Video games have always played a very prominent role in my life, even if I never got particularly good at any of them. I remember firing up the old wood-grained Atari to try my tiny hands at Defender or Missile Command, but I didn’t really get into games until we got the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) when I was about 7 or 8 years old. So, you can imagine my delight when I discovered an 8Bitdo retro controller had arrived in the mail for me. It’s a Festivus miracle!

Well, as you’ve likely figured out by watching this week’s vlog above, it wasn’t actually a Festivus miracle. Just like every other year since becoming a dad, I participated in a dad bloggers gift exchange. It’s of the secret Santa variety, so the 40 or so of us get paired up randomly.

Ever since I received the Nintendo Switch for Father’s Day earlier this year, I’ve been thinking about picking up another controller. While the included Joy-cons can be used as two separate controllers, they’re not really practical for extending gaming unless you’ve got toddler-sized hands.

I have a hard time justifying the cost of the Switch Pro Controller, which retails for about $70 US ($90 Canadian), so I was looking for some alternatives. The retro-themed 8Bitdo N30 Pro (which also lists as the NES30 Pro) is available for around $45 and it’s also compatible with PC, Mac and mobile devices too. It ain’t perfect, but it is awfully cool… even if the Switch workaround seems a little cumbersome.

Now, with my new 8Bitdo controller in hand, I’m totally ready for whenever they get around to launching the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch. That’s definitely coming, right?

8Bitdo N30 Pro on Nintendo Switch