The latest entry in the fan favorite franchise Pokémon saw release earlier this month alongside a particularly interesting controller. Known as the Poké Ball Plus, this controller is able to control Pokémon games that are available on completely separate platforms, as well as transfer data between them. It rumbles, It talks, it lights up, it’s wireless, and [Spawn] uploaded a video that reveals what’s really inside.
The entire controller is only around two inches (50mm) in diameter and weighs roughly 2.3 ounces (65g) yet packs quite a bit of tech into such a small form factor. It connects to iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch devices via a Cypress CYW20734 Bluetooth transceiver and contains a bit of flash memory to allow for transferring Pokémon data from the Pokémon Go mobile game to the recent Nintendo Switch releases. Powering everything is a proprietary 220 mAh Li-ion battery that, according to Nintendo, lasts around three hours. It features a USB-C port for charging, though no confirmation of fast charging capabilities was provided.
The analog stick on the face of the Poké Ball Plus is an actual analog stick akin to what was used on the PlayStation Vita handheld. Interestingly the stick is clickable and acts as a button for menu selection in Pokémon Go mobile game and Pokémon: Let’s Go Nintendo Switch variants. Longtime fans will remember the Pocket Pikachu digital pet from the late 90s that could communicate with Pokémon Gold/Silver on the Game Boy Color via the handheld’s IR port. Further proof that there may be no new ideas left.
In addition to the Bluetooth transceiver there’s an accelerometer, mono speaker, and surface mount RGB LED that all react in concert to in-game events. All of which seem like the perfect hack setup to apply into a plethora of other applications. Though what ever that ends up being, it better “be the very best”.
8 thoughts on “Poké Ball Plus Teardown Reveals No Pikachu Inside”
” It features a USB-C port for charging, though no confirmation of fast charging capabilities was provided.”
Given the 220 mAh battery, there’s no need for USB-PD. Even the old USB 2.0 SDP limit of 500 mA @ 5v would be more than 2C for a 220 mAh battery with a nominal voltage of 3.7v (max 4.2).
USB-C has an interface that connects in one step. Old USBs needs 3 tries to connect it. I will always opt for USB-C instead.
Watched this video last week. Wished he would have delved deeper into the bottom portion. With mine it sounds like the audio is clearly coming through the bottom and the vibration seems to come from there as well. Makes me wonder if they took a play from Valve with their haptic touchpads as well as the Switch joy-cons which can do the same. The only caveat is the audio (especially with a Pikachu or Eevee on board) seems VERY clear for that kind of tech.
Dump the firmware and get this loaded up in a generic bluetooth transceiver, looks like $4 worth of parts.
4$ will get you.. one bare BT/MCU they used. CYW20734UA2KFFB3G so a bit more than that in parts there.
What do you think would be the full price for all specs?
Might it be possible to connect one of these things to a PC to use as a controller?
Looks like the cloners have done so with the old Pokemon Go Plus at least. It’s missing the analog stick and rechargeable battery; it has a CR2032, RGBLED, BTLE and a button to let you use it with Pokemon Go, but doesn’t work with the Switch like the Poke Ball Plus does.
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