The Switch’s hidden shoulder buttons are the key to making it a full-fledged console

In today's digital age, it sometimes feels like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that powers our devices. Button of the Month is a monthly view of what some of those buttons and switches are on old and new devices, and it aims to appreciate how we interact with our devices on a physical and tactile level. [19659004] The Nintendo Switch is an incredible piece of hardware engineering for many reasons: the amount of game power it includes in such a small package, for example, continues to surprise with portable versions of previously unthinkable games.

But the best parts of Nintendo's hardware innovation, at least for me, are the removable Joy-Con controllers that add a new dimension to what the Switch can do. And a lot of that is due to the ingenious hidden buttons that Nintendo has integrated into each Joy-Con controller.

I admit that I do not use the "remove Joy-Cons function and use them as two separate controllers for ad hoc games anywhere" often. The value of the Switch as a large and portable console has been much greater for me in the more than two years that I own it.


the switchs hidden shoulder buttons are the key to making it a full fledged console

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

And using a single Joy-Con alone is somewhat problematic: the drivers are too small, they do not have enough buttons and the D-Pad / face The buttons are hard to use because they are designed for a vertical orientation. It is a dynamic that is characterized by the tactile click that the coupling of a Joy-Con makes in comparison with its elimination: it is much more pleasant to reconnect the controller.

And yet, I still love the buttons on the shoulder because of the level of thinking that Nintendo put into them.

Nintendo manages to hide them inside the rail that connects Joy-Con to the Switch screen, in a masterpiece of efficiency and space use. And the physical design here is simply impeccable: the depression around each button places them at the correct height, the indented plastic guides you to press them and the rail that connects it to the side of the console places the buttons high enough to press them. comfortably. Even the bright explosion of color visually attracts those buttons, matching the color of Joy-Con.

Nintendo even takes advantage of the modular nature of the Switch's rail system to offer removable accessories that make the Joy-Con media easier to hold and the shoulder buttons even larger and easier to press. In addition, despite their tiny size, they are still high quality pieces, with a clear click that never leaves any doubt about whether you pressed them.


1561563377 501 the switchs hidden shoulder buttons are the key to making it a full fledged console

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

But my love for shoulder buttons goes beyond their physical design; It is what they represent. These buttons, hidden out of sight unless the Joy-Cons are separated, epitomize the Switch's versatility. They are the embodiment of the idea that you can take off your controls and play a game anywhere, not only, but with a friend.

They are what separate the Switch from a very powerful Game Boy and make it a truly portable console. And sure, although I do not use the function much, it still appears the multiple game of Joy-Con, and each time is a delight: put some laps of Mario Kart while killing himself in an airport, sleeping in Smash Bros. during a particularly lengthy intermediate in one play, or simply by providing enough drivers to play Mario Party after work by combining with another friend who owns Switch.

In summary, it is the type of creativity that helps the Switch to excel from the package. Not bad for a couple of buttons so small, I could go all the time with the Switch without even seeing them.

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