After attending a hands-on event in London late last week, I can safely say that the revealed price for extra Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons is totally worth it. There has been a considerable amount of negativity surrounding what seemed to be a rather lofty $79.99, and I shared in that viewpoint until just recently. Full-sized Xbox One or PS4 controllers are still retailing at around $50 new, and can most definitely be bought cheaper than that, so it’s understandable that many would deride Nintendo for charging so much for something so small. What needs to be understood is that there is a serious amount of tech crammed into that small space, and it all makes the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons an absolute joy (ha) to play games with.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

Rumble in the Bundle

If I was asked to pick out the most impressive feature of the Joy-Cons, it would be the HD rumble feature. I wasn’t expecting much when I approached the series of stands showcasing a range of mini-games included in 1-2 Switch, especially when presented with a game that had you guessing the number of balls in a virtual box. With a single Joy-Con in hand, you’re tasked with tilting this virtual box in an attempt to feel, using the HD rumble, each virtual ball colliding with the others and the edges of the box. It was a surreal experience. The HD rumble managed to accurately simulate the feeling of multiple, distinct spherical objects rolling internally along it’s length. With virtual reality becoming more prominent, it doesn’t take an imaginative person to think about how else this feature could be utilized.

Motion Plus

I’ve never gotten on with motion controls. Waving a Wiimote about and getting woolly responses unrepresentative of what motion I actually carried out has always put me off of Nintendo products. Using the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons completely reversed my opinions. While playing Arms, a competitive boxing game, the motion controls allowed me to defeat my opponent with true finesse. You curve your punches in reality with a left hook, and the character on screen copies you exactly, the extendable fists bending deftly around the opponent’s defenses. There’s no delay when a quick dodge is needed. You tilt both Joy-Cons and press the dodge button, and immediately the character dodges. The level of responsiveness and accuracy are joyfully surprising. Another mini-game for 1-2 Switch has you facing off against an opponent in a wild-west style shootout. The Joy-Cons can determine who raised their controller up and fired with a trigger button first, down to a millisecond. Such accuracy of measurement gives me hope for the future of motion controls.

Joyfully Comfortable 

I think a concern on a lot of people’s minds was that the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons looked laughably small, and only children would be able to play with them held horizontally like a traditional controller. This was a concern I shared. I had the opportunity to play with a single Joy-Con in this configuration with both Super Bomberman and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The first thing I noticed was that the Joy-Cons aren’t actually as small as you imagine them. They fit nicely between two hands when playing, allowing easy reach of each button. Even vertically, the level of comfort offered by the ergonomic design was quite surprising. Each of the buttons has been crafted in such as way that they feel distinct from one another, meaning in the heat of gaming, your fingers save your brain the trouble of determining which button is which. My companion for the day, who basically has snow-shovels instead of hands, had no complaints.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

By this point I still may not have convinced you that $79.99 is a reasonable price for two Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. I would have agreed before having actually used them. Understand that I am in no way a fan of Nintendo. For the past two generations of gaming, the Wii and Wii U have existed at the periphery of my interest, but after playing Nintendo games with the Joy-Con controllers, I can foresee that interest growing with incredible speed. Nintendo will be shifting millions of these consoles in the coming months, so find a friend who has one, and see for yourself. I promise that you will be convinced, just as I have.

  • GrimmyReaper

    The problem most people have is this.
    Many people don’t like using the motion controls anyway and as a result, many features end up not being used or used effective.

    Who remembers that the DS4 has motion controls? Or even the WiiU? Or the speakers? As a result, the controllers (and this does go also for the others) end up being massively overpriced for cheap gimmicks that aren’t used well. So why are we paying for it? What if you have more than one player? What if the games you wanna play require 2 Joy-Cons per player? What if it breaks? What if one controller breaks seeing how they are bundled? I imagine they will sell them separate later on but it’s still something to consider.

    Not to mention, the dock costs 90 and the pro controller 70. Insane prices and that is not even counting the fact that you have to use SD cards which read data insanely slow unless you get the high end ones which will cost around 200 bucks for 256GB. When 500GB is not even enough these days, I can’t help but wonder what on earth Nintendo was thinking giving only 32GB in the system?

    This leads to this system ending up costing way more that it’s initial price seeing how it doesn’t come with a game either and knowing Nintendo, free games don’t seem likely.

    • Note5

      Switch is under powered over priced like all Nintendo hardware. I pity the sucker moms’ wallets when this contraption launches.

      This Joy “Con” is a worthless cash grab gimmick that does not even add to the quality of a video game.

      All these hordes of easy to get lost accessories screams ‘cash grab’ to play cheap looking HD games with budget production values. From a business stand point to recoup their Wii U losses Nintendo has resorted to this instead of selling a simple straight forward gaming system.

      No sane third party developer would waste time money and effort on those gimmicks again Nintendo.

      The producer of 1,2 Switch said we have been doing video games the wrong way this whole time by looking at a TV screen while playing. Then he said we should be looking at the eyes of opponents!
      What the heck!!!!
      So why the hell did they provide a capacitive touchscreen on the Switch !?

      This Switch is a Frankenstein Monster of conflicting ideas rolled into one.