While I love my Switch, I am not the biggest fan of the Joy-Cons. They’re fancy bits of kit for sure, loaded up with sensors and motion trackers that are somehow hidden away in those tiny hand grips, but they’re just too small for my hands. I find they become uncomfortable and awkward to play with after an hour or so. That’s why I hope Nintendo’s looking at the amazing creation by Shank Mods.
The popular YouTuber has gutted two Switch Joy-Con’s, sliced a GameCube Wavebird in two, and transplanted the Switch bits into the GameCube Controller shell. In the video below, Shank explains that they wanted the controllers to be fully functional Switch controllers, so it needed everything that was inside the Joy-Con fitted into the Wavebird. They used the Wavebird, the larger GameCube controller, because it’s conveniently the same height as the Switch, making for a more flush finish.
While all of that sounds quite straightforward (and belies the already skillful crafting that’s involved), the greater challenge was working in the Joy-Con functionality that doesn’t easily line up with the GameCube controller’s design. Joy-Con’s have a Share button for instance, and in a more subtle change, the analogue sticks click in on the Joy-Con but not on the GameCube.
After collaborating with other controller modders, Shank Mods was able to build the full functioning GameCube Switch controllers you can see above. They’re first and foremost a lovely homage to the purple console, but they also look a darn sight more comfortable than the traditional Joy-Con.
It would be fun to see Nintendo develop different Joy-Con designs. I can see why they wouldn’t, as uniformity between the controllers is obviously helpful for developers – they need to know what a game’s players will be using when playing their game – but it could make the Switch into an extensively customisable portable.