Xbox-licensed Arcade Stick Lets You Play Modern Games with the Nostalgia of a Retro Controller

If Apple’s Vision Pro announcement was a little too dystopian for you, 8bitdo is here to take you back to a much more familiar time when computing was less about passive-aggressive emails and long spreadsheets, and more about popping a quarter into a machine to play Space Invader and Street Fighter. Coincidentally announced on the same day as the Street Fighter VI launch, the Arcade Stick from 8bitdo brings the glory of old-style gaming to your modern setup. The Xbox-licenced gaming controller comes with a familiar retro design sporting 8 arcade buttons and a joystick that are entirely customizable as well as DIY modder-friendly. The Arcade Stick works wirelessly too, connecting to the Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and even Windows devices.

Designer: 8bitdo

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If there’s one thing 8bitdo does phenomenally well, it’s designing products that cater to the modern gamer who craves a retro touch. The Arcade Stick first debuted back in 2020 and was compatible with the Nintendo Switch as well as the PC. In its new avatar, the controller gets a color makeover to match the Xbox theme, along with a dedicated Xbox button on the top left. The controller works wirelessly via a 2.4G adapter, or can be hooked to your console or computer using a nearly 10-foot-long USB-C cable that comes along with the Arcade Stick.

Customization is at the core of the Arcade Stick. It offers swappable arcade buttons, allowing you to tailor your gaming setup according to your preferences. The 8BitDo Ultimate Software enables you to remap buttons and create personalized profiles effortlessly. The Arcade Stick’s joystick mounting plate is compatible with a wide range of arcade sticks too, giving you the ability to swap out the native joystick for hardware of your own. You can swap out the arcade buttons too, with 30mm/24mm arcade buttons of your choice – a feature that truly lets you make the controller exactly the one you remember playing with in your childhood.

On the inside, the Arcade Stick houses a battery capable of delivering a staggering 30 hours on a full charge. It reduces to 20 hours when you use the 3.5mm headphone jack to plug your gaming headset in, but that’s still a pretty impressive feat, with the estimated charging time being 4 hours. Given that the Arcade Stick rests perpetually on a table or your lap, keeping it hooked via the USB-C cable doesn’t feel like too much of a compromise.

The Arcade Stick is compatible with Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows 10, ensuring a seamless, lag-free gaming experience across platforms. It effortlessly integrates with your chosen device, providing you with a smooth and immersive gaming journey. With its sleek black and pristine white color options, the Arcade Stick complements your Xbox setup rather effortlessly, making it a rather good addition to any seasoned gaming enthusiast’s setup. Preorders are open for the controller, with deliveries beginning in the first week of July.

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