Nintendo Switch Lite attached Joy-Cons bring back the D-Pad

Nintendo Switch Lite is taking away some features from its big brother, but the handheld device is adding back the D-Pad to its integrated Joy-Con controllers.


Nintendo just announced the next addition to their Switch family of products, Nintendo Switch Lite. Many people are focused on the features from the original hybrid console that have been removed in this cheaper $199 model, but we think it is worth pointing out something that is being added to the device in this new form factor. The D-Pad has returned to the left Joy-Con. The Nintendo Switch Lite features integrated Joy-Con controllers and the Big N removed the directional buttons in favor of their classic D-Pad. This will be a welcome addition for platforming game fans.

The Nintendo Switch Lite removes some features that made its predecessor really stand out like the ability to dock and play on the TV or flip out the kickstand for some tabletop gameplay. The Joy-Con controllers also see the removal of HD Rumble force feedback as well as the IR sensor that is found in the detachable right Joy-Con on the original Nintendo Switch. Players will still be able to connect existing Joy-Con or Switch Pro controllers wirelessly, so some multiplayer games might work. While there are some drawbacks to the removal of these features, the lower $199 price point and portable form factor will likely make up for the compromises. 

The original NES D-Pad changed gaming input devices forever.
The original NES D-Pad changed gaming input devices forever.

Many Switch owners who play games in handheld complain about having directional buttons on the left Joy-Con. This is especially annoying in platforming games like Celeste or the recently released Super Mario Maker 2. Hori even made their own third-party Joy-Con that reintroduced the D-Pad, and it seems like Nintendo took notice. The integrated Joy-Con controllers in the Switch Lite device allowed Nintendo to take a look at a fresh design for input, and the return of the D-Pad is great to see.

Are you interested in this new Nintendo Switch Lite dedicated handheld device? Still on the fence? Head over to the official Nintendo website to compare Switch models to figure out which one is right for you.


Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
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    July 10, 2019 7:45 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Nintendo Switch Lite attached Joy-Cons bring back the D-Pad

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      July 10, 2019 7:50 AM

      If this is the only decent D-Pad made by Nintendo during the Switch lifecycle I'm going to throw such a fit.

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        July 10, 2019 9:22 AM

        If they release a stand alone, fully featured, solo d-pad joycon, so many people would by it and keep it in their carry case or bag.

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      July 10, 2019 9:07 AM

      Can I get the other half that only plays on TVs for $100?

      I just want to play Nintendo games on my couch.

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      July 10, 2019 9:15 AM

      So is there no rumble at all? Or just no "HD Rumble" ?

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        July 10, 2019 9:29 AM

        Nintendo PR is just saying no HD Rumble right now. I can reach out to confirm that there will be no force feedback at all.

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      July 10, 2019 9:36 AM

      If it can share my account, games and saves and has less clicky buttons I’d get one for bedtime gaming and occasional local multiplayer. Also seems like a decent attempt to woo the 5-10 year old demo away from tablets and phones

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