Alex Mitchell

Retro Fighters Announces Wireless N64 Controller

After successfully funding a line of N64 and Dreamcast controllers, third party controller designers Retro Fighters are gearing up for another controller-centric Kickstarter campaign. Instead of tackling a new console this round, Retro Fighters is heading back to the N64 to release a wireless version of their Brawler64 pad with a few extra features for good measure:

  • Based on the Brawler64 series of N64 controllers.
  • Wireless 2.4GHz connection (not Bluetooth).
  • ~10hr battery life.
  • Revised Z-Button with reduced range of motion.
  • Receiver is compatible with 1st and 3rd party memory cards.

While everything here sounds great, there are a few sticking points that avid N64 fans should be aware of:

  • No rumble support.
  • No Transfer Pack support.
  • Retro Fighters hasn’t published any latency figures yet.
  • The colour controllers are limited to this campaign, and not all Funtastic colours are represented.

Speaking as someone who owns and has even reviewed Retro Fighters’ previous hardware, I am cautiously optimistic about the wireless Brawler64. Retro Fighters has competently executed several designs by this point, and they seem to have addressed my biggest issue with the original controller—needlessly replacing the Z-Button with an analog-style trigger mechanism—but this is still their first attempt at implementing wireless tech in to one of their designs. While I have faith that Retro Fighters will deliver a solid product once the dust settles from this campaign, it is none the less important to exercise healthy skepticism before backing any project.