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New Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Lacks Crucial Features

Image via IGN

This past week IGN revealed the new third-party Joy-Con controller for the Nintendo Switch, which pointed out some significant drawbacks.

Fans of retro, fighting, and platformer games have wanted a d-pad on the Joy-Con’s since the Switch hit store shelves last March. While Nintendo has been slow to appease these gamers, it seems that they finally figured out a solution. The new Joy-Con — left only — is made by Hori and features the d-pad. Hori, of course, makes the affordable version of the Pro controller and makes the game cube controllers for the Switch. What fans will love the most is the affordable price of the controller — only $25 — but its drawbacks are considerable.

Right off the bat, the new Joy-Con does not have, so it’s only playable while the Switch is in handheld mode. It also lacks HD rumble, which may not sound like much, but it’s one of the things that make the Joy-Con’s feel special. The new controller is also devoid of a gyroscope and SL/SR buttons, which are crucial when using a single Joy-Con as a gamepad.

It’s hard to predict whether enough players would be willing to trade essential features for a d-pad, but it’s not all bad news. When the controller comes out this September, players can purchase a Mario or Zelda-themed version. The designs look appealing and definitely add some flair to a Nintendo Switch, but if it will be enough is yet to be seen.

While you can’t use this controller to play Overcooked with friends, it’s affordable price point could sway players who grew up in the age of the d-pad. Personally, I would love to use this controller to tackle pixel-perfect platformers like Celeste, or Shovel Knight, which test the limits of dexterity. Because of the low price point I could see it become a situational controller for certain games, but a hindrance for games like Breath of the Wild. Although, once the novelty wears off, it could just become another trinket to place next to my Amiibo collection.