Gaming PC

Raspberry Pi Pico W Brings Retro Nintendo Controllers to Switch

The $4 Raspberry Pi Pico is fast becoming the glue for retro projects, which David Pagels brings the retro Nintendo controller to Nintendo’s popular Switch console via USB and, in recent updates, Bluetooth.

David Pagels The Retro-Pico-Switch project is very simple. Use your old Nintendo 64 and Gamecube controller with Nintendo Switch. No setup required. Just download the UF2 file from release page, set the Pico W to flashable, drag and drop the UF2 onto the Pico and it will reboot as a Bluetooth device. The only slightly tricky part of this project is connecting the controller to the Pico. Thankfully, there is a pinout reference that can be used to map the controller’s pins to the Pico. The N64 controller interface has only three pins. Pin 1 connects to the 3.6V power supply, pin 2 is for data and pin 3 is GND. The software is looking for a connection between pin 2 (data) and GPIO 18 on the Pico. Pull the data pin high with a 1 kohm resistor between pins 2 and 1 to ensure consistent data transfer. The Gamecube’s pinout is a bit more complicated, with seven pins, but pin 2 (red wire) is data, pin 6 (blue wire) is 3.3V, and pin 7 (black wire) is ground. The remaining pins are for vibration feedback.

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