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8BitDo’s Nintendo

Jul 27, 2023

Novelty accessory maker 8BitDo today announced a new mechanical keyboard inspired by Nintendo’s NES and Famicom consoles from the 1980s. The $100 Retro Mechanical Keyboard works in wired / wireless modes, supports custom key mapping and includes two giant red buttons begging to be mashed.

The 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard ships in two colorways: the “N Edition” is inspired by the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and the “Fami Edition” draws influence from the Nintendo Famicom. Although the accessory-maker likely toed the line enough to avoid unwelcome attention from Nintendo’s lawyers, the color schemes match the classic consoles nearly perfectly: The NES-inspired variant ships in a familiar white / dark gray / black color scheme, while the Famicom-influenced one uses white / crimson.

The Fami Edition includes Japanese characters below the English markings for each standard alphanumerical key. The keyboard’s built-in dials and power indicator also have a charmingly old-school appearance. And if you want to customize the keyboard’s hardware, you can replace each button on its hot-swappable printed circuit board (PCB). 8BitDo tells Engadget it uses Kailh Box White Switches V2 for the keyboard and Gatreon Green Switches for the Super Buttons.

As for what those bundled Super Buttons do, that’s up to you: The entire layout, including the two ginormous buttons, is customizable using 8BitDo’s Ultimate Software. The company tells Engadget they connect directly to the keyboard via a 3.5mm jack. And if the two in the box aren’t enough, you can buy extras for $20 per set.

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The 87-key accessory works with Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless and USB wired modes. Although the keyboard is only officially listed as compatible with Windows and Android, 8BitDo confirmed to Engadget that it will also work with macOS. It has a 2,000mAh battery for an estimated 200 hours of use from four hours of charging.

Pre-orders for the 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard are available starting today on Amazon and direct at 8BitDo. The accessory costs $100 and is estimated to begin shipping on August 10th.