It seems like everyone and their mother subsidiary companies are jumping on the red-hot mechanical keyboard trend. The latest entrant is 8BitDo, best known for its retro-style (and surprisingly advanced) game controllers. The manufacturer is staying in its comfort zone with its first keyboard design: The Retro Mechanical Keyboard is offered in two colorways, styled after either Nintendo’s Japanese Famicom or the American Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) complete with big 80s-style graphics and control knobs.
Looking to pick up a new mechanical keyboard for your gaming space? If so, check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best mechanical keyboards.
But that’s not all. In addition to a rotary switch for Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless, a dial for volume, and three extra buttons above the function row, the keyboard comes with two massive, separate buttons styled after the A and B primary action buttons on the NES controller. These wired add-on “Super Buttons” can be programmed for individual keys or macros. With four inputs, you can connect up to eight buttons in total (with two included in the box and additional sets of two available for $20 each).
Surprisingly, this isn’t just a novelty board — it includes a lot of the same features as the best gaming keyboards out there. 8BitDo has put some serious hardware into the build, including PBT keycaps with an “MDA-like” profile, hot-swap switch sockets (Kailh BOX switches included in the, um, box), N-key rollover, programming via 8BitDo’s “Ultimate” software, and on-the-fly macros…this is a serious gaming keyboard and shockingly affordable at just $100. (Keep in mind, that’s with the two Super Buttons.) The only thing missing on the usual keyboard spec list is RGB lighting, but that wouldn’t fit with the retro theme and there is a big red power light in the upper-left corner.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.