When it comes to consoles, the two most likely to break components are your headset, followed by the controller. And, in the case of Nintendo Switch, if you dislike the included Joy-Cons, you’re forced to buy something like Nintendo’s Pro Controller. However, with a price tag of $70, arguably unneeded and costly features (NFC) and more, players are looking for something else to do the job. Power A saw this opportunity and released their Enhanced Wireless line of controllers for Nintendo Switch. With fun designs, a slightly more attractive price point and optional rear buttons, is it what players need or is it better left on the shelf?
Just looking at Power A’s line of controllers, there is a wide assortment of fun designs and cute visuals. I got a controller based off the popular Spyro franchise, which features some of the notable characters, a cream and purple color scheme and enough to make it stand out. Upon closer inspection, I did notice that some paint was beginning to chip by the buttons and other imperfections.
After opening the rather simple packaging, it’s almost shocking how light this controller is. With the exclusion of a rumble, among other things, it has almost no weight to it. Not only does it make the controller feel cheaper than you’d think, it gives the impression it could break at a moments notice. When I realized the controller was powered by AA batteries I thought this might resolve the issue but unfortunately it persisted.
At this point a closer examination showed one of the aforementioned imperfection is something seemingly caught under the controller skin and attempts to remove it have damaged the skin. Mind you, this takes a good amount of force and is far more likely through carelessly moving it from under something or dropping it than simply cleaning the controller itself. Odds are I wouldn’t even notice if I wasn’t reviewing the product.
To best test the controller, I tried it with Overwatch and had mixed results. While the controller performed fairly well or at least as well as I did with the actual Pro Controller, the way buttons felt and sound were off. Not enough to decrease performance but certainly to the point where it felt different. It’s hard to explain but think of it like using a keyboard you know versus a cheap one at an office you get for $15. Even if you type the same basic way, it wasn’t as satisfying as the other one.
That being said, once I figured out how to program the back buttons, they yielded fairly good results. I was using those instead of the right thumbstick to melee and had good results. The biggest negative was remembering to use them but with anything new there is always a learning curve. Just remember, if you plan on using additional buttons to increase your performance, they’re not useful if you don’t actively remember to use them.
Power A Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch Verdict
In the grand scheme of things, it’s a controller and it will function the same way you’d expect a controller to function. The hardest aspect to overcome is, this controller does not feel like a scaled back Pro controller, something you’d expect for the $20 difference, as much as a cheaper, scaled back controller. While some might like the ability to use AA batteries and back buttons, the weight and overall build quality make it a questionable choice. Sure, if you love the designs more than function or possibly if you simply can’t justify the cost of the full controller, otherwise I’d just say to save a little more or possibly get the real deal used for about the same cost.
[Editor’s Note: Power A Enhanced Wireless Controller was provided to us for review purposes.]