By Josh Speer / January 12th, 2017
I admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Nintendo Switch controller. Called the Joy-Con, it appears to incorporate aspects from all previous Nintendo consoles and even portables in one tiny controller. Seems impossible, but they have managed to make a truly unique product here.
For one, as we already knew, the Joy-Con could be used as a controller with the Grip at home or connected with the primary viewing screen as a portable. Now we know quite a bit more about it. For one, it has the capacity for screen capture (with video capture in the future), it has an amiibo reader (yay!), and a home button. More surprising is that the Joy-Con has an accelerometer and gyro sensors. They confusingly compared this to it reading how many ice cubes are in a glass, as well as the volume of water in that glass. I admit I wasn’t clear on how that would work, but it’s nice to know us fans of the Wiimote aren’t forgotten, since the Joy-Con works like a Wiimote. These sensors (which provide sensing and vibration tech) are the HD Rumble.
The Joy-Con also has rail L and R buttons that connect to base. As we know, each Joy-Con unit is a fully functioning controller (or as they put it, “sharing the joy”). And, since this is Nintendo, there will be color variations, starting with neon blue and red. though I assume more colors will be available later on. Also in Nintendo’s wheelhouse are wrist straps which can be used for comfort when using the mini Joy-Con units. These slide on the rails and provide more prominent L and R buttons on the strap. Besides the 3 base colors, other straps will be sold separately.
Overall, the Joy-Con looks like a remarkable piece of technology. I hope it makes games more innovative and fun in 2017.