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D-Pad Not Planned For Switch Joy-Cons, Says Nintendo

There are two things we'd love to see changed on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons: the tiny little analog sticks, and the left set of buttons; you know, the ones that replace a traditional d-pad.

As far as the d-pad is concerned, that's not happening anytime soon.


"There are no plans, or nothing to announce, in terms of further variations of Joy-Con," Nintendo president Doug Bowser told CNET in an interview.

In case you missed it, the Nintendo Switch Lite — set to launch on Sept. 20 — does away with much of what the Nintendo Switch staked its reputation on. The system is incapable of interfacing with a television, instead committing fully to handheld gaming. And the new system doesn't have detachable Joy-Cons, either. On the Switch Lite, everything is combined into one unit, which made it possible for Nintendo to swap those blasted left buttons out for a proper d-pad.

Aside from its smaller size, that d-pad might honestly be the Switch Lite's best feature.


It's kind of surprising Nintendo hasn't addressed this already on the regular Switch. The Joy-Cons are made to be swapped in and out, which would make it quite easy for someone to purchase a Joy-Con with a d-pad and slide it into place. And in fact, accessory maker Hori already has something like this on the market. But that third-party d-pad doesn't support wireless use, motion controls, or rumble, which leaves the door wide open for Nintendo to introduce something official.

Alas, we'll have to wait and see if such a Joy-Con comes. It's likely very much the plan to tempt current Switch owners into buying a Switch Lite, keeping a Switch for home and a Switch Lite for their travels. It flies in the face of what the Nintendo Switch was meant to do in the first place — be both — but Nintendo will probably sell more Switch Lites as a result.

The Nintendo Switch Lite launches on Sept. 20 for $199.99.