What 8bitDo can learn from the Competition (and also what 8bitDo is doing better!)

8bitDo Ultimate Controller

I’m all-in on 8bitDo. Prior to getting on the 8bitDo train, I was mainly focused on PC gaming, so I would get Xbox controllers (whatever the latest was at the time). But with 8bitDo supporting PC, Switch, Android, and (I think) the Xbox and PS4/5 with addaptors – it’s a no-brainer to go with 8bitDo, especially since you can choose the form factor most comfy to you – PS/Switch Style with the Pro or Xbox style with the Ultimate.

Now, getting to the theme of this post – The Gulikit KK3 just came out so all the YTers are doing their unboxing and eval videos.

ETA Prime’s great video that made me think of how 8bitDo could take their controller game to the next level (no puns intended).

First, what I think 8bitDo is doing better – the Ultimate Software and Firmware updater software. Watching the update process for the KK3 – drag a file onto a folder on your computer – seems SO early 2000s. (see the first video embedded above) I love using 8bitDo’s updater which is all automated and explains what’s being fixed. Also, all of the KK3 configuration is done via a series of button presses that seem like they would just bug the crap out of me. The GUI that 8bitDo has created with the Ultimate Software is AWESOME! Also, maybe they didn’t mention it in the reviews of the KK3 I’ve seen, but they don’t seem to be able to store multiple config profiles like we can do with 8bitDo.

A short video demonstrating the 8bitDo Software

Now, what I think 8bitDO can learn from Gulikit KK3.

  1. Similar to the little LEDs used on Switch and 8bitDo controllers to tell you what player number you are, the KK3 has a series of LEDs to tell you what mode your controller is in (Android, Switch, PC, etc). For some of 8bitDO’s controllers we don’t need that because we have the physical switch on back. But for other 8bitDo controllers you hold down certain buttons when you turn it on (like the SN30) and it can be annoying to try and debug if you’ve put it in the right mode. A simple LED would be great.
  2. remember when the Ultimate Controller came out and for months every post on this subreddit was about whether someone should get the Switch one or the PC one? And (annoyingly at the time) only the Switch one had the Hall Effect joysticks? But then it had the wrong button layout! It would have been a non-issue if they could just do like the KK3 and have an easy swap of the button layout between Xbox layout and Switch layout.
  3. If this exists in the Ultimate software and I missed it, that’s on me, but the ability to switch between 4-way and 8-way on the D-pad (first is optimized for retro, second optimized for fighting games) would be nice.

Overall, I think the competition is a very healthy thing. I think it is probably the reason 8bitDo now has the new revision on the PC Ultimates with Hall Effect sensors (I’d love to see them also add it to the wired version for pure awesomeness and even release revisions to their retro controllers like SN30 and Genesis controller)