8BitDo, a manufacturer known for making excellent controllers, fighting sticks, and other gaming accessories, is breaking into the realm of mechanical keyboards with two models. One is inspired by the NES, and the other borrows the color scheme of the Famicom. Both models cost $99.99 to pre-order from Amazon, and they are set to ship out on Aug. 10.
Dubbed the N Edition and Fami Edition, both keyboards share identical specs, including support for Windows or Android devices over a wired USB-C connection, or wirelessly using Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz connectivity (a dongle is included). Macros and other functions on each keyboard can be mapped to your liking using 8BitDo’s Ultimate V2 Software.
Each keyboard has a tenkeyless layout that ditches the number pad, making them great for people with smaller desks (or who prefer smaller keyboards). However, it’s not lacking in features. In the top-left corner, you’ll find dedicated switches for adjusting volume and controlling playback in addition to power and connectivity. Both models are equipped with Kalih Box White switches, but the PCB (printed circuit board) that’s included is hot-swappable, meaning you can easily change out the stock switches with your preferred model, be it Cherry Silver, or Kalih Box Black switches.
While the PCB for the new 8BitDo keyboards lacks any kind of RGB backlighting (a bit disappointing to me personally, though some people won’t mind this omission), two aesthetic choices I can appreciate is the ominous red power indicator LED in the top right corner and the inclusion of a pair of comically large A and B buttons mimicking the classic NES controller. It’s no gigantic “Enter” key/pillow, but they’ll do.