 controllers?

Original black controller. All controllers shared the same button coloring despite the controller chassis color. Notice all buttons are bright and vivid in color.

On the new controller, button colors are slightly "dirty" compared to the original. The joystick slightly different, being flat on top instead of rounded, and is much stiffer than the original. This makes fine movement a challenge at times.

The underside of an N64 controller is fairly uneventful. Just the Z button and the Controller Pak slot. But what is there is solid and comfortable.

The seams don't line up perfectly, but they're close enough for the price. However there's no excuse for the completely crappy Controller Pak release button. It is by FAR the cheapest feeling part of the controller. Feels like it will break just by touching it! Z Button however, which is used far more often feels almost identical to the original.

All in all, I’d put this on par with the quality of most other third party controllers, however this one does have the benifit of being the same shape and practically the same feel of the original controller.  It doesn’t carry the same sensitivity, but perhaps it would after breaking in the joystick a little bit.  There’s no excuse for the piece of crap controller pak eject button.  But all in all it’s probably worth the $10 asking price.  I certianly wouldn’t pay more unless it was a good condition used official Nintendo 64 Controller.  This one however, I’m content to go to town on in Mario Kart 64 and tear the heck out of it.  Which is one thing I try to avoid with my good controllers.  With these… who cares?


Posted on January 21, 2011, in Video Games. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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