8BitDo Neo Geo CD Wireless Controller For Retro Gaming Fun Is Up For Preorder

snk neogeocd pad
SNK's Neo·Geo was an extremely-powerful 16-bit home game console because it shared its hardware with the Neo·Geo MVS arcade system. While you couldn't exactly slap a game from the MVS into the living-room "Arcade Entertainment System" (AES), they did play the exact same software—no ports required. Games for the system were hilariously expensive—on the order of $300 in 1990—and as a result, it didn't quite set the market on fire despite that it certainly had its dedicated fans.


A follow-up system that swapped the cartridge slot for a CD-ROM drive was a little more popular despite painfully-long load times for the games. Simply called the Neo·Geo CD, besides the change in storage media, this system also came with a completely re-designed controller. Instead of the four-button arcade stick of the original AES, the Neo·Geo CD came with a unique four-button gamepad.


As you've already surmised from the headline and top image, 8BitDo is about to start selling a new model of game pad based on the SNK Neo·Geo CD pad. However, this one is obviously improved quite a bit over the original model. It adds 2.4 GHz wireless as well as Bluetooth connectivity—although it still supports wired operation too, of course.


We say the Neo·Geo CD's controller is "unique" because, instead of employing a directional pad like conventional controllers of the day, it uses a truly odd mechanism that's somewhere between a slider and a conventional arcade stick. It's sort-of like an extremely short arcade stick. Some people feel that this pad is the best controller ever made for fighting games, which were one of the most popular genres of games on the Neo·Geo.

stick mechanism

So adored is this mechanism that 8BitDo assures potential purchasers that it has done the due diligence required to duplicate SNK's original design across three years of development time. 8BitDo says that "all important details have been captured and remade" down to the clicky sounds of the switches inside the direction controller.


8BitDo's officially-licensed Neo·Geo CD controller is compatible with Windows PCs, Android systems, and SNK's own Neo·Geo Mini. The company says that the battery should last for 35 hours of gameplay, which is certainly enough to make your thumbs sore. It'll come in a standard black version as well as limited-edition models emblazoned with fan-favorite characters from The King of Fighters '97, and you can pre-order the pads for just $34.99 at Amazon, or $39.99 if you want a KOF '97 version.
Tags:  Gaming, neogeo, 8bitdo, snk