Shank Mods’ virtuoso recreation of a GameCube’s WaveBird as a set of Joy-Cons is impressive and beautiful, but it also fairly raises the question of hey wait a minute, shouldn’t Nintendo have done this by now?
Shank, a top-notch modder who has done Wii and GameCube mods over the past two years, points that out himself soon into the video. He assumed Nintendo or another modder would have tried it by now. With the release of official WaveBird throwbacks (as a gamepad, not Joy-Cons) for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Shank realized the time had come.
Still, it wasn’t as simple as pulling apart a controller, carefully separating it, and slapping that on. The process required several months and several 3D-printed parts. Shank started with a bona fide, first-party WaveBird shell as the mod’s base, because authentic feel is important to a self-confessed “GameCube controller snob” and bigtime Smash fan. That means no Joy-Con drift!
He shows his homework over the next 10 or so minutes, which includes a trip to another first-rate Nintendo modder, MadMorda, to study at her feet for some expert painting lessons. That’s dedication (on both their behalves). MadMorda, btw, was behind the World’s Smallest GameCube Controller and the World’s Smallest GameCube. She also did the custom Joy-Con buttons on Shank’s project here.
But if you and a friend were to use them as 1P and 2P undocked controllers — eh, that looks suboptimal. Maybe this is why Nintendo has demurred on bringing something like this to market itself.
For those wondering. Yes, they can do this. And Yes, it's worse than you think it is. pic.twitter.com/1spZwGi5IL— Shank (@ShankMods) January 11, 2020
Still, a natural viewer response to this is “DO WANT,” but Shank says this is a painstaking, time-consuming job that isn’t recommended for beginners.