Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-12-02 14:00 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier
[UPDATE 2021/12/28 12:22 JST]
Panda Hardware has announced that the Kickstarter campaign for their Panda Controller has been canceled. The unfortunate update comes after the campaign amassed nearly 2 million dollars. Panda Hardware states that factors outside of their control have impacted the production as rolling blackouts and COVID-related issues slowed down their main manufacturing partner in China. Panda Hardware says that since they don’t have a clear timeline for when the controller can be made and delivered, they have decided to cancel the campaign as to not keep supporters’ money tied up for an unknown period of time.
[Original Text 2021/12/02 18:44 JST]
On December 2, Panda Hardware, the hardware division of the Panda Global esports team, unveiled the Panda Controller for Nintendo Switch, GameCube, and PC with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign. Within an hour of the crowdfunding campaign going live, it quickly surpassed its initial goal of $100,000 to solidify its production and release.
The Panda Controller bears a strong resemblance to the beloved GameCube controller and will support the Nintendo Switch, GameCube, and PC. Panda Global is an esports team with a big focus on the Super Smash Bros. series. They explain that many of the competitors within that scene still consider the GameCube controller to be the best. It sounds like the Panda Controller was developed to address issues with acquiring GameCube controllers and to add their own original ideas to the design.
The basic style and button layout are similar to that of the GameCube’s controller. But on top of that, the controller has Nintendo Switch “HOME” and “Capture” buttons, a ZL button, and extras buttons on the left and right grip. The A, B, X, and Y buttons have also been smoothed, which they say allows for faster finger movement. And on top of that, the D-pad and rumble can be toggled on or off, the trigger height can be adjusted, and the weight can be adjusted with removeable weights. The controller has many features aimed for the competitive crowd.
There’s also a focus on customizing the controller’s appearance with its removable shell that’s held in place with magnets. There’s also a stretch goal for the sale of additional parts, including different colored shells and buttons.
The controller is fundamentally a wired controller via its USB Type-C port to GameCube cable. However, it’s also possible to connect to a Nintendo Switch or PC via Bluetooth by attaching an expansion pack to the back of the controller. Expansion packs are sold separately.
Panda Global previously developed and released the Ultimate GameCube Adapter for the Nintendo Switch, which acted as a GameCube controller adapter and charging stand. For many, the Super Smash Bros. series and the GameCube controller are forever intertwined. Additionally, Panda Global and Nintendo have partnered to bring the first official Super Smash Bros. series circuit to North America. But with that said, it’s worth noting that the Panda Controller isn’t an officially Nintendo licensed product.
The Panda Controller is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. As of this writing, the campaign has already blown by its initial $100,000 goal to nearly $650,000, meaning the device is already set to be made. A pledge of $90 will net you one Panda Controller, which are scheduled to ship out in December of 2022. The previously mentioned Wireless Pack can be added for an additional $30. Add-ons can be selected when making a pledge. For more details, check out the Kickstarter page.