One of the bigger surprises during the Nintendo Direct was the reveal of the NES style controllers for Switch. Immediately, I was thinking how this could benefit the system for certain games, especially as the controllers were offering up a classic D-pad from Nintendo itself. It looks like we now know that these special controllers will only be compatible with the games that were made for them.

According to Nintendo of Australia’s page for the NES games part of the Switch Online service:

Please note: Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers can only be used while detached from the Nintendo Switch system, and only to play NES – Nintendo Switch Online games. Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers can be charged by attaching to the Nintendo Switch system.

No such statement has been listed on the US site. Still, it all makes sense, what with the difference in number of buttons and probable lack of the whole suite of Joy-Con features. If this isn’t a deal-breaker for you and you’re down to replicate that classic feel, these will be on sale exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers when the service launches on September 18th.


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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.