Switch Online members based in the UK can currently purchase the Switch controller via the following link:
Nintendo has confirmed that the controller’s official release date is today, and they’re limited to 4 per customer.
The controller can be used with the selection of Mega Drive / Genesis games which are available as part of Nintendo Switch Online for anyone who’s subscribed to the Expansion Pack tier.
The Expansion Pack adds Mega Drive and Nintendo 64 games to the existing NES and SNES libraries available as part of the standard Switch Online membership.
In North America and Europe, the controller is the standard three-button design that was included with the console when it originally launched.
Japan, meanwhile, gets the improved six-button controller that was released in 1993 to coincide with the release of Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition.
The lack of a six-button controller isn’t an issue at this stage, because none of the 14 Mega Drive games currently available on Switch Online actually support six buttons.
The only exception is Shinobi III, but its 6-button support is a hidden bonus that requires a cheat code to be entered with two controllers, so it’s still considered a native 3-button game.
However, nearly 60 games supported the 6-button controller, and if any of these were to be added in the future then Japanese players would have an advantage.
These include the likes of Eternal Champions, Comix Zone, Streets of Rage 3, The Story of Thor (aka Beyond Oasis) and Virtua Fighter 2.