A new FCC filing suggests that Nintendo is developing a wireless SNES controller compatible with the Nintendo Switch.
The filing in question was first spotted by Resetera forums users. It doesn’t reveal too many details, but the included photo of the controller’s design clearly suggests that it is a SNES controller while the wording of the filing reveals that the prototype controller is going to be wireless.
Some people have also spotted that the controller uses a HAC model number, and HAC is what Nintendo uses to designate Nintendo Switch products. Put it all together, and you can easily see why some people think that Nintendo is developing a wireless SNES controller for the Switch.
Assuming this filing is real (and that Nintendo isn’t just filing it to protect a design idea they may or may not follow through on), the question now becomes “Why is Nintendo developing this controller?” After all, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t officially support any Super Nintendo games.
The most popular (and obvious) theory at the moment is that Nintendo is planning on releasing Super Nintendo games for the Switch (possibly via the console’s online subscription service). We’ve been hearing rumours for months now that they intend to do just that, but when E3 2019 came and went without any update to their virtual console or Nintendo Switch Online plans, serious doubt was cast on whether or not Switch owners would be able to access SNES games via the device without resorting to hacks.
Even if you believe SNES games are on the way (and we know some that we’d like to see made available for the Switch), you’ve got to wonder why Nintendo would specifically develop a wireless SNES controller but not one for the NES. These are all questions which may end up being answered before the end of 2019.