Apple product owners have noticed that the latest iOS and tvOS update has added support for some of Nintendo’s best controllers.
If you own one of the Nintendo Switch retro controllers – namely the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and N64 pads – you can now use them on compatible iOS devices and services. This includes the Apple Arcade game subscription service.
The discovery was first shared on Twitter, where developer Steve Troughton-Smith confirmed that the Super Nintendo’s wireless controller worked via a Bluetooth connection. The N64 controller has already been confirmed to work as well. Most likely, NES and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive controllers will also work as of iOS 16.1 update.
It’s also not the first time Apple has added support for Nintendo controllers to its devices. At WWDC 2022, Apple also confirmed support for the excellent Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and (admittedly less excellent) Joy-Con controllers.
Cool, iOS/tvOS 16.1 supports official BT/USB-C Super Nintendo controller for Switch mfkTIHpXunOctober 24, 2022
From the looks of it, Nintendo doesn’t seem to mind that its lineup of Nintendo Switch controllers are usable on third-party platforms. Earlier this year, for example, Nintendo’s array of retro controllers received Steam support, giving PC gamers even more options to play the best games on Steam.
Nintendo’s wireless retro pads are also well-suited for the types of games you find on Apple Arcade. Given that it largely hosts smaller-scale, easy-to-digest games, its library is perfect for the simple button layouts (and solid build quality) of Nintendo’s historic controllers.
It’s updates like these that give Nintendo’s retro controllers more value now than they were at launch. Being created as a fun novelty for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, I didn’t suspect they would be well received to the point that other companies would support them.
Still, it’s always a great thing to see, especially considering that other controllers like the DualSense are also adopted on Steam and iOS. I expect PC support to be fully implemented for Nintendo pads in the future, and I’d love to see adoption on Android devices as well.