Wavebird Controller GameCube Review

The Wavebird is a wireless controller from Nintendo, announced for the Gamecube at the same time the console itself was. That seems an awfully long time ago, but now the controller is finally available in the UK.

There have been several poor attempts from third parties in the past, for consoles like the Playstation, at wireless controllers. These were failures partly because they were third party, and hence not as good as Sony’s official controller, but mainly because they used infra-red waves, like TV remotes. Now, if you turn away from a TV, or move too far away, quite often, the remote control doesn’t work. The clever part of the Wavebird is the fact that it uses radio waves, and you can stay, as a general rule, anywhere in the room, and the console will always respond to your actions.

The unit that receives these radio waves plugs into the controller port of your choice, and is quite compact, with a little green LED that lights up to show it is receiving signals. The controller itself feels very similar to the standard Nintendo controller, and you need no worry about bulk, as it’s only slightly heavier. The only physical differences, really, are that it has a battery compartment on the back, and the space between the two inner prongs is filled in to make space for a switch and a red power light. Oh, and it comes in a dull, boring white colour. I hope that in the future, different colour Wavebird controllers are released.

The two AA batteries required (there are some included in the box) last ages. You shouldn’t need to replace your batteries for months, especially if you turn off the unit when it’s not being used.

The controller and receiver each have a dial allowing you to select a channel, out of 16. You need to make sure the channel on the controller matches the one on the receiver, or it won’t work. If there is more than one Wavebird being used, make sure they are all set to different channels, or all sorts of crazy things will happen.

The whole wire-free thing is a lifesaver for me. I remember one particular incident when I ran past my Gamecube while my mate was playing it, and I tripped over the wire, bringing my beloved console crashing to the floor. Luckily, it was okay, but my Wavebird will ensure that such a thing never happens again.

If, like me, you hate wires, buy it. If you’re buying a new controller anyway, buy it. If not, then you may want to consider if it’s worth the money or not. Personally, though, I could never go back to old-fashioned wired controllers. The Wavebird is definitely recommended for any GameCube owner.

9 out of 10
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