Although I thought I was invincible, the dreaded Joy-Con drift has finally come for my Nintendo Switch, which I bought on launch day almost six years ago. I’d be more upset about it were it not for the fact that I just discovered the NYXI Wizard: a replacement dockable Switch controller that looks like a perfect clone of the GameCube’s WaveBird — the best controller Nintendo ever made.
Now I know that many gamers would disagree with my assertion of the WaveBird’s design perfection, and it truly pains my heart thinking about how wrong they all are. As I explained early last year, the WaveBird took everything I loved about the GameCube’s controller, including a more intuitive and superior action button layout than modern controllers use, and made it wireless.
Even now, the WaveBird feels like it melts into my hand whenever I pick it up, and I can understand why the GameCube’s gamepad, even with the hassle of a cable, is still the preferred choice for Smash Bros. devotees. Even Nintendo itself resurrected the GameCube’s controller for the debut of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Switch, but I’m more inclined to drop $US69 ($96) on the NYXI Wizard.
Although it can be used as a standalone wireless controller with a design that looks heavily borrowed from the WaveBird, the NYXI Wizard can also be split apart and attached to either end of the Nintendo Switch like a pair of Joy-Cons. But unlike the Joy-Cons (and other Nintendo controllers), the NYXI Wizard’s joysticks will never experience drift. That’s because they rely on magnetic Hall Effect sensors to detect movements, instead of mechanical linkages, which wear out over time.
The NYXI Wizard offers more customizability over the Joy-Cons and WaveBird, too, with swappable joystick rings — round for racing games or an octagonal design for fighting games. They also have an extra pair of remappable buttons on the back for faster access to certain functions. Battery life is rated at about 6.5 hours of gameplay between charges, although it’s not known if the Wizard will charge while connected to the Switch.
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