Sonic Mania is all the proof I needed that Joy-Con need a D-pad


Directional buttons just don’t cut it

I’ve been playing a lot of Sonic Mania over the past few days. It’s nice that I’m enjoying a Sonic game in 2017, and even more delightful that I get to enjoy it on the Nintendo Switch.

Sonic Mania does all the right things. The controls are tight, the art is nostalgic but not pandering, and it reminds me of what I liked about Genesis-era Sonic games. The one rather depressing thing it does for me is point out what other people have been saying for some time: the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con need a proper directional pad.

Don’t get me wrong, the directional buttons get the job done, but I can’t help but feel my times would be a little bit better if I had a smoother directionaltransition that only a D-pad provides.

Of course, if you own a Pro Controller, you have a D-pad option, but I like many others spend the majority of my time playing the Switch in handheld mode. Some people have even taken it upon themselves to solve the issue. For example, the folks over at Engadget 3D printed a snap on D-pad.

This home modification from a Reddit user is exactly what we all need.

I’m sure a complete redesign of the Joy-Con is out of the question. In fact, it presents a problem as the left Joy-Con player is then put at a disadvantage when you “share the joy,” but it wouldn’t hurt to release new Joy-Con with a D-pad option before all of those classic Nintendo games make their way over via the subscription service.