8BitDo's Ultra-Affordable Wired And Wireless PC Game Controllers Go Up For Pre-order

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Game controllers exist in myriad price brackets, from ultra-premium gamepads that cost $200 to barebones wired models that cost a few bucks. Naturally, the cheaper controllers aren't very good, but 8Bitdo just launched pre-orders for its new budget controller that could prove to be the exception. The 8BitDo Ultimate C costs as little as $20 and has most of what makes the company's more expensive controller so well-regarded.

The 8BitDo Ultimate C comes in two versions: a wired model for $20 and a 2.4G wireless one for $30. That's much cheaper than the company's Ultimate Bluetooth ($70) or Ultimate 2.4G ($50). The wireless version can reportedly last up to 25 hours per charge cycle and recharge in just two hours. Like the Xbox controller, the new 8BitDo gamepads have asymmetric thumbsticks. You would expect that price difference to come with concessions, and there are some—not as many as you might think, though.

The new wireless controller doesn't come with a cable or dock, but you can charge it over USB-C, and it comes with a 2.4G USB receiver. 8BitDo makes a powerful customization app for its more expensive controllers, but the 8BitDo Ultimate C won't work with that. You'll also notice there are no rear paddle buttons like on the non-C Ultimate. Looking beneath the surface, the Ultimate C skips one of the Ultimate Bluetooth's defining features: Gulikit’s hall effect thumbsticks, which are extra-durable and resistant to drift.

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8BitDo's new controllers are unusually colorful. While the premium versions are only available in black, pink, and white, the Ultimate C controllers come in pastel shades of purple (wired, wireless) and green (wired, wireless). They work with Windows, Android, Steam Deck, and Raspberry Pi. However, Windows is the only platform that gets rumble support, and you'll need an adapter for the 2.4G dongle on Android.

Pre-orders for both versions of the 8BitDo Ultimate C will ship on May 31.