T-Wireless NW

Review

posted 5/12/2009 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
One Page Platforms: Wii
Since its launch, the Wii has seen a glut of first and third party peripherals, but there has been little quality hardware amid the flood of white plastic. We’ve had Nintendo’s superfluous Zapper and Wii Wheel, the innumerable aftermarket “accessory” packs that offer useless doodads like plastic tennis rackets and cooking tools, and don’t even get me started on all the worthless Wii Fit crap. Yes, the Wii is mostly a shallow fad and numerous companies are trying to make a quick dishonest buck off the largely ignorant casual crowd. Still, there are a few upstanding peripheral makers producing good stuff for the console.

Nyko of course is in a league of its own, routinely showing up Nintendo with their Wii remote, nunchuk, and zapper replacements, but another company, Thrustmaster, is making a big push into the crowded Wii market. I heard good things about their T-Wireless controller and after searching for months, finally found the elusive peripheral at a local Microcenter.

The TW fits a nice niche in the Wii hardware pantheon because it fills two areas that Nintendo has left severely lacking—Virtual Console and GameCube control. The TW is a classic-style control pad that bears some resemblance to Nintendo’s own Classic Controller, but its features are vastly superior. First and foremost it’s completely wireless so you don’t have to play Virtual Console games while tethered to a Wii remote. In fact the TW doesn’t use the remote at all, but communicates with the Wii directly through a dongle that plugs into a GameCube controller port.

The TW isn’t technically a Classic Controller stand-in but really a third party GameCube controller, and because the Cube pads already play VC games, the TW effectively replaces both the Classic Controller and GameCube controller. However its styling is closer to the Classic Controller so it is more comfortable to play VC games with it than it is to play them with a Cube pad. I know this is all a bit confusing, so I’ve included a comparison photo to help differentiate between all of the controllers:


The TW is basically a replacement for Nintendo’s Wavebird, an excellent wireless GameCube controller that Nintendo discontinued for no good reason. This means that the TW handles all the functionality of the Classic, GameCube, and wireless Wavebird controllers. The TW throws in some other features too, that none of the previous pads included.

For one it has rumble feedback, the omission of which was the Wavebird’s Persian flaw. Unfortunately the rumble isn’t used by VC games by virtue of their programming (a mortal sin in the case of StarFox 64, if you ask me) but the TW’s rumble will work with all of your GameCube games, just in case you want to take advantage of the Wii’s full backwards compatibility. If you want to deactivate the ruble to save battery, there’s a dedicated switch on the bottom of the controller to turn the rumble motors on and off. The TW runs off three triple-A batteries and its life is significantly lower than the Wavebird’s legendary battery life. Considering my brother and I joke that our grandchildren will be the first people to change the batteries in our Wavebird, the TW has a perfectly respectable battery life of around 12-14 hours; about the same as a Wii remote, actually.

The TW is basically a replacement for Nintendo’s Wavebird, an excellent wireless GameCube controller that Nintendo discontinued for no good reason. This means that the TW handles all the functionality of the Classic, GameCube, and wireless Wavebird controllers. The TW throws in some other features too, that none of the previous pads included.

For one it has rumble feedback, the omission of which was the Wavebird’s Persian flaw. Unfortunately the rumble isn’t used by VC games by virtue of their programming (a mortal sin in the case of StarFox 64, if you ask me) but the TW’s rumble will work with all of your GameCube games, just in case you want to take advantage of the Wii’s full backwards compatibility. If you want to deactivate the ruble to save battery, there’s a dedicated switch on the bottom of the controller to turn the rumble motors on and off. The TW runs off three triple-A batteries and its life is significantly lower than the Wavebird’s legendary battery life. Considering my brother and I joke that our grandchildren will be the first people to change the batteries in our Wavebird, the TW has a perfectly respectable battery life of around 12-14 hours; about the same as a Wii remote, actually.
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