|Weight||30 g without cable|
Versatile use of JoyCon requires, the Nintendo Switch was born without a directional cross, the four directions being provided by the analog stick or by four separate buttons. This is where the Hori D-Pad Controller comes in, a module that replaces the left JoyCon by incorporating a directional cross worthy of the name. But does the result live up to our expectations?
|Amazon||Available at a price of € 22.57|
With only 30 small grams on the scale, this D-Pad Controller is probably the lightest accessory we have ever tested. Indeed, the JoyCon alternative may share the dimensions of the original, to within a few half millimeters, it is far from the weight of about 50 grams that we expected. And if for 20 grams of difference the balance of the Switch is not really changed, it is what represents this weight loss that has a real impact on the gameplay. Indeed, as we regretted for the Split Pad Pro and for all the controllers for Switch from the manufacturer Hori, what is sorely lacking in the data sheet of this D-Pad Controller can be summed up in two words: vibration and battery.
No vibrations, it is certainly annoying, even if we imagine we can still enjoy those of the right JoyCon. Except that the effect is not great. Firstly, most games amalgamate the two modules, reducing the set of functions to those of the module that does the least. No more vibrations in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, in Pokemon Sword and Shield, and in all of the games we tested, unless you reactivate them directly in the console menu. Then, vibrations to the right and not to the left, it is not very pleasant and we finally come to the first solution: total deactivation.
Lack of battery also has a major impact on the usability of the accessory. If it slightly decreases the battery life, in proportions that are still acceptable, it especially prevents any use of the D-Pad Controller as a standalone controller. No question of using it with a wrist strap for a second player and impossible to use it attached with the right JoyCon to the support supplied with the console. The only way to play with this D-Pad Controller is when it's glued to the console and powered live. Point.
For the rest, we are on a result very close to what the JoyCon offers. The stick is placed in the same place, offers a similar rendering and even the mold of his hat looks identical. Ditto with the button "-", which corresponds completely to the original. The shape of the slice buttons is also similar to that of the JoyCon, with a drier click and a smaller depth of support. This difference is certainly to the advantage of the D-Pad Controller, except thatwe end up with buttons that react differently to the right and left, and this imbalance can be slightly annoying
Finally, there is obviously this directional cross in place of the four direction buttons. A cross which strongly recalls that of the Onyx for PlayStation 4 or the Split Pad Pro for Switch, with the difference that here the directions are absolutely not marked and that it is impossible to feel the passage from a diagonal to the other. Furthermore we regret a certain softness in the rebound coupled with a rather high triggering threshold, which makes this cross offer sensations close to those of the analog stick … far from what you would expect from a directional cross. To this is added the placement of this cross, too low for the position with the index finger on the edge buttons to be comfortable. Of course there is a gain compared to a left JoyCon, but the gain remains well below what we could have hoped for.
Despite strong similarities with the JoyCons, the D-Pad Controller fails to offer a serious alternative to the Nintendo model. In fact, when you use it you lose the vibrations of the console, the symmetry of the reactions of the slice buttons, and especially the use in TV or table mode. The presence of a directional cross is certainly an advantage for portable mode, but it comes at the price of too many compromises, with an ergonomics which is not convincing and a cross which does not necessarily fulfill its role well. Despite an accessible price under 25 euros and an obvious manufacturing quality, therefore difficult to recommend this accessory whose performance is far from sufficient.
- A level of manufacturing and assembly identical to that of JoyCon
- We win a directional cross instead of buttons
- Without battery, the D-Pad Controller cannot be autonomous
- No vibrations at all
- No gyroscope either, obviously
- The cross is soft and imprecise
- The slice buttons react differently to those of JoyCon
Despite an attractive price and which could make you want to replace your left JoyCon with this accessory, the loss of functionality linked to the use of the D-pad Controller is enormous. As for those who would like to gain in ergonomics with the addition of a directional cross, they will necessarily be disappointed by the placement, the feeling and the precision of the latter. The interest is therefore, in all cases, very limited. Too bad because the object remains functional and well made.
May 11, 2020 at 3:00:02 PM
By oliveroidubocal, Editing igamesnews.com