FC30 Controller: hands-on impressions

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Costello, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Costello
    OP

    Costello Headmaster

    Administrator
    12,390
    5,600
    Oct 24, 2002
    Living in China I am one of the first persons to ever get their hands on the FC30, a retro-style bluetooth/USB game controller for PC and mobile devices released for the 30th anniversary of the original FAMICOM, also known as NES in western countries. I have received my sample today and I am going to present my initial impressions of the gamepad, along with a couple of exclusive pictures. A full review will be written by our review staff who will be getting theirs within the next few days.

    IMG_2209.JPG IMG_2218.JPG

    The concept behind this gamepad is to imitate the original Famicom controller; though if you remember the actual famicom controller only came with A/B/Start/Select buttons:

    fcont.jpg

    The FC30 is thus some kind of hybrid NES/SNES controller as you'll find A/B/X/Y/L/R buttons on top of the regular D-PAD and Start/Select. The major difference with the original Famicom controller resides in the fact that it comes with a USB cable and can interact with a variety of mobile devices and computers via bluetooth. Upon unboxing you'll discover:
    • the controller, sized to be an exact match with the original Famicom controller
    • I was told there would be a user manual, though it wasn't included with my sample. It will be available later so early users like me will need to refer to the online guide.
    • A pretty good-looking keychain made of solid metal
    • A microUSB to USB cable, similar to what you can find on external USB1/2 hard drives and other devices; except the red and white colors look nice when plugged in to the controller
    • Some kind of plastic protection case, I am not sure if this can be used for anything other than protecting the device (ie. it doesn't seem like you can use it to attach the controller to a phone or something).
    IMG_2214.JPG IMG_2225.JPG

    The controller can be paired with phones via Bluetooth, but I'm not entirely certain what you can do once this is done. I've asked for ideas of games and emulators that directly support USB game controllers and I'm currently waiting for an answer. If you're willing to root/jailbreak your phone though, you can actually map gamepad buttons and the D-Pad to specified zones on the screen, which will prove useful for emulators that offer on-screen touch controls as well as other games offering the same input mechanism.

    Since I wasn't able to test Bluetooth properly, I tried fiddling around with the joypad a bit using the regular USB mode on my computer. Detected by Windows as a regular USB gamepad you'll be able to calibrate it with the default calibration tool, which seemed to be a necessary step before being able to properly enjoy it in full.

    calibrate.PNG

    I proceeded to downloading a couple of emulators and games, namely Super Mario Bros. on the NES with Nestopia, my first-ever video game, and Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES with ZSnes. While the gamepad worked as advertised, I couldn't help but feel some kind of discomfort, which I think was caused by two factors: first, my hands are quite large and this device is about the size of a GB Micro. I first played the NES when I was 5 and it'll always be great in my memory, but I don't know if I'm able to handle such a tiny pad anymore. Also, while it does have the feel of the original Famicom controller, it would seem like it also has its flaws. I had a bit of a trouble with the D-Pad especially while changing directions.

    That's all I will say for now: I haven't tested the device thoroughly, that's a job for the review staff. We will be getting at least 3 or 4 opinions since we've been inundated with free samples (already 3 given away in competitions!). In the meantime, check out the picture gallery that I've uploaded.

    :arrow: View FC30 picture gallery (13 pictures)
     
    Mythrix, Thomas83Lin and Attila13 like this.
  2. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

    Member
    1,062
    219
    Oct 11, 2010
    Romania
    Zalau,Romania
    Awesome, can't wait for the review! :D
    Oh, and BTW...
    Isn't this the 30th anniversary? :unsure:
     
  3. Issac

    Issac I

    Global Moderator
    GBAtemp Patron
    Issac is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    5,176
    2,144
    Apr 10, 2004
    Sweden
    Sweden
    Ammako likes this.
  4. Costello
    OP

    Costello Headmaster

    Administrator
    12,390
    5,600
    Oct 24, 2002
    thanks guys... I live in the past :P
    and thanks for the pic of the stand, I dont have a tablet though so I can't try.
    I'll see if I can put my phone in though.
     
    Attila13 likes this.
  5. Issac

    Issac I

    Global Moderator
    GBAtemp Patron
    Issac is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    5,176
    2,144
    Apr 10, 2004
    Sweden
    Sweden
    I think it's supposed to be possible to put a phone there too, if it's thin enough. I think any apple phone should work, and the Samsung Galaxy series... :P but I haven't seen it in real life.
     
  6. cdoty

    cdoty GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    327
    96
    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    You must have monster hands. :wtf:



    Here's a size comparison between NES and Famicom controllers:

    [​IMG]

    The NES controller is fairly comfortable to hold.
     
  7. bradzx

    bradzx x-Darkie-x

    Member
    2,031
    145
    Sep 19, 2009
    United States
    Ponyville
    When they will start selling that kind of famicom controller?
     
  8. Attila13

    Attila13 Praise the Creep!

    Member
    1,062
    219
    Oct 11, 2010
    Romania
    Zalau,Romania
    They already do, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  9. bradzx

    bradzx x-Darkie-x

    Member
    2,031
    145
    Sep 19, 2009
    United States
    Ponyville
    Really? I did look up website tehy have, they said they will start selling on Aug 15. I check on Buy tab, there is nothing say how much cost.

    Here is link.
     
  10. TwinRetro

    TwinRetro Don't start nothin', Won't be nothin'

    Global Moderator
    6,181
    4,804
    Aug 29, 2008
    United States
    Las Vegas, NV
    I just got mine in today. I've played with it both on the PC and my android tablet. It installed automatically after plugging it into the PC, and it worked great with the few emulators I threw at it. It paired fine with the android tablet, and also worked well with the various emulators I use with no discernible input lag. I can't comment on iOS.

    As for the controller itself, it's very light. If you're used to playing with a SNES or NES controller, it might be off-putting by how light it is. Despite that, it's not flimsy, and seems like it could take a bit of abuse. The concave buttons are great, with the button labels stamped onto the button itself. They are, however, a bit mushy feeling. I don't know if the original Famicom controller was the same way. The D-pad, I feel could have been built more solidly. It floats and rattles around in the space it's been given, but in the heat of the game, you don't notice much.

    Compared to other "retro" Bluetooth controllers I've had the opportunity to try out, this is pretty nice. And that's it for my hands-on impression. Stay tuned for a full review coming very soon :)
     
  11. Issac

    Issac I

    Global Moderator
    GBAtemp Patron
    Issac is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    5,176
    2,144
    Apr 10, 2004
    Sweden
    Sweden

    Since it's just normal screws on the back, do you think it'd be possible to put some weight inside the controller to make it less light? Isn't there some metallic heavy tape or something, I think I recall seeing something like that in some instructable. (And the benefit of using such tape would be to have the weight evenly distributed in the controller)
     
  12. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    11,451
    4,766
    Mar 17, 2010
    Norway
    Alola
    Now that I see this thing in someone's hands it looks rather small. A good size for portable gaming.
    But I already ordered my iMpulse controller and that thing is much smaller and has the same amount of buttons.
     
  13. mechagouki

    mechagouki Kill 'em all...

    Member
    677
    269
    Nov 20, 2008
    Canada
    Toronto, ON
  14. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,821
    672
    Aug 12, 2011
    United States
    But will this give me Nintendo fingers....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    The Real Jdbye is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    11,451
    4,766
    Mar 17, 2010
    Norway
    Alola
    If you have an Android device, most emulators will support bluetooth gamepads, and even a few games. You may need USB/BT Joystick Center (no root required) to make it work in as many as possible.
    The Joystick2Touch addon for that app (requires root) will enable touch emulation with the gamepad but apps that support hardware keys/buttons will work without it.
     
  16. T-hug

    T-hug Always like this.

    pip Chief Editor
    9,049
    4,016
    Oct 24, 2002
    England
    This controller is pretty awesome been playing around with it today on my tab and had zero issues so far.
    I didn't even have to root my device it just showed up under the bluetooth device list as GBAtemp FC30!
     
  17. Costello
    OP

    Costello Headmaster

    Administrator
    12,390
    5,600
    Oct 24, 2002
    thing is, I dont have any android device :P
    my contact gave me a few ideas of things to test on iOS (non-jailbroken)
     
  18. Devin

    Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

    Member
    5,714
    2,180
    Aug 17, 2009
    United States
    The Nexus

    Same, it's really nice. :D

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
    Attila13 likes this.
  19. shoesus1
    This message by shoesus1 has been removed from public view by Densetsu, Aug 17, 2013.
    Aug 17, 2013
  20. crysalim

    crysalim Member

    Newcomer
    30
    4
    Apr 21, 2007
    United States
    I want one of these so much. Is there a purchase link out there? I tried the site, but only the gold editions are available (as much as I would love one of those, I haven't the money :P)