Perhaps the most common complaints about the Super Nintendo Classic Edition and its predecessor are that the controller cords are too short and that the controllers themselves don’t have home buttons.
Without a home button, players using the NES Classic or SNES Classic have to get off their couches, walk over to the console, and flip the reset button just to access the main menu of the system. And you’ll want to access the main menu if you want to adjust display settings, create a suspend point, or simply launch another game.
The controller cord problem has been remedied by third-parties with the sale of extension cables, among other solutions. In the age of wireless controllers, people shouldn’t have to sit so close to their televisions anymore. Nintendo strove for authenticity though, which left a lot of reviewers scratching their heads.
Whether your cords are longer or not, the home button issue still persists.
But I found a little bit of a solution.
As it turns out, you can use a certain controller with the NES Classic and SNES Classic—one that has a home button, but one that should definitely be used with the aforementioned extension cables.
That controller is the Wii Classic Controller.
These controllers are essentially SNES controllers, but with analog sticks and extra shoulder buttons, giving them a layout similar to Sony’s Dualshock line of controllers.
They are compatible with many games on the Wii and Wii U, particularly Virtual Console releases of retro titles.
What makes these Wii controllers compatible with the NES Classic and SNES Classic is that they use the same connectors as the controllers that come with those systems.
Despite what my picture at the top shows, I would not recommend plugging in one of these controllers without an extension cable. Wii Classic Controller cords are remarkably short because they are meant to be plugged into Wii Remotes.
If you’re not interested in actually using the Wii Classic Controller to play your NES or SNES games, you could simply have it plugged into the second controller port and use its home button to conveniently access the main menu. I personally found substituting controllers to be a decent fit, though I prefer using a good, old-fashioned SNES controller for games like Super Mario World or Donkey Kong Country.
Playing Old-School Games with Old School Controllers
As I said, the Wii Classic Controller is compatible with many games on the Wii and Wii U, including Virtual Console games. Naturally, Nintendo’s digital catalog of retro titles features games for the NES and SNES.
In a wonderful instance of hardware compatibility, you can use the controllers that come with the NES Classic and SNES Classic to play those games.
This is, of course, assuming you have any retro games downloaded on your Wii or Wii U.
The setup isn’t quite like the good old days. You’ll have to plug the controllers into a Wii Remote, which will be wireless but require AA batteries.
Additionally, while you can use the controllers with many other games beyond the NES and SNES offerings, doing so may come with a serious drawback depending on the game because of the lack of analog sticks.
I don’t mean to sound so grave about this. I personally found it funny as I was testing my SNES Classic controller on various, newer games.
For example, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U can be “played” with a SNES controller insofar as you can attack, taunt, and navigate menus. You can’t move your character.
One of my other fighting games—Tatsunoko vs. Capcom—worked decently but this was helped by the fact that you can control your character using the D-pad in that game.
All in all, I had a fun time swapping controllers and experimenting with various games.
Thanks for reading.