If Nintendo won’t make it, then someone else gonna get my money…
In the three years since the Switch release we have witnessed an unprecedented success in what it means to release not only a handheld but also a console in the modern era. Nintendo the ever innovator has once again changed the game with their hybrid console. If you’re a handheld gamer you have never had something so mainstream and powerful in the palm of your hand. If you’re a console gamer, then you get the quality console you have come to expect from Nintendo with top notch entries in their core franchises. Everyone’s a winner.
However, due to the very nature of the console’s flexibility, the market for Switch accessories is downright ridiculous. I mean take five minutes to go check out Asian distributor’s such as Wish or Ali Express to see the range of outrageously ridiculous items on offer. Then again, there are a few accessories that absolutely enhance the Switch experience, often not made by Nintendo themselves amazingly! (see our review on the Power A Wireless Switch GameCube Controller)
With that said, here is the four accessories to my Nintendo Switch that I have found to immensely enhance my experience.
8BitDo SN30 Pro+ Controller
£39.88 (time of writing)
Available on Amazon HERE
Although the Switch turned a lot of heads on its initial review trailer with its innovative Joycon controller layout, which while allowing for such interesting configurations as handheld, to Wii style Wii-mote and nunchcuck, to giving one to a buddy for impromptu multi-player gaming, the one configuration that this then allows for that is serviceable but not quite ergonomic is as a traditional controller via the included Joycon grip peripheral. This market of course being serviced in an official capacity by Nintendo with the official Pro Controller. The catch here of course being that this controller comes in at a princely €90 at worst and €70 at best.
Enter the amazing 8BitDo SN/SF (US Super Nintendo/ JPN Super Famicon configuration) series, which for years now has been servicing the PC market and the booming PC market with top quality peripherals and accessories that rival if not best Nintendo’s own offerings and often facilitate gaps in the market that Nintendo frustratingly do not want to fill. Now I have been the proud owner of the SF30 Pro for over two years now and it has become my go to pad for all retro gaming emulation for all systems prior to the original PlayStation. Its look and feel resembling closely the original Super Nintendo controller with the key addition of two analogue sticks rested in the bottom middle reminding me very much of the PS4 analogues.
What then does the SN30 Pro+ offer over its predecessor? Well most obviously, the meatiest palm grips in the business! The original SN30 Pro in its original flat super Nintendo structure did its job admirably but was prone to inducing hand cramping in extended play sessions, its successor in the plus model must have taken this feedback and truly ran with it. This is by far the most comfortable reasonably priced controller I have ever known, only bettered by XBOX’s Elite series, but given they require a second mortgage its impressive what 8-Bitdo have done here.
Especially impressive given its second benefit being so close to XBOX’s offering, full controller remapping software. Each pad comes with instructions as to downloading this software to your Windows PC and Mac OS, which allows you not only remap buttons, but also tweak things such as trigger pull strength, rumble vibration levels, analogue tightness and even pre programmable button macro’s. None of the above are something I personally use on either controller but I will fight for our right for the ability to do so for as long as I draw breathe! Especially as its apparent such features are just not a priority for Nintendo at the time of writing.
With a controller look and feel that combines the Super Nintendo and PS4 controller into its beautiful bastard child, to its full Switch functionality including NFC and motion control, to awesome flexible software and easy access to updates, and at its more than reasonable price point this controller is a no brainer recommendation to any Switch, PC or Android gamer. Oh and the colour scheme options don’t hurt either, just look at the GameBoy variant I went for!
8BitDo Wireless USB Controller Adapter
£16.99 (time of writing)
Available at Amazon HERE
On the other hand, if like me you have a plethora of controllers nestled lovingly in your entertainment unit, then the idea of adding one more to simply be used for one purpose can sometimes feel like a waste of money and plastics. Well fear not because once again 8BitDo is here for you! Let me introduce to you the 8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter, a modern miracle for any gamer who’s second console is a Switch.
What this unassuming dongle allows you to do, is to take your existing wireless controllers and allow for pairing directly to your switch console when docked or connected via an adapter. I for one used a PS4 controller for my first year of my Switch odyssey and never had a single issue. In fact, I ordered a second one. As someone with multiple PS4, XBOX One and PS3 controllers, having the option to hook any of these up for an impromptu Smash or Mario Kart session is nothing short of amazing.
On receiving the dongle in either its Orange Nintendo Switch or Grey PlayStation Classic configuration, you will be required to download and apply a very quick firmware update via 8BitDo’s intuitive updater application to ensure you have all of the latest compatibility patches, but after this simply plug it into your switch dock, grab your controller of choice and sync it, then kick back and enjoy the dirty savagery of playing breath of the wild with your XBOX controller. It feels so wrong yet feels so right!!
This See HERE for a list of compatible controllers via the adapter
A Ridiculously large SD Card
£115.16 (time of writing)
Available on Amazon HERE
Ok so hear me out. On purchasing your brand spanking new Switch, you will very quickly come to the realisation that the onboard 32gb internal memory quite simply is not enough. Now when buying additional storage, you do have a lot of options these days, given that extendable memory SD cards are being made in higher and higher capacities, with prices being dropped lower and lower at an ever increasing rate. You could take the utilitarian solution and pick up a 32gb card, which does effectively more than double the internal memory at a very affordable rate, or like I myself have done in the past you could invest in a 128gb card which blows out your system storage to allow for many games to be stored on the system at once which to me is the beauty of the handheld nature of the Switch.
However, if you are one to invest in the digital sales as they regularly pop up on the Switch e-store, may I suggest the 512gb and upwards range of high-speed SD cards. Firstly, it is outstanding just how many GB’s we, as a species, have managed to fit into a card smaller than my pinkie nail, but when this card then allows you to carry round anywhere from 50 to 100 AAA standard video games from both this generation and last in your pocket, well my friends this truly is a wonderful time to be alive. On noticing SanDisk were having a 50% sale on their products on Amazon, I decided to take the plunge and ordered a 512gb class 10 card, and whoa boy was my router tired after that! 4 straight days downloading my almost complete Switch back catalogue of over 90 titles was a feat of endurance. Having all of these at hand though at any one time, is something I am not willing to come back from.
Second (or third) dock
£129.95 (time of writing)
Available at Amazon HERE
What is the single best feature of the Nintendo switch in my opinion? Well hands down it’s the ability to be able to start a game such as Super Mario Odyssey or Dark Souls Remastered on my glorious TV, and when my partner wants to watch Love Island, having the ability to rip that Switch out of the dock and retreat to another room is a god send! So how do you enhance this experience even further? Well having another dock to be able to slam it back into and pick up in another room in seconds is something of pure wizardry given the right situation! Now granted this does mean that you also require a second tv or monitor, or projector to hook said dock to, but given this pre-requisite I would recommend this purchase in a heartbeat.
Again though, this is a market that Nintendo simply has not accounted for. On the Switch release you could easily buy additional docks at €90 apiece. However, in the run up to the Switch Light, these docks have become increasingly hard to find and remain so to this day. I myself resorted to picking up a Best Buy exclusive Nintendo Licensed third party model when in America on business after having no luck ordering one in Europe.
However, if this accessory does interest you, please exercise caution! There have been many reports of non-official docks bricking Nintendo Switches over the years. This issue does appear to be more to do with the power intake via the cable than in the actual docks themselves but a full list off verified third party docks via the awesome community over at Reddit is available.
There you have it. These are just some of the accessories I have picked up over the past year that have enhanced my switch experience, but what about you? Are there any items you swear by or some you cannot believe didn’t make the list? Let us know below and we will be sure to catch them in the follow up!
All images taken from the Amazon marketplace here
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