This GameCube Controller Adapter for Switch Is Almost Perfect

The Nintendo Switch is a lot of things. Home console. Handheld. Mediocre Hulu device. But for some games, it isn’t always the best for on-the-go multiplayer. Case in point: try playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at the airport with GameCube controllers.

Credit: Imad Khan

(Image credit: Imad Khan)

First you’ll need some kind of stand to elevate your Switch so that you can connect a dongle to the bottom USB type-c port. From there, you’ll need to connect the GameCube controller adapter to the attached dongle. And then you can finally plug in your controllers and play Smash with a friend.

Well, the folks at esports team Panda Global quickly realized the problem players were having at local tournaments and decided to create their own solution. 

The Ultimate GameCube Adapter is currently going through its funding round on Kickstarter and is set to launch later this year for $50.  In less than two days, the team met its goal to get the product into production, and is aiming to hit its stretch goals before the campaign ends on Friday.

Panda Global sent over an engineering sample for me to test out before the device officially goes into production. I’m not going to dwell on the build quality, as clearly it’s not a finished product. But from playing around with it, it works just as Panda Global detailed in its Kickstarter video.

You place your Switch on the dock and plug in your GameCube controller. It’s literally that simple.

Using the Switch on the dock felt as responsive as playing on a television. And really, with a competitive game like Smash, that’s all any player could really ask for.

I took it to Waypoint Cafe in lower Manhattan to see what other Smash players thought of the device. It was a rainy night and the streets were still covered in snow, so not many people showed up for the tournament. But for those that were there, they immediately could see the benefits of having the Ultimate GameCube adapter when wanting to play friendlies with passersby.

Credit: Imad Khan

(Image credit: Imad Khan)

Other players didn’t notice any input lag either. The real hurdle was adjusting to the tiny screen of the Switch.

Speaking to Bryan Battle, the event coordinator at Waypoint Cafe, he immediately saw the benefit of having the device and said he could see himself buying a few Ultimate GameCube Adapters for the venue. Not only could he give it out as portable setups for when all other televisions and monitors were taken, but with a cable, it can connect to a standard Switch dock and act as a regular GameCube controller adapter.

I will say, the only downside to the current prototype sample is that there’s no angle adjustability. This means that if a table sits too low or too high, then viewing angles will be limited on an already tiny screen.

Credit: Panda Global

(Image credit: Panda Global)

Adjustable angles are currently set as a stretch goal for the Ultimate GameCube Adapter, and as of publishing, the team is only $25,000 away of hitting that goal. But if the team falls short, then having this device ship without adjustability could be seen as a massive flaw of an otherwise great product idea.

The Ultimate GameCube Adapter is aiming to launch this July for around $50.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.