Skip to main content

8bitdo's Retro Receiver: Reliable Wireless for the NES at last!



As I waited anxiously this week for 8bitdo's retro receiver to arrive, I looked over at my old wireless solution for the NES; The Acclaim Wireless Nes Infrared Controller.  The old controller still works decades later, but is hampered down by its infrared technology.  The range is limited to a few feet, and even worse, line of sight between the controller and its huge sensor is a must for it to work at all.


8bitdo has answered the call with its Retro Receiver adapter.  This modern take on wireless uses modern bluetooth technology.  The adapter itself is about the size of the average adult thumb, and powered directly from the NES port itself.  No controllers come with the $20 adapter, but it does work with all of 8bitdo's controllers and joysticks in addition to the Wiimote, Wii U pro controller, PS3, & PS4 controllers.  The contents of the box are sparse, and only contain the adapter, a usb cable for connecting to your PC/Mac, and what can loosely be called "instructions".

System Compatibility

  • Original NES (all models)
  • Analogue Nt
  • All systems with an NES-style controller port

Controller Compatibility

  • All 8Bitdo controllers & arcade sticks
  • PS3, PS4
  • Wii Mote, Wii U Pro

Special Features

  • Additional buttons mapped to turbo on all controllers
  • Compatible with two-four Retro Receivers for multiplayer player games

 

  • All 8Bitdo controllers are compatible with Mac/PC, iOS, Android and many next gen systems

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Class 2
  • 2.402Ghz~2.48Ghz

Power

  • DC Power supply 5V, 100mA(powers directly from the NES controller port)

Pairing with 8bitdo's native controllers is a breeze.  You turn on the controller, turn on your NES with the receiver in it, wait for them to detect (sometimes it's instant, other times it takes a few seconds) and then you start playing.  Lag time is almost non-existent.  I tested the adapter paired with the NES30 and the PS4 controller on both my CRT and LED televisions with the following games and experienced no lag:

  • Ninja Gaiden 2
  • Megaman 2
  • Super Mario 3
  • Castlevania 3
  • Haunted Halloween '85
  • Contra

With lag, all of the games above can easily go from fun to frustrating and near unplayable.  I'm pleased that this was not the case with 8Bitdo's adapter.  My test setup also involved an original top-loader NES as well as Retro-bit's Super Retro Trio.  Other than the issue that the Trio cannot play Castlevania 3, all other testing was identical on both machines.  I also have a Retron 5, but have not tested it on that machine due to the fact that 8bitdo's controllers already have native support for it.  However, if enough comments are left asking to test it with the Retron 5 and the PS4 controller, I will oblige.  




Controller mapping for 8bitdo's controllers are less intuitive than the mapping for Playstation controllers despite having nearly identical layouts for some reason.  At this time, the buttons cannot be remapped, but 8bitdo has said that they are "thinking about it" in their forums. Hopefully, they will decide to include a mapping option, or a secondary way to start the controller that has the alternate mapping for those with different preferences. Using the included micro-usb cable with your PC/Mac will allow you to pair your controllers using Xinput.  Depending on the layout and amount of buttons on your controller, it should map itself nearly identical to an Xbox 360 controller.  Most modern PC/Mac games will "see" your controller as a 360 controller, and automatically configure themselves for that layout.  This is an unexpected bonus that 8bitdo did not have to provide, but welcome nonetheless.   The only issue is a superficial one.  The dongle looks strange hanging off your computer with the NES plug facing outwards.




Overall, my connection was rock-solid, never dropping from anywhere within the same room.  The controller diversity provided, and the affordable price make this an easy item to recommend to any retro gamer!

*Update:  8bitdo has updated the controller mapping to mirror the PS4 layout.  Details can be found here.*
If you like this page, or any of my articles, please feel free to click on an ad when visiting.  It helps keep the blog going.  If that sounds like too much work, then please follow, subscribe, comment, and share the blog with your friends! I love visitors!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clean up your Facebook activity log with Absterge

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

Facebook is a platform that tends to elicit many different reactions from people when asked.  Whether you love it or hate it, every day millions of people from all over the world and all walks of life log on to the site or one of its various apps to catch up with family and friends.  As the years go by, one tends to build up a lot of content and in the case of many, some embarrassing content can be buried deep within your timeline. The fact that Facebook's settings can be confusing, even though they have tried to simplify them does not help.

We're now in a day and age where many employers look at Facebook accounts long before they consider hiring you, so how does one clean up without spending hours manually clicking on on timeline icons?  Enter the Absterge script.



According to the Absterge page:

"Absterge works such that a user logs in to the Facebook Timeline, and navigates to the 'Activity Log'…

Retron 5 hacked to launch RetroArch and play ROMS off your SD card

It appears that a someone going by the screenname of RetroN Labo on Youtube has successfully hacked the Retron 5 console to run the full version of  Retroarch.  In the video shown, various emulators that are not part of the original firmware are playable including the PC Engine, Playstation One, Nintendo DS, and Wonderswan.  As the stock firmware from the Retron 5 is programmed to load games from an original cartridge when it is inserted, this hack appears to run ROM and ISO files, most likely from the SD card slot built into the back of the console.




In most of instances shown in the video, emulation appeared to run smooth, and the games previewed looked playable. Currently, Hyperkin (Retron 5 manufacturer) is in hot water with Retroarch's creators due to using their emulator cores without permission.  After being discovered, Hyperkin has shared their code, and claims that they have removed any infringing code from their console.  The Retroarch group feels differently.  Details o…

Your Wii's second life as an emulation and media center powerhouse

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

While the Wii was initially a very popular console for Nintendo, for most people, it has gone unused for years gathering dust.  More powerful consoles and devices have taken its place and even Nintendo themselves have practically abandoned it with many of their own channels going offline over the last year.  Chances are that by this point, your Wii is long out of its warranty period.  If you're willing to take about an hour of your time, you can turn your old Wii into a great emulation station and decent media center for the kids.

The things that you will need to get the most out of your old Wii console are:

An SD card (up to 32gb)An internet connection The first thing that you will need to do is softmod your console which will allow it to run unsigned software outside of Nintendo's ecosystem.  Yes!  One of the great things about the Wii (for our purposes) is that you don't need to buy an additional hardwa…