Mad Catz GameCube MicroCon Wireless Controller review: Mad Catz GameCube MicroCon Wireless Controller

3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Compact wireless controller; works with Nintendo GameCube and Wii systems; fits well in small hands.

The Bad No rumble; small and somewhat cramped; no wireless channel setting; button layout isn't the best match for some pre-GameCube Virtual Console titles.

The Bottom Line It works with all the right games, but the cramped design of the Mad Catz MicroCon controller makes it a bit uncomfortable for extended gaming sessions.

6.8 Overall

Mad Catz GameCube MicroCon Wireless Controller

The Nintendo GameCube is now essentially defunct, replaced by the Nintendo Wii. The Wii can handle both GameCube and Wii game discs, plus a selection of classic NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Turbografix 16, and Nintendo 64 titles on its pay-per-download Virtual Console. But there's a catch: GameCube games and most of the Virtual Console titles can't utilize the standard Wiimote controller. As a result, the once single-purpose GameCube controllers are now finding a second life on the Wii.

The Mad Catz GameCube MicroCon Wireless Controller ($20) is Mad Catz's answer to the Nintendo WaveBird. Both are wireless GameCube controllers that work equally well with compatible games on the Nintendo Wii. Unfortunately, the MicroCon doesn't quite meet the standard Nintendo set with the WaveBird.

The MicroCon is much smaller and lighter than the Nintendo WaveBird, weighing a scant 5.5 ounces to the WaveBird's 8.5. This is mostly because the MicroCon lacks the WaveBird's rumble feature. This issue is moot for Virtual Console games, which don't use rumble at all. Gamers might still miss the feature when playing their old GameCube games, however.

Like the WaveBird, the Mad Catz MicroCon uses a small dongle that plugs into one of the Wii's four GameCube controller ports. It works fine, but the need to open the cover flap (on the side or the top, depending on whether your Wii is oriented horizontally or vertically) and attach the transceiver does ruin the console's minimalist aesthetic. And like the Wii controllers, the MicroCon utilizes two AA batteries; you'll probably want to invest in a set of third-party rechargeables.

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