PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch Review
The Nintendo Switch is arguably one of the hottest systems on the block right now, with Nintendo churning out a steady stream of must-play games. While many games can be enjoyed using the unique Joy-Con controllers, just as many games can be enjoyed using the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Games like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Bee Simulator are both must-plays with the Pro Controller. As someone who games on all three major consoles, I can confidently say that the Switch Pro Controller is the most comfortable gaming controller around. Unfortunately, being a Nintendo product, you’ll also have to pay quite a bit for Nintendo’s official offering. And when you factor in multiplayer gaming, it’s just unrealistic to consider Pro Controllers for everyone. This is where PowerA delivers their Enhanced Wireless Controller – a Pro Controller substitute with a substantially lower price.
The Enhanced Wireless Controller from PowerA mimics the layout of the Pro Controller, but there are some differences worth mentioning. While both controllers are approximately the same size and weight, the Enhanced Wireless Controller feels smaller, and this is attributed to the spacing of the controller inputs. All controller inputs, such as buttons and thumbsticks, are spaced more closely together on the Enhanced Wireless Controller – which unfortunately creates a more cramped feel for my big hands. However, this might be more optimal for younger gamers with smaller hands.
Let’s Get Ready to (Not) Rumble!
While the spacing of the control inputs will come down more to personal preference, my other two issues with this controller will be disappointments for everyone. The first issue, there is absolutely no force feedback (rumble) with the Enhanced Wireless Controller. While I imagine keeping the force feedback out of the controller would keep the cost down, playing without feedback just feels weird – almost like I’m missing something. Not to mention that some games use force feedback as a means of communicating something important, such as a nearby secret or the impact of getting hit. The second issue is that this controller only takes batteries – so you’ll always have to have a pair of double A’s on-hand just in-case you run out of juice. Batteries are expensive, and it begs the question of how much money you’ll spend on batteries over this controller’s lifetime when you could have spent more money and just bought the official Pro Controller that is rechargeable (and lasts forever on a charge).
Putting the Pro in Programmable
This controller does come with one advantage over the Pro Controller – two programmable buttons. The two programmable buttons sit right where the tips of your middle fingers would normally rest, so they are accessible. If you prefer keeping your thumbs on the thumbsticks, you could program the extra buttons to function as two of the face buttons, reducing your need to move your right thumb. However, I personally couldn’t think of a scenario that I’d prefer this, so I didn’t utilize this function.
The Enhanced Wireless Controller from PowerA is a formidable option for Switch gamers looking for an alternative Pro Controller option. The version I reviewed is the Statin Chrome Zelda version – and it’s absolutely stunning. My two biggest disappointments were the lack of force feedback and that it wasn’t rechargeable. I also found the buttons and thumbsticks felt a bit more cramped due to their spacing, despite the controller being the same size as Nintendo’s official Pro Controller. For some, the addition of two programmable buttons will be a huge plus. If you are in the market for a Pro Controller, I would highly recommend spending the extra money on the official Pro Controller, just to ensure you get the most out of your gaming. However, if you’re in the market for some extra Pro controllers for your buddies or your kids to use – then the Enhanced Wireless Controller will do nicely and save you some cash in the short term.
***Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch provided by PowerA for review***
- Beautiful visual design
- Two programmable buttons
- Pro controller layout
- Requires batteries
- No force feedback
- Buttons and Thumbsticks feel cramped