Retrolink USB P&P SNES Controller (Review) (Two Updates)

I got in a new product (from ToyWiz through Amazon) the other day, and I decided I was going to review. Here it is, in the box.

Photo on 2010-01-22 at 14.58 #2.jpg

There are two things, right on the box, which are important. First? USB. Your favorite general-use standard cable. No need for boxy adaptors or messy custom wiring. Second? Plug and play! Your favorite kind of device! No searching for drivers, no installation of drivers, no maintenance of drivers.

In the box are 2 things — a plastic frame that holds the controller, and the controller itself. No messy un-boxing, no extra papers, none of that. Everything except the controller is toss-able and forgettable.

The controller is lighter than I remember SNES controllers being (though I think the size is the same). The plastic is smoother. It feels pretty solid. I think I could snap this thing in half between the SELECT and START buttons if I really wanted to — but I’m certainly not going to do it accidentally. The D-Pad, and each and every button is much higher than the SNES was, if I recall correctly. Also, the X & Y buttons on the original controllers had a depressed dome — by which I mean, the tops curved down –, and the A & B buttons curved the other way. Again, if I recall correctly. The four buttons on the Retrolink controller are all flat. It has no turbo functions or buttons.

In actual use, with SNES9X and various ROMs over the course of today, I found that the controller performs solidly, if not perfectly. The START button in particular is slightly finicky. The response time, however, is great. I noticed no issues during gameplay of Terranigma, Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Starfox, and other classics.

All together, very functional controller. Could benefit from heavier construction and mimicking original button design details like height and top curvatures a little better.

I’ll give it 9 stars out of 10. For $25 + Shipping? Buy it.

UPDATE: Two weeks or so this died on me. Completely, and with no warning, nor any sign of damage. I’m going to see if a friend of mine can figured out what the issue is, someone more versed with peripheral guts then I am. My recommendation has changed to: Find another. This dies quick.

SECOND UPDATE: It’s working again. I don’t know what was up earlier.


14 Responses to “Retrolink USB P&P SNES Controller (Review) (Two Updates)”

  1. Kjellsen Says:

    How did you get it to work with snes9x on the mac?


  2. @Kjellsen

    First of all: It’s not working, and I haven’t devoted the time to figure out the issue.

    But to answer your question:

    Pretty much plug and play. You’ll have to map it, but you won’t need a driver install or anything.

    Config –> Configure Controllers –> Map it to the Player 1 controller. It’s pretty much laid out as the controller.

    Have fun!


    • Kjellsen Says:

      Tried that and my mac also detects the controller. It doesn´t seem to respond when I try to configure it. Thx thou


      • That’s more than a little strange.

        You might be having the issue I had, with the controller dying, or else you’ve got something wrong in SNES9X.

        Good luck.


  3. Miss M Says:

    I had my retrolink usb snes controller for two months before it decided to die as well .. no warning … windows 7 will not recongize it at all no matter what I do, but my usb ports work fine for other things.

    So, i’m just going to get an actual adapter instead, so I can use my real snes controller. This sucks.


  4. Wgeary Says:

    Dunno if you still check this but I have the retrolink usb and a Macbook pro and it’s not even recognizing the retrolink. Any suggestions?


  5. It cannot be broke, I bough two different ones and neither are being picked up?
    Where do I find this configuration?
    This is most annoying.

    Thanks guys!


  6. same here, bought 2 and both are not recognized by my computer.
    also the label where “A” “B” “X” “Y” are written was peeled off before i open the box.


  7. Upsidedownandaround Says:

    same thing here, just got it a few months ago and i’m looking all over to see if i can fix it


  8. marilyn Says:

    Hi! Running windows 8 myself and it wont seem to recognize the controller no matter what I try! It works on a friends computer so it is not the controller.
    have tried uninstalling USB devices through control panel restarting and have been hunting online and it seems the word is with windows7/8/8.1 something it screwy.
    If anyone has a clue please shed some light!


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