The Nintendo Switch continues to be a rewarding and compelling investment, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Tetris 99 consuming almost all of my gaming time since I bought the system a little over a week ago. I’m still using the default Joy-Con grip that comes with the Switch, and while it definitely gets the job done for the games I’m playing, it’s also very boring. It’s comfortable and functional, sure, but it’s not cool, you know what I mean? It’s not see-through or purple or anything.
I looked into what sorts of third-party Joy-Con grips are available these days, and the generic solutions from PowerA, PDP, et al are also extremely normal and boring. We needn’t live this way, friends! I’ve cooked up these five ideas for Joy-Con grips that are actually interesting and fun, and if I can do it, the professional engineers at Hyperkin or wherever can definitely do it.
Dreamcast Controller Joy-Con Grip
There’s no reason why Joy-Con grips couldn’t be made in the style of classic console controllers, such as the universally beloved and not-once maligned Dreamcast controller. For legal reasons, the classic Dreamcast logo would have to be omitted, and the triangular start button would need to be ornamental since the grip itself houses no actual circuitry. The VMU slot could be repurposed for cartridge storage, or maybe just put a cool holographic sticker of a skull or something where the VMU screen would go.
Xbox Duke Controller Joy-Con Grip
Revered for its bewildering hugeness and audacious, not-a-button Xbox logo in its center, the original Xbox Duke taught a generation of players that holding two potatoes could in-fact provide a comfortable gaming experience. I can’t personally think of a compelling reason why someone would want to play Nintendo Switch this way, but Hyperkin does already have the license for this controller, so most of the legal legwork is already done for a Joy-Con grip conversion.
And yes, this is basically the same idea as the Dreamcast grip — that’s the beauty of it! The “familiar controller repurposed as a Joy-Con grip” concept can be applied to a wide variety of adored classics from yesteryear, as proven by this stunning adaptation. Almost any controller from the history of gaming can be transformed into a Joy-Con grip by following this basic strategy.
Powerglove Joy-Con Grip
I said almost any controller. Now that I step back and look at it though, this isn’t really that different from what Nintendo is already doing with Labo, so perhaps my genius goes beyond even my own expectations?
Game Boy Color Joy-Con Grip
Now, this early render of a Game Boy Color Joy-Con grip obviously highlights some design challenges that have yet to be solved. The Joy-Cons themselves can only be inserted into the Game Boy shell so far, and doing so not only leaves the bottom third of each Joy-Con unsecured, but it also obscures the L and R buttons on top of each Joy-Con. The ZL and ZR buttons, however, would still be fully accessible from the back, so that’s a non-issue. We’ll let this one bake a little longer and see how it turns out.
Dragon Quest Slime Joy-Con Grip
With Dragon Quest 11 heading to the Switch this fall as Dragon Quest 11 S, might I suggest that Hori dust off the molds for its PlayStation 4 slime controller and turn that thing into a Joy-Con grip? Who wouldn’t want to celebrate a Tetris 99 win with a little puff puff?