I’ve been an enormous fan of the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller since its launch; I am keen on the chunky face buttons and the distinctive battery life, and Nintendo completely nailed the ergonomics. The truth that it has asymmetrical analog sticks can be one other big win in my ebook.
Nevertheless, after nearly 5 years the Swap Professional Controller is beginning to really feel noticeably outdated, and it’s about time Nintendo gave its premier pad a makeover.
The Swap Professional Controller undoubtedly has its points, a few of which have existed since launch, whereas others have manifested themselves because the years have rolled on. And contemplating that the checklist value of the Swap Professional Controller remains to be $69.99 / £59.99 / AU$99.95 (though you’ll be able to usually get it for much less), it’s additionally beginning to really feel needlessly costly for what you get.
So what can Nintendo do to repair it?
Repair the D-pad
The largest difficulty I’ve with the Swap Professional Controller is its finicky D-Pad. It’s been unreliable since day one, to the purpose the place I are likely to keep away from utilizing it fully if I can.
Play a recreation of Tetris 99 utilizing the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller’s D-Pad and it’s nearly assured that you simply’ll find yourself hard-dropping a Tetronimo you didn’t imply to, leading to early elimination and cries of frustration. And that’s as a result of the Professional Controller’s D-Pad has a nasty behavior of falsely registering horizontal inputs as vertical inputs.
Contemplating that Nintendo has a historical past of manufacturing nearly impeccable D-Pads through the years (not together with the microscopic one on the GameCube controller), the Swap Professional Controller’s borked directional pad actually is an outlier for the corporate.
The dodgy D-Pad downside is exacerbated additional by the truth that the Pleasure-Con controllers don’t have a devoted D-Pad both, which suggests you’re on the mercy of Nintendo’s Professional Controller if that’s your most popular solution to play.
An overhauled D-Pad would go a protracted solution to making Nintendo’s Professional Controller really feel worthy of its skilled moniker, then, and it’s lengthy overdue at this level.
Add a headphone jack
It’s additionally quite baffling that the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller nonetheless doesn’t have a headphone jack. Even when it launched in 2016, this appeared like a wierd omission on Nintendo’s half, particularly as Sony’s DualShock 4 gave us this characteristic in 2013, and Microsoft shortly up to date its unique Xbox One controller to supply the identical performance in 2015.
Seven years later, the shortage of a headphone jack on the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller looks like an enormous oversight, and it actually must be addressed. I not often play video games utilizing my TV audio system alone, however that’s nonetheless the one choice on the Swap until you may have a pair of Bluetooth headphones – and Nintendo solely added Bluetooth connectivity to the Swap final yr.
Contemplating that the Swap itself has a headphone jack, there’s no purpose why Nintendo could not have caught a 3.5mm port on its controller by now.
Enhance the HD Rumble
Sony’s DualSense controller has confirmed that haptic suggestions can actually dazzle; however because the outdated saying goes, “Nintendo did it first”.
HD Rumble is a criminally underutilized a part of the Nintendo Swap, with even Nintendo failing to make use of it successfully in its first-party titles. The truth is, the final time HD Rumble actually wowed was in 1-2-Swap, which additionally feels just like the time when Nintendo gave up on the know-how.
HR Rumble might not be as superior as Sony’s hand-tingling haptics, however I’m satisfied that Nintendo may add a brand new and improved HD Rumble to its Professional Controller, which at present feels such as you’re holding a vibrating Nokia 3310 when it ‘rumbles’.
Add analog triggers
Wouldn’t or not it’s nice if Nintendo ditched the digital triggers on the Nintendo Swap Professional Controller and added some analog ones, as on Microsoft’s and Sony’s pads? Sure, sure it might.
If you happen to’re unclear as to the distinction between the 2, digital triggers mainly act as a button: you press them down and so they register an enter. Analog triggers, in the meantime, present extra constancy and function extra like a fuel pedal on a automobile – they will register totally different ranges of enter relying on how far down you press a set off, which supplies gamers extra granular management in racing video games, for instance.
Having analog triggers on the Professional Controller would make racing video games really feel a lot extra satisfying to play on Swap, and would profit future titles like Mario Kart 9. For now, we’re caught with holding down a button to make automobiles go vroom.
If Nintendo carried out these 4 modest adjustments, it might enhance its tired-feeling pad considerably. We’ve seen Nintendo refine the Swap itself with the Swap OLED to nice success, so hopefully Nintendo will give its Professional Controller some long-overdue love and a spotlight sooner quite than later.