A close look at the Nintendo Switch’s wild new controller: The Joy-Con

joy con

For any kid that grew up in the 80s or 90s, Nintendo was the go-to gaming entertainment. They kept coming back with wave after wave of innovation, like the Wii console in 2006. Now, the Japan-based company is about to launch its new gaming console: the multifunctional Nintendo Switch, which includes a revolutionary controller system known as the Joy-Con Controller. Nintendo hopes to change the world of gaming once again with the company’s innovative new gadget.

The Joy-Con Controller

Nintendo has entered the customizable gadget niche with the Joy-Con controller, which is a move Nintendo hasn’t played before. The controllers come in a variety of colors, and they offer many ways to play depending on your comfort level and different game-play scenarios.

When you are playing alone, you are able to hold one Joy-Con controller in each hand. This also helps the controllers work with the built-in kickstand and keeps the screen in the same place, allowing you to get into any comfortable position. You can also utilize the controller’s grip for easy play. There will even be a charging Grip available that will charge the controllers as you’re using it rather than sucking the juice out of the Switch itself.

Player modes

Whenever you are using games in multiplayer mode, each person can use one of the controllers and turn it sideways to create a full controller out of their half. You also have the option of using one single controller during single-player mode, but it may be a bit uncomfortable unless you have some pretty small hands.

Universal size

The controllers themselves look like a hybrid of the Wii controller and the Nintendo 64 controller. They are each compact enough to fit every hand, but still have all of the necessary buttons to give you the same game play experience every Nintendo player has grown accustomed to.


The Joy-Con and Switch are also both fairly easy to charge. Simply placing the two controllers in their respective Grip slots that are connected to the Switch, and charging the Switch via its USB-C port, will charge the Joy-Con too. Or if you’d like to spend the extra $75 for the aforementioned Charging Grip, you can charge the Joy-Con controller that way as well. Nintendo has streamlined all of its accessories for easier access and also seems to have gotten rid of unnecessary wires.

The Cons of the Joy-Con

Just like any other device or accessory, the Switch and Joy-Con controller also come with downsides. Holding a charge seems to be a big one. Nintendo claims the Switch can last anywhere from 2.5 to 6 hours on a single charge, and the Joy-Con controllers will only create less playtime, as it will drain the Switch’s battery more rapidly.
The size of the device also seems to be an issue for some. Attaching the Joy-Con controllers to the sides of the Switch seem to give the device too much width, and results in uncomfortable playing in handheld mode. Obviously, if you really want to play games like Mario Kart or Zelda on your new Switch, these issues can probably be overlooked rather easily.

It will lighten your wallet

Beginning March 3, the Switch and Joy-Con controllers go on sale for $299.99. For the avid gamer that wants a piece of this new console, that may not be a bad price. For everyone else, maybe giving Nintendo a little while to work out the kinks and improve their new gadget isn’t such a bad idea.