Fresh off of last week’s announcement of new themed Gamecube controllers for the Switch, Hori is back with yet another new accessory. This time around though, the company’s emphasis is on enhancing the out-of-the-box controls for the Switch rather than completely swapping it out. Wrapped in sleek Mario and Zelda-themed designs, Hori’s new controller brings the D-Pad back to Nintendo’s hybrid console.
Taking the shape of a single Joy-Con, Hori’s D-Pad Controller is meant to replace the left-hand side of the gamepad that comes bundled with the Switch. Adding a D-Pad back to the console may not seem like a big deal, but for more in-depth titles, it makes all the difference. Compared to the default GameBoy-style buttons on the Joy-Cons, the D-Pad brings a more ergonomic setup to the Switch.
For games like Breath of the Wild, Hori’s new release is sure to offer gamers a notable edge when taking on those pesky Bokoblins. Pulling up the weapons menu was always so troublesome for me, a hassle which ultimately led me to pick up the Pro Controller.
Unfortunately, the D-Pad Controller can only be used in handheld mode, meaning for those who want to use the same experience on the big-screen will have to stick with Nintendo’s own Pro Controller.
Like Nintendo, Hori also hails from Japan. But in this case, it means that many of the company’s releases don’t end up receiving a widespread, global release. So while they’ve shown off a variety color options for the new accessory, as of now, only two variants will be getting a release here in the states. Many accredit the Switch’s success to the latest titles in both Zelda and Mario franchises, and appropriately, Hori’s new gamepad enhancement comes in colorways paying tribute to both.
You can now preorder the Hori D-Pad Controller in both Mario and Zelda versions for $24.99. Because you’re technically just getting a single Joy-Con, the cost is much lower than Hori’s typical offerings. They’ll be shipping next month on September 18th, meaning the new controllers will arrive just in-time for the release of Smash Bros. later this fall.
At its relatively affordable price point, Hori’s new Switch accessory is sure to be a big hit amongst more serious gamers. And with its unique and pretty slick designs, I’m sure many looking to add some style to their hybrid console may opt for these as well.