The Nintendo Gamecube was one of the greatest consoles of all time in my opinion. It had so many great games and was really enjoyable to play - especially the multiplayer games! After a while, I decided to buy the Wavebird wireless controller. I thought it sounded really odd at first due to the name 'Wavebird' but back in that day, the idea of gaming wirelessly with an official Nintendo controller was quite exciting!
Nowadays the controller isn't manufactured anymore due to the new Nintendo Wii but you can still buy one for around £20 used on places like eBay. The controller can actually be used with the new Nintendo Wii too if you don't like the Wii remote and nunchuck. It's ideal for multiplayer games - I kept my Wavebird when I got my Wii so me and friends can play Wii multiplayer games and one of us will just have to use the Wavebird.
It's a pleasure to use, and although it does feel a bit chunky and big, it is wireless after all. The Nintendo Gamecube logo is at the top on the front face in white. The controller is grey, and it's not really that attractive. It looks like a typical controller with a few bright buttons but it doesn't look that amazingly well designed. It is similar to the original Gamecube controller with the same buttons. There is an analogue stick to the left with a small directional pad. I actually find the D-Pad stupidly small and the buttons feel very poor in terms of quality too. In the middle is a start button and just below is a unique (for the Wavebird) switch, which is used to switch the controller on or off.
The right hand side of the controller contains the c stick, which is bright yellow as well as the A and B buttons in green and red and the X and Y buttons in grey. the whole colour scheme is pretty bland and doesn't look great. On the bottom of the controller is a switch, where you change the channel for the controller to connect to wirelessly. On the receiver, which plugs into your Gamecube/Wii, there are also a variety of channels. There are over 20 in total, so you can easily set up 4 players with different channels. The only problem would be if there happened to be over 16 others nearby playing their consoles using Wavebirds! Nowadays, I'm sure this is unlikely unless you are trying to play in the Nintendo HQ. The controller also has a couple of triggers and the Z button on the upper side of the controller, which also click in - this can act as another button cleverly!
The controller isn't that comfortable to hold really - it's quite an odd shape. You have to hold the two 'handles' at each side as it's the only way to hold it, and it seems to harden access to the rest of the controller. If you want to press the start button, you have to completely readjust your hands to reach the middle of the controller unless you have long fingers, where you'd still have to stretch! It does give comfortable access to most the main buttons whilst gaming however.
Overall it works pretty well and is great to be wireless. It's great for the Gamecube and a good alternative for the Wii if you don't like playing with the Wii remote and nunchuck. I'd say this controller is worth buying for £20 or so if you are going to make use of it! Mine never broke - although it doesn't look amazing, the quality is still there.
Thanks for reading!
Innovation has always been a strong point for Nintendo with them being first to market with full analogue control, shoulder buttons and a rumble feature. With the Wavebird controller, we have the first wireless controller to perform as well as its wired counterpart. What's even more impressive is how Nintendo beat the competition to it by an entire generation of consoles before it became standard with the Wii, XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 over the last few years.
The Wavebird controller was made to be used with Nintendo's GameCube console which launched back in 2002 but has gained longevity through Nintendo's desire to make their Nintendo Wii console backwards compatible. What this means is that old GameCube games can be played through the Wii as well as housing 2 memory card slots and four controller ports.
The Wavebird controller has been the controller choice for many people I know who download games through the Wii's Virtual Console and it is a great fit for N64 games if you don't have a classic controller.
As someone who had a GameCube. it's great to be able to use these accessories again as (i'm sure anyone with a Wii will agree) accessories, particularly controllers can cost an awful lot of money.
The Wavebird is identical to the GameCube controller in many ways such as button layout but is slightly meatier between the D-Pad and C-Stick as this is where you configure the wireless link and also on the back where the AA batteries are housed. Unlike modern consoles, you need to manually link it with the machine but this is very straightforward and involves matching the number on the wheel on the pad with the number on the wheel on the RF receiver that plugs into your Gamecube or Wii. You'll know you've done it right when button presses on the pad result in the light on the receiver flashing.
Again unlike newer controllers (and possibly the only downside of the controller) it doesn't support a rumble feature. This is justified by Nintendo's boast of up to 100 hours of battery life but some may feel a little disappointed. For me though, the wireless benefit outweighs the benefit of rumble.
I might not recommend these controllers for those who've only got a Wii as the price of a Wavebird can often reach £40 through the likes of eBay and the classic controller which can be purchased for around £15 and used in conjunction with your Wii remote works just as well for me but this is undoubtedly another quality product from Nintendo.
The Nintendo Wavebird is a controller for your Nintendo Gamecube.
The Wavebird controller comes in a silvery grey colour and is very similar in design to the original Gamecube controller. At a glance you may actually think it is the same until you take a closer look and realise that it is a lot fatter this time around! The gain comes at the bottom of the controller where on a normal controller the two parts with the C stick and directional pad are separate here they are joined together.
You get a lot more in the box with this controller, the Wavebird which comes with a good set of AA batteries (I think they were Panasonics) and a receiver unit for the controller.
Getting the Wavebird set up is a slightly tricky process which has been much more streamlined in modern days for example with the sync button that we have on the Wii. The Wavebird you have to sync manually by matching the channel of the controller with the channel of the receiver unit. You do this by adjusting either the knob on the receiver unit or the knob on the Wavebird until the light on the receiver goes green.
The controller works perfectly well in wireless mode and even has an on/off switch on it so you can save the battery life when you are not using it. Some sacrifices have been made however, it is heavier than a standard controller and they have removed the rumble feature altogether, personally I think it is worth trading the rumble for the convenience of being wire free.
It has inherited the flaws and benefits of the Gamecube controller too, it is still very comfortable to hold with perfect button layout yet it doesn't have enough buttons for most third party titles.
When I bought this controller for my Gamecube, I already had the Logitech version, and while almost identical, I did feel that this one took a little bit of getting used to.
Once I had got used to it, however, I loved this controller. It was easy to use, with buttons everywhere that your fingers and thumbs could be (I particularly like the buttons at the top at the back).
The only thing is, that in most games, most of the buttons are redundant, so whil it looks cool, you dont get to use all of the buttons!
The buttons lines up together are not so easy to use- they are a bit close together.
The direction pad is good, and easy to use. It is very senstive so it takes a bit of getting used to.
Overall, I liked this controller, but maybe it has more buttons than it needs.
This was one of the first wireless controllers to ever be released. I was so excited by the thought of no wires, I picked one up immediately but at a hefty price. Nowadays, they are still quite expensive and you can buy them for around £40. However, they are great technology and work really well. Considering we have a new generation of consoles now, this controller may seem a bit old in technology, but at the time of release, it was excellent.
It has a similar look to the original Gamecube controller. On the bottom is a wheel that is used to change the frequency of the channel. By doing this, and changing the channel on the receiver, you can play wirelessly. You switch the controller on and off with a simple sliding switch on the front. The rest of the buttons are in identical place to the original controller. It looks a bit chunkier, and feels it too. It feels quite a bit heavier in your hands to hold, but still is comfortable.
It is great to sit down and play the Gamecube without having to worry about unravelling the long wires round the controllers and handing them out to your mates. This way, it is quick and easy, and a real pleasure to play games wirelessly. The only annoying thing apart from the bulkiness and weight is the fact you must change the batteries every now and then. I know this sounds obvious, but it is something I forget about. It warns you when the battery is low with a red light that comes on instead of a green one just by the switch that turns it on. I am not sure if you can get rechargeable packs nowadays for this, but it is possible. Overall, it´s a great controller that is worth the purchase if you play the Gamecube a lot and get frustrated with the wires.
Thanks for reading,
You know the score, there you are with your nice batch of consoles, all lined up nicely in a row and glistening new but they all come with their fare share of wires. While the wires at the back can be hidden in their wild mess (until you have to battle to change SCART leads to play one or the other) the ones at the front for the controllers cant and even if you just have one controller out for each one they can still become a tangled mess. Then there is always the added hassle of playing when other people are around having to cross over the wires, running the risk of tripping up and multiplied by four if all controller ports are being used.
Its hardly a new idea but the Nintendo Wavebird works like a charm. Gone are the days when the signals were dodgy and control of the game cut out whenever anyone walked across the path of the receiver. The Wavebird uses tiny RF transmitters, which, basically means, it works perfectly. You can leave the room and the controller will still be able to control the game, hell you can leave the building and the waves will still reach it, utterly pointless and impractical but it shows how powerful this controller actually is.
The working of the Wavebird is simple. You plug in a receiver to a controller port of the GameCube and set the channel. The channel determines which Wavebird uses which port so just match up the channel on the receiver to the one at the bottom of your Wavebird and youre in business. There are 16 channels in total to account for the possibility of four GameCubes and 16 Wavebirds being used in a small proximity (like I said the signals can reach extremely far so if you are in flats and your next door neighbour also has one then you could be controlling their game, chances are slim but it can happen) by setting the channel it will mean that there wont be any overlap in the controls by the wrong Wavebird picking up the wrong frequency. After playing a few games with my mates using more than one Wavebird I have not encountered any overlap whatsoever but there have been the odd one or two reports saying this does happen but a quick fix of the channel will solve any problems that may arise.
Very little has changed with this incarnation of the GameCube controller. All the face buttons are in the same places so, for those hoping theyd improve the Z button, no such luck. However where there used to be a space between the holders for your hands there is now plastic. This is to incorporate the battery holder for the back of the controller and also the On/Off switch for the controller itself. This does make the controller look a bit more bulky but, surprisingly, it still weights practically the same as the standard controller, even with the batteries inside there is only a minimal feel of change. At the bottom of the extra piece of plastic comes the channel slider, which can be adjusted to match whatever port you wish to play the Wavebird on.
There are two drawbacks to the Wavebird. The main one being is that there is no option of a rumble feature. While this will disappoint some it seems a small price to pay and while I do enjoy a bit of rumble now and again I can hardly say I miss it with passion. The main reason for not including it was to conserve battery power. This is another drawback to the controller, as it will constantly need money putting into it. Yet this really doesnt count because batteries are cheap and Nintendo claim that there are over 100 hours of usage in two batteries, Ive had the controller for a few months now and have not changed the batteries once and considering the amount of play it has had thats very good conservation. Then the other reason why a rumble isnt available is because of the set up of the controller and the receiver, because it is only a one-way signal a rumble feature could not be implemented. Of course, it would have been preferable for Nintendo to offer the consumer a choice between rumble and no rumble but whats done is done. However for those that cant do without rumble never fear. There is already a successor to the normal Wavebird, this one boasting higher frequency and even better battery life, like many things in the electronics industry things improve and I very much doubt it will take long for Nintendo to bring a Wavebird out that has a rumble feature with a two-way receiver and doesnt drain the batteries.
At £34.99 it is more expensive than the standard controller (although shopping around on the Internet will no doubt bring cheaper results) however for the ease of use and the freedom it allows then it is worth the extra few pounds. I currently own two of these and they prove very valuable for Mario Party sessions I have with my mates if some are sitting further away from the TV screen. Also, on a personal side of things, its great to be able to sit up in bed at night and play the GameCube from a very comfy vantage point. It really is personal preference whether you want to sacrifice the rumble feature or not but it seems a fair trade off considering that this controller offers such freedom of movement and no cables to clutter up the floor.
NINTENDO WAVEBIRD IS
Not going to trip you up
NINTENDO WAVEBIRD IS NOT
A controller with wings
A cheap gimmick
This is the official Nintendo controller supplied as standard with most new Gamecubes. It comes in a range of colours, and is prices around £10-20 brand new. Cheaper alternatives can be found in the likes of eBay, for example.
The controller is connected to the Gamecube console by a standard cord measuring approximately two metres in length. This length is useful so that players do not have to sit too close to the console or screen to play. Up to four controllers may be connected to any one Gamecube, and they are very simple to use - just plug it in to the appropriate controller port and play the game.
This controller has a Rumble feature built into it. Rumble-compatible games will produce a slight vibration in the controller to signify various things to the player, location of hidden items perhaps or similar things. This feature can usually be disabled in the game's options menu should you decide not to use it.
The controllers are hardwearing and reliable, able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use by all the family, and the associated bumps and knocks that may come with it. Care should be taken not to pull the controller by the wire though, for example when disconnecting from the console, or to wrap the wire too tightly when storing the controller.
(Also, they are not rodent-proof, as we discovered when our hamster escaped and chewed through our wire - now we have Wavebirds!)
The disadvantage is the inevitable tangle of wires across the floor which may be a danger in a busy household, particularly if left lying about as children so often do when distracted by something else.
In general these controllers offer good value for money, and are a cheap and efficient way of equipping for multi-player fun.
Basically, it does what it says on the box. The Wavebird is a wireless controller for the Nintendo Gamecube, and allows complete freedom of movement when gaming rather than being tied to the console by a cord.
Although it may seem rather pricey at around £30 brand new, most gamers find the convenience well worth the price. Having said that, local games retailers may be able to sell cheaper, and eBay, for example, offers many reasonably priced (approx. £12-20) opportunites to purchase this item. Second-hand or used controllers will generally be reliable as the Wavebird is a relatively new accessory for the Gamecube.
The controller itself is powered by two AA batteries. Good quality batteries are recommended for maximum gameplay but even cheap quality batteries have given me 10-15 hours before running out. Good quality batteries can give you anything from 20-40 hours, sometimes more, depending on usage (number of button presses, etc.).
The controller sends a signal with each button press to a receiver unit which is plugged into the appropriate controller port on the Gamecube. It is possible to use up to four Wavebirds per Gamecube (one for each controller port). The frequency for each controller is set by means of a small dial underneath the controller and another underneath the receiver unit, both of which must be set to the same number (choice of 1-16). It really is as simple as that - set frequency, plug in, turn on and away you go. Don't forget to turn the Wavebird off when you've finished though, otherwise it can seriously decrease your battery life.
Range is specified as being around six metres, but it can go even further, and in any case, six metres is likely to be the furthest you are away from your Gamecube if you still want to see the screen details properly. The Wavebird uses RF technology as opposed to infra-red, meaning if somethings crosses between you and the receiver, it can still pick your signal up. Very useful in a family household!
The design is almost identical to a standard Gamecube controller, the main differences being the Wavebird is very slightly heavier, and more significantly, there is no Rumble feature. Game which include Rumble features will still work fine with a Wavebird, but the Rumble effect will not happen. This isn't a major problem unless the Rumble feature is particularly important to you. The weight difference is practically unnoticeable and does not affect the feel of the controller at all.
Currently the Wavebird is only available in grey, as opposed to the corded controllers which come in a range of colours, but unless the colour is important to you then this should not put you off at all.
If the idea of a wire-free gaming experience appeals to you, and this may be of special concern in homes where there are people having to cross over wires constantly, then this is the controller for you. More expensive than standard controllers, but safer, and extremely reliable.