Why the Nintendo Switch Lite Has a True D-Pad and Why It's S
The Nintendo Switch Lite was announced today, and it features a true, honest-to-goodness D-Pad. The fact that the original Switch's Joy-Con controllers do not has been point of contention for fans since its launch in 2017, as the four separate directional buttons aren't as ideal as a true D-Pad for 2D games, retro games, and much more.The Switch Lite has a release date of September 20, 2019, for $199.99 USD and is designed specifically for handheld play. That means no kickstand, no dock, and no support for video output to TV whatsoever. While the addition of a D-pad is a boon to many fans, some may find themselves wondering “why now?” or “why hasn’t the Switch added them yet?”
The Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons are Designed for Sharing
The Switch Lite’s controllers do not detach like its older sibling, and this is most likely the main reason why the Switch Lite has a true D-Pad. The Switch's Joy-Cons are designed to be easily shared, while the Switch Lite's controllers are stuck on the system. The philosophy of the Switch's Joy-Cons being easily shareable was one of the big highlights of 2016's reveal of the Nintendo Switch, and have been an important staple of many Nintendo Switch games' multiplayer modes.All you have to do is disconnect the Joy-Cons from the system and pass one to a friend, and you instantly have two controllers to play whichever game you wish. To play, however, you need to hold the Joy-Cons horizontally. While this isn't an issue with the right Joy-Con, the left Joy-Con's directional buttons have to become the A, B, X, and Y buttons, with the analog stick being used for movement.This is likely why Nintendo chose to not include a true D-Pad on its controller like it has on every piece of hardware they've designed since the Famicom in Japan in 1983: having a D-Pad would simply not be conducive for multiplayer games that used individual Joy-Cons.Considering the Switch Lite is designed specifically for handheld mode and its controllers do not detach, there is no need to factor in a second set of face buttons, which allows for the true D-Pad to return.
The D-Pad Allows Retro-Style Games to be Played as They Were Meant to
With Nintendo Switch Online's NES games, retro collections like Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 and the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, and 2D-style games like Shovel Knight, The Messenger, and Sonic Mania, the lack of a traditional D-Pad has been frustrating for some.The return of the D-Pad is great because these previously mentioned games and many more simply do not control as well with an analog stick or the Joy-Con's buttons. Many were designed with the D-Pad in mind, and while the other control options work, they just don't feel quite right.It does beg the question, however: can't Nintendo just release separate Joy-Cons that do have the true D-Pad on them? Similarly to how they are offering the Nintendo Switch Litesee deal
Nintendo Switch Lite as an alternative to the original Nintendo Switch, one might think an update Joy-Con would be in the works.According to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, there are "no plans, or nothing to announce, in terms of further variation of Joy-Con."
Alternative Options for a D-Pad on the Original Nintendo Switch
For those wishing for that traditional D-Pad on Nintendo Switch, there are some third-party Joy-Cons that have added one and there are DIY ways to add one yourself. Unfortunately, these all come with a catch, such as potentially breaking your Joy-Con or missing such features as Bluetooth, gyro sensor, or SL/SR buttons.While you can never say never, it looks as though the only way to get an authentic D-Pad experience on the Nintendo Switch is to purchase a Switch Lite this September. Hopefully, the potential success of the Switch Lite and continued outcry from fans will make Nintendo reconsider in the future.It's not perfect, but it's a move in the right direction.Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to email@example.com.Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who hopes Nintendo reconsiders this and brings out some awesome new Joy-Cons. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst.關注無極榮耀官網（www.dabootiecall.com）。