Like many others GameCube Wavebird was the first game controller I ever seriously loved. Everything before that was fine; at best a novelty, at worst an oversized torment, but mostly only a means to an end. Now there’s a new controller for the Nintendo Switch that looks exactly like a spiritual successor to the 2002 peripheral and claims to have none of the stick-drift issues the Joy-Con have become infamous for.
“The Nyxi Wizard combines the retro look and feel of our long-running NGC controller with a much more ergonomic design and works perfectly with any Nintendo Switch console,” Nyxi said recently tweeted. Available for $70, the controller offers interchangeable joysticks and adjustable turbo and mapping options. But the real draw is the Hall-effect joysticks, which use magnets to prevent drifting.
As Chris Person shows I am at The edgeSega used this technology for the Sega Saturn 3D and Dreamcast controllers. By using less wear-prone parts, the sticks are said to last longer without drifting, with directional control enabled even when the stick is left in the rest position. As someone whose modern controllers only seem to last a few years before the pin springs snap or the rubber crackss disappear, it is an appealing offering, and a 8bitdo and other specialty controller manufacturers work on offers.
The problems of the Joy-Con are known at this point. I’ve been through three couples in six years. There were issues with the locking mechanisms on the sides and button springs, but drifting is most notorious. resulting lawsuits, regulatory investigationsand overloaded repair centers. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Sony’s DualShock 4 and new PS5 DualSense haven’t worn well over the years either. My old Wavebird meanwhile? Still ok for a friendly smash bros
And that’s the other great appeal of the Nyxi Wizard: it brings manufacturing polish to a nostalgic design Modders have emulated for years. While the look immediately conjures up images of late-night GameCube sessions, it also follows in the footsteps of a controller that would become the wave of the future, from the lack of cables to the offset joysticks. Almost exactly 20 years later, we’re still living in the future that Nintendo’s Wavebird built.
Having not tried it yet, I have no idea if it will actually feel or last as good as the company claims. But it’s great to see that current renaissance in gamepad design unfold further.
https://kotaku.com/joy-con-drift-switch-gamecube-controller-wavebird-nyxi-1849970883 Wavebird 2.0 for the Nintendo Switch promises to be drift-free