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Last Minute Gift Idea: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

/ Dec 17th, 2018 No Comments

Last Minute Gift Idea: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

With Christmas only about a week away, many of us have finished up our Holiday shopping. But we all know that there are always a few last minute gifts you will need to pick up. If you need a last minute, smart gift idea for the Switch owner on your list, we got a recommendation for you.

When the Nintendo Switch first launched, it became immediately clear that the best way to play games when in docked mode was to have a Nintendo Pro Controller. At launch, the only option was to purchase Nintendo’s official wireless controller for the Switch. There wasn’t a good alternative … until now.

The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch is a strong choice if you’re looking to save some money and get a similar experience.

How Does It Stack Up?

Price is all good and well, but a great price is meaningless if it can’t perform as well as the competition. So how does the Enhanced Wireless Controller compare to the Pro Controller? Quite favorably in many respects.

Let’s start with the major drawbacks of PowerA’s controller when compared to Nintendo’s controller: the build quality and battery. The Pro Controller has a great weight and smooth finish to it. Its heft and grip feel great in your hands. Plus, its rechargeable lithium ion battery is super convenient.

The Enhanced Wireless Controller’s build quality is by no means bad, but it is a lot lighter and less substantial with a rougher finish. Despite being lighter weight, its ergonomic grip design still feels solid. Since the controller uses AA batteries, it also comes with the hassle and cost associated with disposable batteries. Fortunately set of batteries should give you 30 hours of play time.

Last Minute Gift Idea: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller
The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller is a fantastic alternative to the Pro Controller.

Getting the negatives out of the way, there is a lot that the Enhanced Wireless Controller does well, and, in some respects, better than the Pro Controller. Both feature the standard Switch controller button layout, but the Enhanced Wireless Controller has additional programmable buttons on the inside of the grips that let you add additional button inputs. This gives you even more control and customization to your gaming experiences. For instance, you could set the button to throw your shield in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

While the button layout is similar, there are unique differences. The Pro Controller thumbsticks are much tighter than the Enhanced Wireless Controller, but the loose thumbsticks are by no means bad. Home, Share, Start and Select buttons are raised on the Enhanced Wireless Controller rather than recessed like the Pro Controller, which isn’t a big difference.

Face buttons and triggers have a better feel on the Pro Controller because the Enhanced Wireless Controller’s button and triggers are springier.

Last Minute Gift Idea: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller
There is a variety of colors and styles to choose from.

The area where the Enhanced Wireless Controller is better than the Pro Controller is its D-Pad.

The biggest criticism of the Pro Controller has always been the D-Pad, which feels a bit gummy and less responsive. The Enhanced Wireless Controller features an 8 Way plus D-Pad that feels fantastic. It has the snap and tactile feel you want from a D-Pad. Honestly, this makes the Enhanced Wireless Controller a better choice in a secondary controller for many types of games.

Many of the differences between Nintendo’s Pro Controller and PowerA’s Enhanced Wireless Controller are negligible. Each has its weaknesses, but its strengths more than make up for them. What really sets the two apart are two things: the D-Pad and price.

The better D-Pad on the Enhanced Wireless Controller will make a major difference for many players. However, the nearly $20-$25 difference in price at MSRP will be the main deal breaker.

The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch retails at $49.99, which is a lot more affordable than its competitor, especially if you can find a deal on them.

A Great Gift Idea

PowerA’s Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch is an excellent gift for anyone who has a Nintendo Switch or will be getting one for Christmas. While its build quality isn’t on par with the Pro Controller, its affordability, snappier D-Pad, and programmable on-the-fly buttons make it a great option for those looking to get a controller for playing their Switch when docked.

They also come in several colors and designs to add some variety to your living room. With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate out right now, PowerA’s Enhanced Wireless Controller are a great option to expand your controller count. Speaking of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, if you prefer a GameCube controller, PowerA has also released wireless GameCube controllers for Nintendo Switch for a similar price (they also include additional buttons to make them compatible with other games).

Even if you’re not looking for a good last minute gift idea for the Switch owner in your life, you can add an extra controller or two to your Nintendo Switch setup for a reasonable price with these controllers.

PowerA’s Enhanced Wireless Controllers for Nintendo Switch are available now at Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon.


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Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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