Original Console Controllers Go Wireless With New Kit

If you’ve still got an original 80s console controller hanging about (or one from the recent mini Nintendo models), there’s now an easy way to make it wireless.

8BitDo has produced a series of $20 DIY kits that let you add wireless function without any soldering or particularly complicated tinkering.

To use them you simply unscrew your original controller and lift out the printed circuit board along with the cable that connects it to the console. You then screw in the replacement PCB which includes the wireless functionality, a battery and a Bluetooth connector.

The PCB is designed such that hole where the cable used to go becomes a port for connecting a proprietary cable for recharging the battery. The port lights up to show battery level, charging status and wireless connections.

The mechanical parts, including the buttons and pads, remain untouched and will continue working and feeling as normal.

The kits are available for original NES, Megadrive and SNES controllers, along with the wired controllers from the more recent NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. Once set up, they work with any Bluetooth-enabled hardware including PCs, Macs and the Nintendo Switch, though you’ll need an adaptor for older consoles.

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