Smash players have a new controller to drool over courtesy of Panda Hardware, the hardware division of esports brand Panda Global. In collaboration with Gearhawk Studio comes the new Panda Controller, the world's first-ever modern update of the classic GameCube controller.
Smash players have adored the GameCube controller for its durability, button layout, and overall style, but it's never been updated for modern consoles or PCs. Panda just launched a Kickstarter for people to pre-order the Panda Controller, with deliveries expected to begin in December 2022. It took just 24-hours for Panda to reach $700,000 of its $100,000 goal, so it's safe to say the Panda Controller is definitely getting made.
For the full rundown, Panda has provided a helpful video introduction to all of the Panda Controller's features, such as its custom-length triggers, Panda Stickbox thumbstick (said to be more durable than any other thumbstick available), and customizable faceplates that are available in many different colors and styles. You can also get the Pro Shell faceplate to change the grip size. The Panda Controller's faceplates are held together with magnets, so swapping them is quick and easy.
The Panda Controller is compatible with both the PC, Switch, and GameCube depending on your output. For wired outputs, the Panda Controller includes a USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to GameCube braided cords along with an optional locking mechanism to keep you from accidentally pulling out the cord during intense gameplay. If you prefer wireless, a Bluetooth expansion pack provides wireless connectivity for both PC and Switch.
Advanced features for the Panda Controller are numerous and convenient. You can turn off the D-pad or rumble with the flip of a switch. All buttons are removable with the faceplates off, so you can take out any button that gets in the way of whatever game you're playing. The whole controller can be disassembled with the included allen key, so customization of trigger length or replaying components is simple.
There are way more features than we can go over here, so check out the video above to see them all.
The Panda Controller is priced at $90 USD with the Pro Shell an extra $20. You can also get a gold-plated Panda Controller for $1250, but that's because all the $999-tier gold controllers have already been taken. There's also a $5000 "mogul tier" controller available. It's just a regular Panda Controller, but you get your name plastered at the top of the Kickstarter as a big shot backer.
Panda Controllers are expected to start shipping in December 2022 assuming nothing goes wrong. And we know from recent Kickstarters that things often go wrong these days.
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