Feeling NEStalgic? This 8BitDo keyboard is a click and clack down memory lane

8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard N
(Image credit: 8BitDo)

Mechanical keyboards aren't often the pinnacle of excitement when it comes to the news cycle. Not unless you strapped trucks and wheels to the back of one and kick-flipped it over a pool of sharks, anyway.

However, these prized peripherals do have one certified way of catching the attention of many and that's though the myriad of unique designs that manufacturers are able to come up with.

Today, one of those unique designs is available for even more keyboard enthusiasts, the Retro Mechanical Keyboard from 8BitDo — a NEStalgic frolic in clavier form that sees you taking a trip down memory lane in a pair of wooden clogs as you click and clack your way across 87-keys of sheer sentimentality for the silver age of Nintendo gaming.

(Image credit: 8BitDo)

8BitDo take my money, I insist.

With designs inspired by the classic Nintendo Entertainment System and the original Famicom, 8BitDo's Retro Mechanical Keyboard is a nostalgic trip for the tips of your fingers and a treat for the eyes, to boot.

While Nintendo never made a keyboard for either of those devices, the design is so strikingly accurate that you can almost imagine pulling this out of some old forgotten box in a loft somewhere and blowing the dust away from its dye sublimation PBT keycaps and feeling like you've stumbled across an ancient relic of gaming's glory days.

From the font on every key to the shade of each color, there's an attention to detail here that goes beyond nostalgia farming, this is a celebration of Nintendo's first steps into our living rooms, a recognition of the hours we spent screaming at our CRT televisions in frustration or elation, and a homecoming for hands belonging to cartridge-blowing veterans of console gaming's early days.

(Image credit: 8BitDo)

It's a loving recreation, though careful not to venture too close into Nintendo's "Shark" infested waters, lest they face the full-frontal assault of the Red Team's legal might.

"Look, it's a Nintendo keyboard!" you say, "It looks like a Nintendo keyboard, but due to international copyright laws, it's not" 8BitDo reply. "Still, we should view it like it is a Nintendo keyboard!" you retort, "Though it isn't" 8BitDo cheekily reply with a wink and a nod and a twinkle in its eye for preserving the nostalgic joy of consoles that its product is legally distinct from.

Aside from vanity shots of the device and my "This guy thinks he's smarter than he is" commentary, the 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard has the following features and specs to its name:

  • Glorious NES and Famicom-inspired designs
  • 87-key layout with N-key rollover
  • Wireless 2.4Ghz , Bluetooth LE, and USB connectivity
  • 500Hz polling rate (125Hz with Bluetooth)
  • 2000mAh lithium-Ion battery with 200 hours of up-time
  • Hot-swappable PBT keycaps with shorter MelGeek MDA-like height
  • Kailh Box White V2 tactile switches (45g actuation, 3.6mm travel)
  • Programmable keys with dual "Super Button" expansion

While it drapes itself in gaming nostalgia, the Retro Mechanical Keyboard from 8BitDo is unlikely to score a place on the desks of aspiring eSports stars due to a low polling rate. However, mechanical keyboard enthusiasts and those with a keen eye for sharp design and aesthetics who don't need a keyboard to include the reaction times of a seasoned jet fighter pilot are in for a genuine treat.

Not just in design either, right now you can claim your very own 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard in either "N" or "Fami" designs for just $99.99, or €99.99 / £85.99 for those in Europe and the United Kingdom.

That's an incredibly fair price for quality mechanical keyboard, especially with one touting as much charm and abundant nostalgia as 8BitDo's.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.