Tips for buying Switch, PS4 and Xbox



The selection of kid-friendly mini consoles isn’t exactly huge, but you can still find one model or another for PS4, Xbox One, and Series as well as the Nintendo Switch.

Given how long video games have been a hobby for kids, it’s surprising how many mini consoles you can find these days. For those of you looking for the right input device for your little ones, we’ve put together some tips for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series. First, we give you our top recommendations for each console, at the end of the article you will find a small one List of alternatives.

Nintendo Switch

Buying Tip: Upgraded PowerA Wireless Nano Controller

The officially licensed PowerA Nano Controller (right) looks almost like a mini version of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.






The officially licensed PowerA Nano Controller (right) looks almost like a mini version of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

for every

  • Additional buttons at the bottom
  • good workmanship
  • Precision sticks and buttons

Negatives

  • D-PAD squishy
  • no rattling
  • No NFC to read amiibos

price: About 40 to 50 euros

PowerA Upgraded Nano Controller at Amazon*

Per Mini Console: The PowerA Nano Controller is just that Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Very similar, all the buttons on the front are arranged in the same way as in the prototype. Everything is just a step tighter than the original: The PowerA Nano’s display is about 20 percent smaller than the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which makes a huge difference in practice.

Good buttons, poor dashboard: The workmanship of the PowerA Nano is not quite as good as that of the Pro controller, but it is good. All buttons and sticks as well as the shoulder buttons and triggers work perfectly and react with extreme precision. Only the control panel is a bit spongy. The PowerA Nano has two additional buttons on the left and right on the back, and can be programmed with a third button in the middle below.

Good battery, missing features: PowerA Nano works wirelessly. The battery life is half that of the Nintendo Switch Pro console, up to 20 hours, but that’s still pretty good compared to other third-party products. However, the PowerA Nano lacks not only NFC to read Amiibos, but also the rumble feature drivers. After all, motion control is included.

PowerA Upgraded Nano Controller at Amazon*

Playstation 4

Buying Tip: Hori Horipad Mini Controller

The Horipad Mini works without handles, but is also slightly smaller than the Sony DualShock 4.






The Horipad Mini works without handles, but is also slightly smaller than the Sony DualShock 4.

for every

  • Ultra precise sticks and buttons
  • Ultra compact shape
  • good control panel

Negatives

  • No audio output
  • Motion sensor and speakers missing
  • Some loud clicking sounds
  • wired

price: About 30 to 35 euros (varies by color)

Hori Horipad Mini (PS4) at Amazon *

Small not only because of the loss of handles: The wired Hori Horipad Mini owes its small size primarily to the complete absence of handles. It is also slightly narrower than the Sony DualShock 4. To save space, among other things, noticeably smaller buttons are used, which are also very close to each other. The same applies to the rather narrow trigger and shoulder buttons. If you have big fingers, it’s easy to hit the wrong button, but the controller is very compact and easy to hold for little hands.

Some savings: Compared to DualShock 4, Horipad Mini has retained some features: it has lost a motion sensor and a loudspeaker. There is also no real touchpad, but at least there is an alternative: hitting the touchpad can be simulated by pressing the TP button at the bottom and using analog sticks. The little button at the top grabs the click of the touchpad. Since these functions are rarely used, this is acceptable. It weighs more that the headphone connection is also missing.

good quality: Otherwise, there’s not much to complain about with the Horipad Mini. The workmanship does not seem to be of high quality, but it is very sturdy and definitely suitable for the price. Buttons and sticks do their job perfectly and work very accurately. The control panel, which is often the weak point in other consoles, does a good job. At most, one can complain that the console sometimes makes very loud clicking sounds.

Hori Horipad Mini (PS4) at Amazon *

Xbox Series and One

Best Buy: Nacon Pro Compact Xbox Controller

The Nacon Pro Compact doesn't look much smaller than the Microsoft Xbox console on the surface, but it does feel more compact.






The Nacon Pro Compact doesn’t look much smaller than the Microsoft Xbox console on the surface, but it does feel more compact.

for every

  • Good sticks and buttons
  • Good build quality
  • Application with many setting options
  • Short trigger paths for rapid fire

Negatives

  • wired
  • Moderate control panel
  • Short trigger tracks are bad for racing games

price: About 45 to 50 euros

Nacon Pro Compact Controller (Xbox Series & One) at MediaMarkt *

smaller than it looks: The difference in size between the wired Nacon Pro Compact Controller and the regular Xbox console (according to the manufacturer about 15 percent) is not really noticeable from the outside. But once you hold it in your hand, it looks a lot smaller due to the narrow shape of the handles and the rest of the chassis. The buttons and sticks are still the same size, but some of the buttons are positioned differently: the share button is now at the bottom between the directional panel and the right stick, and the start and menu buttons have moved outward further.

Good quality, short trigger tracks: The build quality of the Nacon Pro Compact is good, even if it’s not as great as the original from Microsoft. It could match the quality of the sticks and buttons, but the directional pad doesn’t look quite as precise as the D-Pad shaped like a Microsoft Xbox Series controller. With triggers, the distances are significantly shorter. This is good for fast shooting, but not so good for setting speed in racing games.

Good application: Several settings can be made on the Nacon Pro Compact via the app. As with the standard Microsoft controller, you can reset buttons, but you can also adjust the sensitivity of sticks and triggers like the Microsoft Elite Controller. But even if you use the entire trigger paths, they are still relatively short. With a small switch on the back, you can quickly switch between the preset and the individual profile.

Nacon Pro Compact Controller (Xbox Series & One) at MediaMarkt *

As a parent, I get really frustrated: Why are there so few baby controllers?


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More on this topic

As a parent, I get really frustrated: Why are there so few baby controllers?

alternatives

Nintendo Switch

For the Nintendo Switch, choosing child-friendly controllers is a relatively good thing.  Left to right: 8bitdo SN30 Pro, Horipad Mini, Kingear Controller.






For the Nintendo Switch, choosing child-friendly controllers is a relatively good thing. Left to right: 8bitdo SN30 Pro, Horipad Mini, Kingear Controller.

If you don’t like the PowerA Nano, you’ll find a whole host of adapter alternatives that are kid-friendly. For example, there is the Horipad Mini, which in the Switch version has a slightly different look than the PS4 version described above, but is similar in quality. There are also good 8bitdo controllers, which are well suited for little hands since there are no handles. Finally, you get a full set of cute, animal-themed switch controls, like the Kingear model:

Playstation 4

The Nacon Compact PS4 controller (left) is one of the few alternatives to the PS4.






The Nacon Compact PS4 controller (left) is one of the few alternatives to the PS4.

The PS4 has quite a few alternatives when it comes to mini consoles, and with the console since replaced by the PS5, the choice is only going to get worse in the future. The Nacon Compact PS4 controller is slightly less wide than the DualShock 4, and it’s easier for small hands to reach for the relatively large, close-in buttons. Otherwise, only unlicensed consoles from unknown brands are available, but we don’t want to get our hands on fire because of their quality.

Nacon Compact PS4 controller (about 40 to 45 euros) *

Xbox One and Xbox Series

Available in white, black, and red, the Hyperkin X91 is one of the few smaller Xbox consoles still readily available.






Available in white, black, and red, the Hyperkin X91 is one of the few smaller Xbox consoles still readily available.

The officially licensed Hyperkin X91 console is a compact alternative because it only has very small knobs. However, since the wired console costs about the same as Microsoft’s wireless Xbox console at around €60, it’s not the best value for money. Otherwise, it looks bad on Xbox with the alternatives. In theory, it still exists PowerA Mini Wired Controller For Xbox One, but it’s practically impossible to get anywhere else.

Hyperkin X91 Xbox One console (about 60 euros) on Amazon *

This article is a sponsored story created on behalf of a Webedia advertising partner. Created by a freelance writer who is not a member of the GamePro editorial team. The listed offers are provided with so-called affiliate links.

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