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Nintendo Wavebird Controller – Gamecube

wavebird-1000size

Nintendo WaveBird

Release: 2002

 

When one first picks up the WaveBird, they will notice a bit of added weight and some bulkiness as it rests firmly in their hands.  But you’ll also notice that it doesn’t have the feel of flimsiness and is actually quite comfortable and ergonomic.  The WaveBird was created by Nintendo as one of the first ever wireless RF video game controllers ever marketed.  Do you remember the wireless Sega Genesis controllers with the infrared beams that had to be pointed directly at the receiver?  Or the awful wireless infrared NES Satellite that only increased the distance between your wired controller and the actually NES itself?  Leaving you with a still-wired controller, just further away from the NES and draining 47   D batteries just so you could add a few extra feet of space! *SEE PICTURE BELOW:

nes satellite

 

* The added benefits of the NES Satellite is the option for 4 player connectivity and an on/off turbo switch.

 

In 2002, with the power of the GameCube going strong and still in the fairly early stages of its life, Nintendo would release the WaveBird.  It proved to be a success and is still the only way I’ll play the GameCube to date.  When I pick up a regular GameCube controller, I will admit that it feels great, smooth, ergonomic, etc.  But after a while, I got used to the added weight of the WaveBird, much like how I got used to having the keyboard add-on plugged into my Xbox 360 controller at all times.  The WaveBird is an official Nintendo product, not a third-party product, and is everything one would expect from the great brand Nintendo.

The WaveBird doesn’t do much to add to the experience of playing any GameCube, but depending on your game system set up, it can DEFINITELY add to the level of comfort for the gamer(s).  We had a pretty big living room growing up and plenty of neighborhood friends around pretty much all day everyday during the summers, including the one and only The Cubist.  The addition of 4 WaveBirds undoubtedly made all Super Smash Bros. Melee experiences better. No longer do you and your friends have to be within a 5 foot radius of the GameCube to enjoy all the mayhem and trash talking you love (or to claim someone is a no good yella-bellied cheater).

A complete WaveBird set comes with 1 controller and an RF receiver.  The controller runs on 2 AA batteries, which will power your WaveBird for hours and hours of nonstop play.  I would have to say that the battery life on the controller is magnificent for its time, but it is far too easy to accidentally leave the controller on as it turns on & off with a switch.  The receiver and the controller come with 16 different channels each (1-16) making it easy to keep 4 different controllers from being on the same, or even close, wave lengths.

wave bird nintendo gamecube grey

Pros:

  • Wireless connectivity through walls, glass, and more.  We got it to work flawlessly as far as 30 feet away through multiple walls.
  • RF Wireless abilities offer a flawless gaming experience and the first time you use it, you’ll be impressed.
  • Long battery life during constant use OR non-activity.
  • Good ergonomic feel that is highly comparable to the original GameCube controller
  • Compatible with the Nintendo Wii.

Cons:

  • Moderately heavy controller with the batteries in.
  • A tad bit bulky, but it’s not too difficult to get used to.
  • A little expensive for its age, but we’ve seen much more expensive controllers here at Nerd Bacon.  A set of 4 controllers will run you a minimum of $120
  • Limited release and low resale means it’s tough to find in stores and virtually can only be found online.
  • Easy to lose the receiver when moving the GameCube
  • Too easy to leave the controller on, draining the battery life.
  • Must use batteries. No rechargeable battery pack made.

If you have a GameCube and you don’t have a WaveBird, you are missing out on a piece of video gaming history that is still relevant, functional, and worth your time and money.  They only made a certain number of these things, so they can still be a little tough to get your hands on, and you will certainly pay a fair price.  In the month of August 2013, the WaveBird is currently going for a minimum of $30 in complete (receiver/controller) working order. I lost one in 2007, and bought one in 2010 on Amazon for the same price.  So it appears the price is pretty steady.

It’s worth the dollar. It’s worth your time.

Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry

What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.

 
 

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