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Home / Technology / The hidden shoulder buttons on the Nintendo Switch make it a console

The hidden shoulder buttons on the Nintendo Switch make it a console



In today's digital age, you sometimes have the feeling that the hardware has taken a back seat to the software that controls our devices. Button of the Month shows monthly how some of these buttons and switches look on old and new devices, and shows how we interact with our devices on a physical, tactile level. [19659004] The Nintendo Switch is an incredible piece of hardware engineering for many reasons: the amount of gaming that comes in such a small package, for example, surprises with portable versions of games that would have been unthinkable before.

But the best part of Nintendo's hardware innovation, at least to me, is the removable Joy-Con controllers, which add a whole new dimension to what the switch can do. Much of this is due to the clever, hidden shoulder buttons that Nintendo has integrated into every Joy-Con controller.

I'll admit that I'm not using the "Remove Joy Cons and use it as two separate controllers for ad hoc games everywhere" feature that often. The value of the switch as a large, portable console has been far higher for me in the two years I've owned it.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Using a single Joy-Con alone is problematic: the controllers are too small, they do not have enough buttons and the D-pad / face The use of buttons is cumbersome, because they are designed for vertical alignment. It is a dynamic that results from the tactile click when docking a Joy-Con compared to the removal: It is far more pleasant to reconnect the controller.

And yet I love the shoulder buttons because they were considered by Nintendo.

Nintendo manages to hide them in the rail that connects the Joy-Con to the switch's display. This is a masterpiece of efficiency and space utilization. And the design here is just immaculate: the indentation around each button brings it up to the right height, the notched plastic pushes you in and the rail that joins it to the side of the console places the buttons just enough to push them down can be comfortable. Even the bright splash of color visually draws attention to these buttons, which correspond to the color of the Joy-Con.

Nintendo even uses the modularity of the switch's rail system to provide detachable accessories that make the Half-Joy-Con lighter and the shoulder buttons even bigger and lighter. In addition, despite their small size, they are still high-quality parts with a crisp click that leaves no doubt as to whether you pressed them.


Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

But my love for the shoulder buttons goes beyond their physical design. that's what they represent. These buttons are only visible when the Joy Cons are removed. They embody the versatility of the switch. You are the embodiment of the idea that you can simply turn off the controllers and play a game anywhere, not just on your own, but with a friend.

They distinguish the switch from a very powerful Game Boy, making it a truly portable console. And sure, although I do not use the feature often, there are still several Joy-Con games, and each time it's a pleasure to shoot a few laps Mario Kart while I'm at an airport Kill Time, ducked it in Smash Bros. during a particularly long break at one piece or by simply providing enough controllers to play Mario Party after work by signing up with combine with another switch owner friend.

In short, it's the kind of creativity that helps the switch stand out from the crowd. Not bad for a button pair that is so small that you can work with the switch all the time without even seeing it.


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