NES-Inspired Keyboard Comes With Giant Programmable Super Buttons

8BitDo NES inspired keyboard
(Image credit: 8BitDo)

8BitDo has just announced its first keyboard — a wireless, mechanical 87-key layout with hot-swappable switches and a design inspired by Nintendo's classic Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) consoles. That's not surprising, considering the company is best known for its game controllers and fighting sticks, many of which are retro console-inspired.

In fact, 8BitDo's new gaming keyboard is so retro console-inspired that it comes with a unique accessory: two comically-oversized, programmable "Super Buttons," which look like the NES's A/B buttons (and like every button-mashing child's dream).

Seriously, they're big —  6.3 x 2.9 x 1.3 inches (160.2 x 74.6 x 32.3mm) — bigger than the Famicom/NES controllers.

8BitDo NES inspired keyboard

(Image credit: 8BitDo)

The keyboard's $100 price tag includes one set of Super Buttons, which are wired and connect via 3.5mm (no word on how long the cable is, though it's a macropad and not a game controller, so it should be fine). 8BitDo is also selling extra sets of Super Buttons for $20 each. The keyboard has four 3.5mm inputs (labeled A, B, X, and Y, naturally), which means you can connect up to four sets (eight buttons). 

There's more to this keyboard than just Super Buttons, of course. It's a wireless mechanical keyboard with tri-mode connectivity (2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, and wired via USB-C), a compact TKL layout, and N-key rollover. It doesn't have backlighting (but neither did Nintendo's consoles), and 8BitDo estimates it will get around 200 hours of battery life. 

Build-wise, it features an aluminum top plate and dye-sub PBT keycaps with "MDA-like" height and weighs a pretty standard 2.3 lbs (1050g). It has a hot-swappable PCB and comes with Kailh Box switches (White V2), and can be programmed via 8BitDo's Ultimate Software V2 (it also appears to feature on-the-fly macro recording, which will let you program keys and Super Buttons without using software). 

Like the console(s) it's modeled after, minus the region-locking, the keyboard will come in two colorways that are otherwise identical: a Japanese Famicom-inspired "Fami Edition" and an American NES-inspired "N Edition." The Fami Edition comes with dark red Super Buttons, which are not technically true to the original controller's black buttons, but I guess the dark red looks nicer next to the keyboard. 

The retro styling carries throughout the keyboard's design, with rotary knobs for power and volume, control pad arrow key legends, and a classic red power status LED. The keyboard also appears to have two additional programmable A/B keys and three programmable buttons (media keys?) next to the volume knob. 

The 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard drops on September 20, 2023, and can be pre-ordered now (in both colors) for $99.99. Additional sets of Super Buttons can also be pre-ordered exclusively on 8BitDo's website for $19.99.  

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Senior Editor, Peripherals

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware covering peripherals, software, and custom builds. You can find more of her work in PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, CNET, Gizmodo, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, and just about everywhere else.

  • bit_user
    I love it! Wouldn't buy one, but sure enjoyed seeing it!
  • Elusive Ruse
    That colour scheme brought back sweet memories!
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    They're all actually decently priced for what they are, if the quality of the build is OK.
  • fastcountach
    I have four of their BT gaming controllers. Their build quality is proportional to their price.
    One thing this article didn't point out is that their products are typically designed to interface with different systems differently (Switch, Android, Mac, Xbox, Windows, PS) so you don't have to reconfigure it for each use case. Its just a matter of turning it on in a certain mode. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the same way. And those 3 "programmable" buttons next to the volume knob... I don't think they're programmable, my controllers have the same ones, there specific to which system you use it with.