If you’re as fed up as we are with Nintendo’s practice of selling you the same potentiometer-riddled controllers every couple of months, cast your gaze in CRKD’s direction and behold its latest piece of wizardry: the Neo S. It’s a follow-up to the Nitro Deck controller that somehow slipped by us, and we won’t be making the same mistake where its little brother is concerned. And before you ask; yes — they do ship to South Africa.
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Not only are they more glorious than most things coming out of Nintendo’s front end (which is funny considering its GenZ-ified NES design), but they’re also making use of Hall effect thumbsticks, drastically lowering the odds of stick drift befalling you and your family. Oh, and it’ll hook up to just about anything that isn’t a PlayStation or Xbox. That means Switch, mobile devices, Smart TVs and PCs.
Until then, the Neo S’ hot-swappable thumbsticks of the Hall effect variety will suit us just fine on the regular ol’ Switch. At least, until the Switch 2 hits the shelves — at which point we’ll likely pick up whatever else CRKD has cooking up. Despite its small stature, it’s still repping a D-Pad, four regular ‘action’ buttons, triggers, mappable back buttons and vibration that can be adjusted at will.
It’s got a swathe of colour schemes to choose from, ranging from the retro-looking innard-showing Classic Clear edition, or a Game & Watch-looking gold hue that we’re sure will appeal to…someone. The designs that caught our eye were the POPeART-labelled controllers, of which CRKD is selling three. POPeART, CRKD’s creative director, has clearly been inspired by Japanese culture — the wabi-sabi aesthetic specifically. We’re not sure if we agree with the sentiment of imperfection, but it doesn’t stop the Neo S from looking gorgeous.
The Neo S is slated to ship sometime in April 2024, though you can get yours pre-ordered on CRKD’s website now. You’ll need to fork over R960 to own one — a price that still edges most of Nintendo’s official controllers in the country.