N64 controller returns to Switch with the Retro-Bit Tribute64

There are quite a number of different control options out there for the Switch. A ton of companies have seeked to make their own version of the Pro Controller, and some have even tackled making alternate Joy-Con. But then there are the controllers that take their design inspiration from the past. That’s exactly  what’s happening with the new Tribute64 controller from Retro-Bit.

As the name suggests, the Tribute64 is really a ‘new take’ on a now two-decade-old design. As part of Retro-Bit’s new Platinum Collection, the Tribute64 is one of many controllers from the company that has a design based on classic systems. The Tribute64 ditches the original N64 controller’s weird three-handle design for a standard two, though this results in its design being far more circular while also keeping all the same buttons as the N64 controller. That includes only having a single analog stick along with the C-Buttons, A, B, Start and the D-Pad.

While the Tribute64 is compatible with the Switch, you’ll surely have a tough time using it with most modern games since they call for dual analog sticks. Though simpler games like side-scrollers are certainly playable. This controller is also compatible with PC/Mac computers, so there’s that. If Nintendo ever does get around to porting N64 games to the Switch, this could be truly useful to Switch owners. In the meantime, you can consider picking up the variant that actually is compatible with original N64 system to breathe some new life into the old box.

The Retro-Bit Tribute64 will be available for purchase in “springtime 2019”.


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Here’s the press release:

Pomona, CA -With the successful reveal of many retro gaming products at CES 2019, Retro-Bit® had announced The Platinum Collection. A line of controllers dedicated to some of the biggest retro consoles like the NES®, SNES®, and Nintendo 64®. Through Innex, Inc., it’s exclusive distributor, Retro-Bit officially unveiled the first controller of its collection: the Tribute64.

The Tribute64 Original Port is designed for exclusive use on the Nintendo 64®, while its USB® counterpart is compatible with PC, Mac®, Steam®, and the Nintendo Switch® is set to release springtime 2019 in the U.S. and Europe.

The design contrasts the original “M”-shaped Nintendo 64® controller which was initially made for three different hand positions. There had always been sparked debate among the gaming community regarding the look of the original Nintendo 64® controller where its three prongs were conceived to be uncomfortable for gameplay. Retro-Bit® made a version of their own and updated to two handles which have been deemed to be more appropriate. Retro-Bit® is set to bring a controller for the Nintendo 64® console for $25.99 and USB® port for $29.99. “Retro-Bit indulges with the retrogaming community. There was strong enthusiasm in creating a line of controllers fashioned after the top three retro systems. Beyond the aspect of dedicating a revamped version of the N64 controller, Retro-Bit’s goal is to enrich today’s gaming experience while touching on the retro-gaming side. They are doing that with the release of the Tribute64 and its two port versions that will reach a wide spectrum in compatibility.” says Innex’ marketing manager Richard Igros.

One key component of the controller is the high-quality analog stick, which is uniquely made in Japan utilizing the highest grade in their degree system. A primary point for any analog stick on a controller is the dead zone range. The dead zone essentially assists gamers in the accuracy and sensitivity. The higher the dead zone in an analog stick, the more in-sync the gameplay will be with a gamer’s movement. With a dead zone of 120, the Tribute64 also allows for a wider throw range compared to the original Nintendo 64® controller which has a dead zone of 80. Making the analog stick surpassingly sensitive, accurate, and rhythmically fluent.

Retro-Bit®’s Tribute64 controller features a wide and ergonomic design. The thick and reshaped dual Z shoulder pads provide maximum grip, while the repositioned D-pad grants dual thumb access. It also encompasses features that include a memory card port and rumble pak and a larger start button.

The redesigned Nintendo 64®-dedicated controller will come in three colors: Red, Forest Green, and Ocean Blue and in original and USB® ports.

Retro-Bit® also unveiled the wireless 2.4 GHz Tribute64 controller which will be later released in 2019 in colors Blue and Red.

All versions of the Tribute64 will be available on various e-commerce sites and your local video game stores in North America and Europe. Visit the Retro-Bit website here for where to buy.


A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.