Speaking of Hori, I did end up picking up that Hori Split Pad Compact (or Split Pad Fit) that just came out in the US. It is very much a luxury item (unless your Joy-Con has drift and you don’t want to/can’t send it to Nintendo, in which case it’s a significantly cheaper replacement at $50), but I like this controller a whole lot. I say it’s a luxury item because the use case is very specific, which is:
- Do you want a Switch controller that is exclusively for handheld mode, makes handheld mode feel tons better, has a d-pad, doesn’t have gyro, doesn’t have NFC, doesn’t have rumble, doesn’t need recharging, and makes the Switch a little uglier and a little less portable but still significantly prettier and more portable than a Steam Deck or Switch grip or other Big Boy Joy-Con?
This is that controller. I play a lot of handheld Switch, but I (used to) consciously avoid action-oriented games that lean heavily on the analog stick, like your FPSes, Dark Souls, or Astral Chains – I almost always stuck with slow-paced games, RPGs and d-pad centric stuff when playing on the regular Joy-Con, because those sticks (when they work) are not great for intense stuff. Immediately with these Hori Cons, that’s no longer an issue. The contours are comfy, the face buttons have tons of travel, the d-pad is good and I may actually prefer these sticks to the Pro Controller. I’ve been on here playing Nier, Radiant Silvergun (plus other more natively stick-centric shmups) and Doom 64 and it’s feeling great. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything going from a Pro Controller on the TV to this controller portably.
They do give the Switch a touch of that Steam Deck longboard look (I’ll stick to the standard JCs for travel, both for portability and aesthetics), but they’re not nearly as ugly as that or other phat JCs. Got a nice industrial design typical of Hori stuff, and I love the colorways and little details like textured stick tops and the dual coloration. The back paddles are cool, but one downer is that you can only map buttons on the respective Con (since they feature no wireless communication whatsoever), which makes the left paddle not very useful. Big picture, though, these are really wonderful for that sort of detatched-from-the-TV-but-sticking-to-your-homestead portability