8BitDo Controller Updated For Glorious Retro Gaming On Mac And These Other Apple Devices
If you're in the know, you 8BitDo. That's not a slogan the company uses, but it probably should be, because 8BitDo has been quietly producing some of the best game controllers ever made for years now. If you're an avid buyer of 8BitDo devices and also an Apple devotee, we have the best news for you: you can now use (some of) your 8BitDo controllers with your Apple devices.
This news comes straight from 8BitDo itself, which says that the latest firmware update for its controllers, in concert with the latest system updates for Apple machines, allow a selection of their controllers to sync up with Apple's systems. iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs will need system version 16.3, while Macs will need macOS 13.2.
An 8BitDo Pro 2 ringed by the newly-supported Apple devices.
The particular controllers in question are these:
- 8BitDo Ultimate Controller, $49.99 with charging dock at Amazon
- 8BitDo Pro / Pro 2, $49.99 at Amazon
- 8BitDo SN30 Pro+, $49.99 in Green or Purple at Amazon
- 8BitDo SN30 Pro for Android (discontinued)
- 8BitDo Lite SE, $34.99 at Amazon
If your 8BitDo controller isn't listed, don't worry; the vendor says that support is coming to more controllers in the future.
If you're not familiar with 8BitDo or its products, the company offers multi-platform controllers with ridiculously good value. Most of the company's controllers are under $50 US—significantly cheaper than first-party pads, yet with the same or better build quality, superior battery life, and the aforementioned cross-platform support for PCs (including Steam Deck), Android, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox.
It's true that there aren't too many native games on Apple platforms that really require the use of a gamepad, but one thing that gamers might be overlooking is that Apple's machines make for excellent multi-system emulators. Retroarch is available for macOS versions both old and new, as well as iOS and the Apple TV, and many of its system-specific "cores" have been ported over to ARM as well. If you have a library of legal ROM dumps, this 8BitDo update unlocks a tremendous library of gaming history on your Apple devices.