Finally, Here Come Third-Party Gamepads for Nintendo Switch Lite
Those who opted for Lite version of Nintendo Switch have at least sometimes been struck by envy for their friends playing with JoyCons, coming with the basic version. Of course, Lite version was released as a portable-only console, a 2019 version of Sony PSP. But if we witness the massive attack of controllers for Android phones, and iPad owners can now operate real Xbox and PS4 gamepads, why should Nintendo Switch resist?
So, being a cheaper version of Switch 2019 with the same hardware, NSL seems to benefit from the same control system. First of all, external controllers make the console usable for multiplayer – the unpromoted but still available mode for this highly personal device. Second, you may prefer the way they feel, and even if you’re playing alone, a standalone gamepad in your hands changes the experience dramatically.
8Bitdo to the Rescue
Luckily, the same hardware means mostly the same software (except for TV-out modules), and the support for Bluetooth controllers was here from the beginning. The first third-party company who took this opportunity, however, was 8BitDo that now sells its replacements for Joy-Cons.
These devices are made specifically for Nintendo Switch Lite, so even their colors fit those NSL is available in. Gamepads are available in yellow or turquoise, and their layout is typical for other consoles rather than those by Nintendo. The peripheral maker knew what to do: it either couldn’t just follow Joy-Cons because of potential legal issues, or just didn’t want to introduce just-a-copy.
The controller has a Bluetooth module for connection with NSL (and with PC, Steam, Raspberry Pi and probably Android). It also has an onboard USB-C port for charging, thus compatible with the original charger for Nintendo Switch Lite, with no need for extra accessories.
Where and When to Buy
The devices are already available for preordering on Amazon, where they can be bought for as much as $25. It’s much cheaper than the original Nintendo Switch Pro, also compatible with Lite version of the console. But we still remember that many of Lite users bought it just because it is way cheaper. So hardly will they opt for more expensive device.
On the other hand, even the owners of the original Nintendo Switch may want to buy it because of its Non-Tendo layout with two D-pads instead of thumbsticks. This (plus wide platform support and low price) makes it a worthy device even separately from its NSL support. Though, of course, it will mostly be interesting to Switch Lite owners. Shipping starts on October 30, so you can already preorder and count days.