Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.


The Nintendo Switch comes with an innovative new Joy-Con controller that has multiple functions, such as detecting objects with a camera and hand gestures.

The Joy-Con controllers can be attached directly to the Nintendo Switch console, which is debuting worldwide for $300 on March 3. Nintendo talked about the details in a webcast today.

The controllers incorporate some of the motion-sensing that Nintendo introduced with its Wii console, but they are also packed with more technology.

The system will include the main console, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) controllers, a Joy-Con grip (to which two Joy-Con are attached and used as one controller), a set of Joy-Con wrist straps, a Nintendo Switch dock (which holds the main console and connects it to a TV), an HDMI cable and an AC adapter.

Event

GamesBeat Summit Next 2022

Join gaming leaders live this October 25-26 in San Francisco to examine the next big opportunities within the gaming industry.

Register Here
Nintendo's new Joy Con controller comes in black, blue, or red.

Above: Nintendo’s new Joy Con controller comes in black, blue, or red.

Image Credit: Nintendo/GamesBeat

The versatile Joy-Con controllers offer multiple new ways for players to have fun. Two Joy-Cons can be used independently in each hand, or together as one game controller when attached to the Joy-Con grip. They can also attach to the main console for use in handheld mode, or be shared with friends to enjoy two-player action in supported games.

Each Switch Joy-Con controller has the usual four ABXY buttons and a joystick on each side. You can pull the controllers off the Switch console, and then you have two mini Joy-Con controllers. Nintendo calls this “sharing the joy,” according to Yoshiaki Koizumi, Nintendo Switch’s general producer.

One of the mini controllers has a home button, and the other has a capture button, so you can take screenshots with the press of a button (and later, video, though that’s not ready at launch).

Nintendo Switch Joy Con controller.

Above: Nintendo Switch Joy Con controller.

Image Credit: Nintendo/GamesBeat

Each Joy-Con also has a camera and motion detection. Each controler includes an accelerometer and gyro-sensor, making independent left and right motion control possible. The right Joy-Con has an infrared motion camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape.

You can detect objects in front of the controller (as in the picture at the top), and you can wave each one around like a gun or a wand. Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con, Nintendo said.

The controllers come in neon blue and red. Each one has a near-field communications (NFC) reader and writer, so that you can read data from a Nintendo Amiibo toy.

The details confirm a report we published earlier about some of the details of the Switch hardware.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.