8Bitdo M30 2.4G Wireless Gamepad for the Original Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive - Sega Genesis,Black
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- 2.4G wireless Technology
- Built in rechargeable battery
- Highest quality retro Controller available, Designed with attention and care
- Includes M30 2.4G Controller, 2.4G receiver & USB cable
- Upgradeable firmware
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Play your original Sega Mega drive and Sega Genesis wirelessly.
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With that out of the way, I want to highlight how awesome the controller really is.
It has a very solid design, an amazing D-Pad similar to the classic 6 button Sega controllers, and great feeling buttons.
The shoulder buttons function as extra "C" and "Z" buttons, meaning your thumb never has to move across more than one button at any time. This is great for games where reaction time is important.
The 2.4GHz model feels as responsive and lag free as a wired controller. Testing has shown that this model is actually more responsive than its Bluetooth counterpart.
The receiver supplied with the 2.4GHz model has a smaller form factor than the Bluetooth model. This is actually very important on the Genesis which uses an array of pins for the controller connectors. Too much wiggling or force applied from the sides can cause those pins to bend and break and the likelihood and potential for damage is significantly less with the smaller and lighter receiver. I also think it looks a lot nicer.
Even though it uses 2.4GHz RF, you can connect this controller to a PC via USB, and it makes an excellent controller for playing older games, or newer games like Sonic Mania, Cuphead, etc. It uses standard X-Input controls which works out great because A, B and X, Y are in the same positions on this controller as an X-Box controller.
My one current complaint is that there is no "home button"; similar to the "home keys" on a computer keyboard, on the original Sega 6 button controllers there are small bumps on the B and Y buttons, so you know without looking where your thumb is. These are missing from this controller. However, I do not deduct this from the review because the shoulder buttons actually solve this issue by allowing you to keep your thumb over the four left buttons and use your index fingers for C and Z. But it would still be nice to have.
The battery life is fantastic, 35 hours off of a single 1-2 hour charge.
Overall, this is the best Genesis controller on the market and a crazy deal at $25. The only downside is that if yours has the original firmware you will need to update it.
Below I have documented my experience as well as the fix supplied by 8Bitdo.
- - - <firmware update> - - -
After reaching out to 8Bitdo support (they were very fast and very helpful), I was sent an email containing Beta firmware drivers to try out. The ones that I was sent were labeled as version 2.00, along with a README that was a DOC formatted file with embedded pictures (so open this with Word or similar). I have uploaded an image of the files.
IMPORTANT! The only firmware updates currently listed on their support website are for the Bluetooth version of the M30! You cannot use these for the 2.4GHz model, and you cannot use the auto-updater from their site for it either (i will talk about this more soon). You will need to get the new firmware files either from 8Bitdo support, or wait for them to be made available.
So, if you are having similar issues - please email their support team!
There are separate drivers for both the controller and the receiver.
This is VERY important because the receiver has a Micro USB port that can only be accessed by unscrewing the shell.
I have attached pictures of this to make it as clear as possible.
YOU WILL NEED A SMALL STAR SCREWDRIVER TO OPEN IT!
Another VERY IMPORTANT piece of info, you do not update the firmware for the 2.4GHz controllers the same way as you do with other 8Bitdo controllers and receivers. As of this review - you have to put the controller into "update mode" by holding the shoulder buttons and then start. Once in this mode you connect it to your computer with the included USB cables. The controller will show up as a very small drive, complete with a drive label (on a Windows machine).
This is where you copy the controller's firmware files, "V2.00_GamePad". Make sure to securely disconnect it, and then remove the USB cable. You then can connect the receiver (a blue light indicates a connection) and copy the retro receiver firmware files to it the same way as you did the controller. Be careful, as the instructions I was sent had a typo and asked for me to copy the controller firmware over twice, first to the controllers and then again to the receivers - however for the receivers you will copy the receiver specific file, in my case the file named "V2.00_RR".
After that you are all set!
My controllers were dropping connections regularly after around ~1 hour of playing on the original firmware. Now I have tested them both well past that limit with 0 dropping and 0 lag. I really hope the controllers will begin shipping with an updated firmware already installed, but if you need to make the update I hope that this has been helpful.
I want to like this product since I have two 8bitdo nes, 2 snes 8bitdo controllers, and a n64 controller. I love them all and they are my go to controllers. The controller doesn’t match the sega ones exactly but this is very comfortable, buttons are great, and d-pad amazing. This controller has very low lag and it is precise. I have no issues doing 10/10 ryu fireballs or going without damage on my favorite sonic 2 levels. Sounds great right? The rub is this controller randomly disconnects and you don’t instantly realize it till you look at the top of the controller and see the blue led light flickering/going dark for a few seconds at a time. I’ve been keeping my controller charged, tried disconnecting and reconnecting the transmitter, relinked the controller, turned the controller off and on, and checked for new firmware (still no updates) but no luck. My controller is literally less than 3.5 feet from my genesis 2, no iphone or tablet near me, and nothing blocking the line of sight. If this was an infared controller I would have no problem at all. I’m just playing this on my pvm (crt tv), soundbar, genesis 2, everdrive, and 8bitdo controller. On top of that I am in a basement so nowhere near a computer, microwave, or strong wifi reception. It varies but I can usually play 2 out of 3 15 minutes game sessions with no issues and then boom I can’t play hardly at all with 4-8 disconnects a minute. This could always be caused by wifi channels but I can’t believe they didn’t do any serious testing on these controllers. I’m hopeful a firmware will fix this but as it stands now it is junk and would only hand to a player 2 I don’t like. I will be replacing with the Bluetooth model since the reviews are much better. I was looking foward to the 2.4 model since you don’t have to jack with pairing controllers anymore when turning on systems, should be lower lag (in theory), and it was nice being cheaper since I never use bluetooth controllers on anything besides the og consoles. I’m glad my second 2.4 m30 was delayed. I cancelled that order after a day of using this controller. The hard part now is do I return it or take my chances on a firmware update? I’m not optimistic since the transmitter can’t be updated like past dongles.
After some back and fourth communication with 8BitDo support, they sent me a 2.0 Beta Firmware. After flashing both the receiver and controller I can say that it has totally and 100% fixed my connection problems! Now I love the controller. I just wish I didn't have to go through all of the frustration at first. I've deducted 1 star for their lack of Quality Control.
Leaving this for posterity, but keep in mind that if you get one with this issue it can be fixed with the FW update:
I've been very happy with 8BitDo's past controllers, I've purchased 4 of the NES30's, 2 of the SNES30's, and anout 8 Retro Receivers. I was looking very forward to the M30, but I'm sad to say that both of them have such extreme latency that they are completely unusable. (See video). I press a button or direction and then about 4 seconds later it moves, and sticks for about 4 seconds.
I doubt that both of my controllers and receivers are defective, but I suppose it's possible. I am going to contact 8Bitdo to see if they are aware of this issue, and if so, if they have a fixed firmware on the way. I really don't want to return these, but unless this is addressed I will have no other alternative.
Also, we do have 2.4G Wi-Fi, but I have tried other 2.4G controllers, such as my 4 Nintendo WaveBirds, and they are absolutely flawless, so I don't believe my Wi-Fi is to blame here. I also tried using the controller a mere 6 inches from the receiver and the problems persist.
Come on 8Bitdo please fix this! I want to support you guys!
Top international reviews
I have several 8bitdo controllers which are fantastic. This one feels good in the hand, and on the rare occasion when it does connect, works well with no noticeable input lag.
Unless there’s a firmware update, or a new revision released that fixes this connectivity/sync issue, then it’s impossible for me to recommend this controller.
Returning mine for a refund.
I’ve halted the return for now. 8bitdo are sending me a replacement receiver (from China) which they claim has fixed the connectivity issue, so this must have been a known issue for them to have already revised the receiver to address the fault. Will comment again once I’ve received and tested the replacement part. I advise anyone else with a defective unit to reach out to them directly on their support email address: email@example.com
8bitdo have sent me beta firmware (2.0) for both the controller and the receiver, stating the firmware has resolved the issue. I’ve installed the firmware for the controller easily, however I’ll need to buy a specific screwdriver to open up the receiver as the USB port is hidden inside. I believe it’s a torx T4 size bit. Bit of a design oversight to have it inaccessible.
To open the receiver, a torx T4 or T5 will fit the screws.
Firmware was easy enough to install (drag and drop), and I’m pleased to say firmware 2.0 has indeed fixed the connectivity issue and from a small amount of testing I’ve done, works as it should originally have worked.
One small issue I’ve noticed with the new firmware is the blue light on the controller won’t stay solid for long even though the connection is stable. As it’s a beta firmware, I can’t complain as I expect this to be addressed when it’s finalised and released through 8bitdo’s support webpage.
It’s still difficult for me to recommend this controller if it’s shipped with defective firmware and the only way to update it is to contact 8bitdo directly (and conquering a language barrier with them). Plus the issue of having to buy a specific, non-standard screw bit to be able to install on the receiver.
I believe once the issues have been rectified this will be a good controller out of the box, but at the moment, it’s possible you’ll receive a dud and be very disappointed like I was.
Now.. this isn’t to say every controller is broken straight out the box like this, you can see by the positive review that they aren’t all like this .. but have a look at the massive amount of other one star review like mine also which speak of the same critical problems that render this controller absolutely useless and ask yourself this.. would you want to risk buying one of these? I recommend just not risking it and instead waiting for the retrobit Official controllers that will be released in a few weeks . Something i should have done
The good news is 8bitdo released a firmware update which fixes it, and it's great afterwards.
The bad news is in order to update the receiver you need a specialist tiny screwdriver to take it apart to get to the hidden micro-usb connector - I guess they never intended for it to be updated.
They are not stocking 'pre-updated' controllers, so if you buy one - you'll need to do this. So only buy if you have a tiny hex or torx t5 bit screwdriver sitting around, or don't mind buying one just for this.
I'm very happy, there is no lag whatsoever, no dis-connection, and it connects instantly every time.as if I was using a wired controller.
the buttons and D-Pad feel fantastic just like the original,official Sega controller.
this version (2.4G) is the way to go for Sega systems (or clones),and is better than Bluetooth version as it has less input lag and easier to connect vs bluetooth.
I've tried 8BitDo products in the past, and the results have been mixed. I found their 2.4ghz SNES pad for the SNES Classic to be a superb facsimile of the real thing, and the lag was... acceptable. It was there, but I put some of that down to the emulation on the SNES Classic as it's impossible for emulation to ever match the speed of real hardware. Then I tried the Bluetooth version of that pad on a Shield TV with Retroarch, and the lag was horrible. More recently I tried again with the Bluetooth receiver 8BitDo make for the Analogue Super NT (which of course also works on real hardware) and the results were pretty good. I even tried the crazy SNES/dual shock hybrid thing (the SN30 Pro) with all the extra sticks on it, and the lag was absurdly high.
At last 8BitDo have turned their hand to Sega hardware with this 2.4ghz pad and matching receiver for real hardware and the upcoming Analogue Mega SG. Initial impressions are good, it feels nice in the hand and the d-pad and buttons are very close to a real Sega pad. There's a slightly disturbing creaking noise from the d-pad at full lock, but other than that it feels well built. As for the lag, and I'm using this on an NTSC SEGA CDX plugged into a Framemeister, well it's certainly noticeable. I'd say three frames or so. It's not bad, and it still feels pretty snappy, but it's not as sharp as a real wired Sega pad. It has some rather pointless extra buttons on it unfortunately, including two shoulder buttons and some additional buttons under the Start button (which I believe are for the Mega SG), but they're not too distracting.
I'm happy to at last have a really nice pad for my MD which is devoid of wires. The lag is not a deal breaker and the pad does feel good in the hands. Now I just need 8BitDo to have a go at a Sega Saturn pad - or just make a 2.4ghz Saturn receiver for this one.
Once the connection issues that others have mentioned have been ironed out i'm sure this will be an impressive controller. At the moment i'm afraid that i cant recommend it to anyone who wants a pick up and play solution. The firmware updating instructions on the 8bitdo website are vague and unhelpful and from what i can tell the actual process is not particularly user friendly.
I am currently awaiting a response from customer support before i decided to return my unit.
Please be aware that my one star rating is purely down to receiving an unusable unit and not the potential of a fully updated one.
All this means that I won't be using it. It is a pity because it looks and feels good, and it keeps lag to a very low level. However, at the moment I feel that the original 6 button controller is still the best option for me.
So far though it seems to be the perfect wireless replacement for 6-button controllers, I actually think I prefer it to the official 6-button controllers. I might be back to amend my review if anything comes up.
Highly recommended if you love your old retro Megadrive/Genesis console.
The d pad and buttons are perfect, the best d pad on any controller I have ever used.
The buttons feel like the old megadrive controller.
I am having no problems with connectivity that other reviewers are having.
I wish it was shaped more like the original saturn controller at the back but that is just me being picky.
Now back to playing my megadrive from my sofa.
Updating the controller and reciever did nothing