A throwback solution to a modern problem with the Nintendo system.

While there’s a lot to like about the Switch, Nintendo’s flagship hardware does have one serious shortcoming in its design. There’s no traditional D-pad, so when using your left thumb to control your character’s movement you’re stuck working with either an analog thumbstick or four separate face buttons in a diamond pattern. With no center position, the face buttons are practically useless for this purpose, and while the thumbstick works fine for 3-D platformers and first-person shooters, it doesn’t really allow for the sort of quick opposite direction input shifts you need for the full enjoyment of a fighting game, beat ‘em up, or scrolling shooter.

Of course, those last three genres all have their roots in arcades, so the most enjoyable way to play them is with something resembling an arcade game’s joystick and large buttons, and thankfully that’s exactly what you get in this awesome new Switch charging dock.

The Switch Charging Stand Arcade Controller Mini plugs right into the USB C port at the bottom of the Switch and includes a rest for the central part of the unit/screen. In front, you’ve got a joystick and six large buttons laid out in the six-button configuration first popularized by Capcom’s Street Fighter series, with X, Y, and L on top and A, B, and R on the bottom.

Like with most modern consoles, the standard Switch controller has more than six buttons, so you’ll find another row of oval-shaped buttons running in a line right in front of where the Switch rests. These are the minus, plus, ZL, ZR and Home buttons.

There’s no screen capture/share button, so you’ll have to reach up and press the button on the Switch itself for that. What you get instead, though, is a rapid fire/turbo switch, which will come in handy if you’re using your Switch to play an old-school action game that’s running off its original code and hasn’t had an auto-fire option added. You can even choose to individually designate certain buttons as rapid-fire and others as not.

About the only drawback is that the Arcade Controller Mini seems to be lacking the left Joy-Con’s face buttons, but given the kinds of games the peripheral is designed to play action games on, odds are that won’t really be an issue, since most fast-paced action games don’t have you using your left thumb for anything other than character movement, and if you really do need to use the left Joy-Con face buttons, maybe to navigate a menu or something, there’re still right there on the Joy-Con itself.

▼ Using the bundled extension cable, you can also use the controller without docking the Switch directly in it.

As with so many things these days we suddenly realize what we want as soon as we find out they exist (like the one-person portable rice cooker and the gamer captive cushion), the 4,980-yen (US$47) Switch Charging Stand Arcade Controller Mini comes from Japanese interior/appliance company Thanko, and can be ordered online here.

Source: Thanko via IT Media
Images: Thanko
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