Many of us have encountered an experience that should have been enjoyable but ultimately frustrating and unsatisfying due to a particular item being too short. The experience in question is of course the NES Classic, the hard to find and somewhat coveted device that contains thirty classic NES games. The NES Classic itself is a great device and has a solid selection of games, but one can only imagine what the controller’s email junk folder must look like with a cable that is less than three feet long. The length is adequate for sitting right next to the monitor but most of us probably prefer a little more distance from the screen. Nyko is aware of this and has a few different options for players that want to put a little more distance between themselves and the on-screen action.
There are three items in total that help make playing the NES Classic more comfortable. First is the Extend Link, which is an extension cord that adds some much needed length to the tune of six feet to the controller. The other options feel more contemporary since wireless controllers have been the standard for the past decade. This is the NES Classic wireless controller called the Miniboss, which is available in two variations, the Miniboss and Miniboss AAA. The two models are virtually the same with the exception of their power supply. The Miniboss has an internal rechargeable lithium battery that requires a separately sold micro USB cable to charge. The Miniboss AAA
is always there to help when your car breaks down runs on separately sold AAA batteries.
It’s well established that the NES Classic controller is two short with the cable length of approximately 30 inches/75 centimeters. To contrast that with the original NES, the controller cord measured 91.5 inches/229 centimeters. Additionally, the average household TV back in the 8-bit era was much smaller than modern times so sitting closer to the TV was a more reasonable option. The extra 72 inches/180 centimeters added by the Extend Link makes the cord slightly longer than the original NES and much more comfortable for gaming. This greater range allows for a more comfortable gaming experience and is probably adequate for most set ups, but depending on individual game room set up this may still be too short.
An extra advantage the Extend Link has over its wireless counterparts is versatility. While longer than the NES Classic, the controller cords for the SNES Classic are also on the shorter side and the Extend Link is compatible with that console as well. This extension cord works with certain controllers for Wii and Wii U wired controllers, making this is a worthwhile ten dollar investment for the retro Nintendo console connoisseur.
As stated earlier, the Miniboss and Miniboss AAA are basically the same controller with the exception of the type of battery they require. These controllers are naturally patterned after the classic NES controller. The biggest deviation is the A and B buttons are now offset from each other to be more ergonomically friendly and feel more contemporary with modern controller designs. The Miniboss controllers are rated to work up to fifteen away from the console which seems like an accurate estimate, though to be fair during the review process I didn’t measure where exactly the five yard line is in relation to my NES Classic.
Both controllers performed properly and lacked any noticeable lag, which meant that all the times I died during this review was based on the fact I now suck at classic Nintendo games and I can’t blame it on the controller. Having large items in front of the NES Classic did seem to cause some interference with the dongle’s reception once I cleared the obstruction the controller’s connectivity was fine. Both variations of the Miniboss have their pros and cons. The standard version is nice since you don’t have to worry about changing batteries and just about any micro USB cable can charge it. The downside is if the battery dies you can’t just swap out batteries, and a few years down the road the charge might not last long. The Miniboss AAA is still going strong after several hours of play, and the beauty is once the batteries die you’re back in the game as soon as you swap in some fresh ones. Having rechargeable AAA batteries is a smart investment with this controller, since even buying batteries in a bulk discount will add up over time.
Unless you plug your NES Classic into your desktop monitor and sit a couple feet away from it, the standard NES Classic controller cord just isn’t going to cut it. If being wireless isn’t important, the Extend Link really is the best value. Not only is it the least expensive, but it also works with the SNES Classic, certain Wii and Wii U wired controllers, and requires no extra charging cables or batteries. Ever since the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360, however, wireless controllers have become the standard. Going back to being tethered can be difficult so the Miniboss is quite the enticing option. Both of them performed comparable to the official NES Classic controller with neither one having a noticeable advantage over the other, so for the wireless gamer, simply pick your poison between having to use a USB charger or changing AAA batteries. Any of these three items will greatly enhance your experience with the NES Classic; just go with the one that makes the most sense with your individual setup.