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Review: Retro-Bit’s 2.4 GHz Wireless Sega Controllers

Hello again! Recently we discussed Retro-Bit’s Sega Bluetooth controllers. If you’re more interested in that, you can read about it here. Today, on the other hand, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of their 2.4 GHz version of the same styles. The controllers retail for $34.99 and are available now. If you’re just interested in some links to click to buy the stuff, head to the bottom of the page and you can purchase to your hearts content. If you’re like everyone else and need to know all about what you’re buying first, you can start scrolling through the article…now!

Description:

‘Stop being tethered to your console.  The officially-licensed SEGA Genesis® and Saturn® controllers have been re-engineered as wireless controllers each bringing their original layouts.  Choose from 2.4 GHz wireless or those featuring Bluetooth® technology.  Each comes with its own set of features but both boast great wireless range and long-lasting battery life.  Check out the features below and get ready to bring the classic feel of SEGA® to the modern age.’

Features:

  • ‘Officially-licensed wireless controller featuring 2.4 GHz Wireless Technology
  • Compatible with Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis Mini, Switch, PS3, PC, Mac
  • 30ft/10m range with 550 mAh rechargeable battery. Includes 3.3ft charging cable
  • Up to 20 hours of gameplay on full charge
  • Sleep Mode after 5 minutes of inactivity’

Unboxing Video:

Sega Saturn Pros:

  • Extras-This time around, their controller comes with receivers to help connect this device to several different devices. The Bluetooth version of the controllers did not come with a Bluetooth receiver for Saturn or Genesis. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, you just must buy it separately. Of course, if you had a Bluetooth adapter for PC or a device that has a Bluetooth receiver, you’re good to go.
    That’s why I’m already more in love with this wireless controller. You don’t only have a receiver for Sega Saturn, you also have a USB receiver for various devices. We’ll talk more about compatibility a little later. It’s also worth bringing up that this controller comes with a micro-USB cord. You don’t have to worry about having your own.
  • Connectivity-Syncing these controllers is probably the simplest thing to date. I found it’s easier than the Bluetooth counterparts. For instance, on the Sega Saturn, it’s so incredibly plug and play, I love it. So you just pop the receiver into the port and when the console is on the LED blinks. Hold Start on the controller and tap the receiver’s sync button and BOOM. It’s such a smooth and quick process. It’s essentially the same for syncing on PC as well.
  • Range-Now, this is one of those points that I made in the last article. And this point can presumably be associated with the 2.4 GHz Genesis controller. I always thought that Bluetooth would have a greater range than that of the 2.4 GHz controller. However, Retro-Bit touts that these wireless controllers can reach just as far as their Bluetooth counterparts. Not to just take it at face value, I tested it. I connected a controller to the PC and walked backward. While doing so, I watched the screen to see when it stopped recognizing the controller. Once it stopped, I sat that controller on the ground. I connected the second controller and did the same. And yeah, I can confirm that both of them reach about the same distance. 30 feet away is obnoxious and nobody needs it, but I found you can get roughly that distance away before any disruption.
  • Colors-Between the Genesis and Saturn wireless controllers, there are different color options. This means that no matter your style or controller preference, you should find a controller that works for you. So with Genesis, you have the classic Black controller. There are also two Retro-Bit specific transparent colors available. The first of which is the ultra-popular Clear Blue color. But one other lesser-known controller that they have now is the Shadow. It appears to be a transparent black color. It’s truly something of beauty!
    The Sega Saturn has one less color for some reason. But I’ll still go over them with you, of course. Keep in mind that they’re both transparent colors. The first one of the two is the one that I got for review and is the most seen on social media and YouTube. It’s the Crystal Blue color. The buttons are colored black to offset the blue tone and honestly, it’s great. But my favorite coloring is the second option. That color is Slate Grey which is like a light grey on the inside area and a more opaque grey on the outside edges. What I love the most about it is the fact that it uses the Japanese button colors. It looks so glorious, it should be the only color that they sell.

  • Build Quality-One thing that I probably didn’t bring up in my previous article is the build quality. I know that I talked about how great the design of the controller is. I’m also remembering that I mentioned the extra Home and Select buttons. But I just wanted to clear the air really quick just to state how strong these controllers are. I’m sure that they’ll last at least the same amount of time as your trusty ol’ Sega controllers of the past. I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I’d also put money on the fact that they might outlast the original controllers. At least in terms of length of lifespan. This guess is based on the fact that the technology and materials used to make these controllers are superior to the ones made 25+ years ago.
  • Storage-Here at Hackinformer, we’ve become more and more fond of Retro-Bit as the years have gone by. Their love of retro with their desire to innovate makes them a top tier gaming company to us. But why stop at innovating technology and games. Why not go the extra mile to keep the products that you create safe? That mantra is something that old companies from the ’90s and earlier seemed to not care about. They wanted things to eventually break so that you would buy more and more. Retro-Bit has now made a custom storage case for their newest wireless controller. I love the face that Retro-Bit is finding a smarter way to store controllers. Storing on a shelf alongside games is smarter to me than letting it hang around the room and lose it or tossed in a drawer to get roughed up.
  • Battery-This one seemed to have a much better battery life than that of the Bluetooth Sega Saturn controller. But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t by much. It just outlived the Bluetooth controller. I’m guessing it just comes down to the way Bluetooth works over this kind of wireless technology. Also, I’m also sure it’s dependant on the games I was playing and how much rumble I used on the Bluetooth versus the fact that I had none on this 2.4 GHz controllers. Honestly, the advertised 30 hours seems a nice average to keep in mind. I can only imagine that if I had used it until it died over and over, I’d have mixed results that I’d have to average together. Nevertheless, the battery is better than what PS4 controllers give you!
  • Compatibility-Just like my previous article, I won’t be speaking much about this. I wanted to focus on the main ones that Retro-bit themselves advertise in the manual. You’ll find that it can be hooked up to a lot of things according to their manual. There are of course many more things that you can mix and match their controllers with. Check out the full compatibility list at the bottom of the article. What the manual states though is that it works with the Sega Saturn, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, Mac, and PS3. If you have even just one of these devices, then this controller works for you. If you have 2 or more, then the amount of money spent on this controller just gets more and more worth it.

Sega Saturn Cons:

  • Storage-Okay, so, it’s a small complaint, but it’s the only one I’ve got. I have to mention the difficulty of opening the storage container. Even to this day, I can’t get it open easily with both hands. Of course, this only matters if you continue to use the storage container that comes with the controller. You very well might not, you may just leave the Saturn receiver plugged into your Saturn. And you may, of course, just leave your USB receiver plugged into your USB slot of choice. Then, by leaving your controller in a singular spot, you never lose it. Who knows. But, if you’re like me who likes to use the whole package, the little latch is annoying at best.
  • USB-C-If I remember correctly, I had also complained about this in my previous article. But we need to have USB-C incorporated into these newer devices. I understand it is presumably more expensive. You have to consider that the adoption rate from other companies is so high. So high in fact that it seems short-sighted not to follow suit. While you may have a quality product, it may also be headed into homes that have left microUSB behind, tossed their cords, and have adopted all USB-C items. I hope that 2020 and onward gets Retro-Bit on the USB-C train that they so desperately need to board.

Overall Thoughts:

It’s great that there are all of these positives and really only two downsides. There really isn’t any reason not to buy one of these if you’re into retro games. Or if you’d prefer to take your fighting games to a whole new level. Even modern fighting games on Switch can stand to improve from one of these. Now, if modern games aren’t your jam and all you really wanted was a wireless solution for your Saturn, then look no further. Seriously. You just plug the receiver into your Saturn, power it on, press the button to sync and you’re in the game within less than 2 seconds. I understand that there’s an extra step compared to a wired controller. But in this age, it’s hard to sit close enough to consoles anymore. I digress (because if I don’t, I’ll gush on this forever), so I’ll make one last easy point. You should get one of these if you love retro games, you should get one of these if you love modern games.

Purchase Links and Compatibility List:

  1. Sega Saturn Amazon Link
  2. Sega Saturn Castlemania Games Link
  3. Sega Genesis Amazon Link
  4. Sega Genesis Castlemania Games Link

Compatibility List for Retro-Bit Wireless Controllers

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