HORI Nintendo Switch Split Pad Pro (Daemon X Machina Edition) Ergonomic Controller for Handheld Mode – Officially Licensed By Nintendo – Nintendo Switch, 40.31, 49.99, $, .
A revolutionary way to play your Nintendo Switch! Enjoy the full-size controller experience in handheld mode with the HORI Split Pad Pro. Featuring full-size analog sticks, a precision D-pad, and large shoulder buttons designed for comfort and accuracy, even during marathon gaming sessions....
If you've got big hands or have struggled to play the Switch with JoyCons, then you know why you're looking at these controllers. You probably will appreciate them, but there are some pros/cons/drawbacks you should be aware of.You're gonna see a lot of reviews all repeating the same things about this accessory. I make mention of those as well, but I also felt the need to write my review because there are a number of important notes that NO ONE else is mentioning, so here goes!PROS:- Big, full-sized buttons and analog sticks- More comfortable button/stick layout due the wideness (the sticks aren't directly below the buttons)- Provide a better grip than JoyCons (though not perfect, read more below)- Concave analog sticks (this might be subjective)- Plug & Play; they connect immediately and easily- Customizable "Assign" button on each side (with one caveat read below)- Customizable "Turbo" button on each side (with same caveat, read below)- They have 'memory' so your "Assign" buttons stay assigned even when the system is turned off- Switch fits in the dock with them attachedCONS:- They DRAIN THE CONSOLE'S BATTERY /!\ (Read more below) (My biggest complaint and disappointment)- "Assign" buttons can't be set to (+) or (-)- Lack of Motion Controls- Lack of vibration feedback- Lack of Amiibo support- The wideness of the system might feel weird, at least at first (read more in caveats)- Good luck finding a carrying case to fit these!CAVEATS:- The grip is not as perfect as I'd hoped. It's still good and definitely better than the JoyCons, however I was hoping for something with more to hold onto in the palm. I think these would have benefitted from being a little more functional and aesthetic in this regard. They sure look cool, but they'd be better to hold onto if the "handle" parts stuck out a bit more and were more rounded/bulbous than being a short little arrow head. I still find myself having to support the device with my pinkies or on my lap/abdomen because of this.- Since they are two independent controllers that don't actually communicate with each other, the Turbo and Assign buttons can only be assigned to a button on its respective side. In other words, you can't set the left Assign button to A, B, X, Y, R, or ZR and you can't set the right Assign button to Up, Down, Left, Right, L, or ZL. This is an important drawback if you were hoping to set the extra buttons to Left and Right, or multiple face buttons. It's not a total deal-breaker, but something to be aware of if you had specific games/gameplay in mind.- The Assign buttons also CANNOT BE SET TO (+) OR (-)! This is a downer for me. I'm not sure why they did this. I doubt there is any technical limitation; so they probably wrongly assumed that no one would want quick access to the tings that are usually assigned to these buttons (maps and menus), but this was a very poor decision IMO. A lot of games use + or - for menus and maps and it would have been awesome to have a game's map at hand like that.- Since these are so wide, they do make holding the system a bit odd at first. I think you might get used to it. I've only had one play session so far, so I'm not sure, but it did seem to become less or unnoticeable by the time I stopped playing.SUBJECTIVE NOTES:- Very lightweight, more so than the JoyCons. This can be a positive or negative depending on preference.- I find concave analog sticks to be much better on every controller ever and would burn convex sticks from history if I could, but I understand that some insane people prefer those for some crazy reason, lol.- The Turbo buttons have two modes that can be cycled through: Set a turbo button once and it will be turbo only while you hold the button, set that button as turbo a second time and that button will autofire without pressing it at all. Personally, I find this a bit annoying because you can't quickly unset the turbo without having the button get spammed for a moment while you cycle it twice. This may or may not be any issue to you, and I can imagine the feature would be useful for certain games like shoot-em-ups, space shooters, bullet hell, etc.ON THE SUBJECT OF AMIIBO/VIBRATION/MOTION (My Opinion):- It is important to be aware that these features are missing, but how important they are to you will greatly depend on what games you play and how you wish to play them.- Amiibo support really isn't a big deal, as they aren't super useful in games and generally are only used for "bonus" type things; never a main mechanic you need often at all. Also, since these controllers are intended for handheld play, you're probably carrying them around with you, maybe outside of home, in which case, you're probably not lugging around a bunch of bulky plastic figures as well.- Lack of rumble is too bad, but it's not a necessary feature for the majority of games. I think there could be some games that need "HD Rumble" for things, but I'm not sure in this mode. The only two games I can think of that use HD Rumble as a mechanic are 1-2 Switch and some Mario Party minigames. The former can only be played with the JoyCons attached, so it's a non-issue. Mario Party has the same situation if you're playing with a group of people. If you're playing solo, go play a better solo game! Lol, kidding, but I'm really not sure how those minigames work in handheld mode when playing solo even with real JoyCons.- Lack of motion control is the biggest of these three drawbacks if you ask me, as they are often very useful or even necessary in some games such as Breath of the Wild (aiming arrows and such) and Splatoon (you don't NEED to play Splatoon with motion controls, but most players do and those of us who do know how much better it is to play with them). I really wish they'd have put this feature in. Maybe they'll make an upgraded version with it some day.ABOUT THE CONSOLE BATTERY DRAIN:Because these don't have any internal battery like official JoyCons do, they are basically have to sap power from the system (the power transfer is the same way JoyCons charge via the console when it's docked). I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's how it has to work - because they need power and that power must come from somewhere.I've had a few play sessions with these. It's not quite a scientific test, but during those sessions, it was very apparent that my console battery was draining much faster than it usually does in handheld mode. Again, note that this is not a controlled scientific test or anything (I might go ahead and do a real controlled test sometime soon to verify), but it's pretty apparent and like I said, the controllers NEED to be powered somehow and the power draw mechanism IS there to charge JoyCons, so I'm near certain the Split Pad Pro saps power from the console while in use.Sadly, this is a huge drawback for me and my biggest complaint. Ultimately this is what makes this device a disappointment for me and likely why I won't use them as often as I'd intended to. I REALLY WISH Hori had just put batteries in these things. How expensive could that be? Personally, I'd have paid an extra $10 easily to avoid this issue.ABOUT PORTABLE/CARRYING CASE SITUATION:This might change in time, but right now, I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a carrying case that can fit your Switch tablet and these in it. There's obviously no cases made specifically for the Switch that will fit with the system with them connected. You might be able to find some long generic carrying case like for a gun or something with standard insulating foam in it, but otherwise, you'll have to find one of those thicc phatboi cases that has large enough storage on the upper or lower compartment that will fit the Split Pad Pro. I have one case that is fairly big/tall (like 2.5 or 3 times as tall as the Switch, but it still can't fit these in it. I do believe I've seen taller ones than that available, so there's probably a solution, but you'll have to do a bunch of checking measurements and possibly even purchasing trial-and-error (thankfully Amazon does have free returns on a lot of items for Prime members now though!) though. Even then, though, remember now you're carrying a huge box around, lol. But I suppose that's the only way to take these out of the house.I hope HORI or some other brand or Chinese generic accessory maker sees the opportunity and makes a case specifically for the Switch and these.SUMMARY:At the end of the day, if you've got big hands and want to play handheld, there is no other solution that provides a true controller layout like the Split Pad Pro does. There are some really good and well-reviews grips and grip cases out there, some that do provide better palm grip than the Split Pad Pro, however, none of them can make the JoyCon buttons and sticks larger or adjust their placement. However, the battery drain is a HUGE issue especially if you intend to use them to play outside. If you find the tiny buttons and sticks on the JoyCons difficult to use or that the squeezed together layout is uncomfortable and don't mind the battery drain or intend to play mostly indoors with access to a power supply, then you should definitely give the Split Pad a try. There's nothing like it!If you play mostly outside and/or can't accept shortened console battery life, I'd advise you stay away.If you're okay with the size and layout of the JoyCon buttons, but feel like you just need more grip in the palm area, then these may help, although the grip accessories and/or grip cases available might be a better solution for you. If you've got the money, I would suggest trying multiple things and deciding what feels best. I think most of those grips and cases on Amazon have free returns for Prime members, and I assume once the Split Pad Pro is restocked and they get it into the Prime warehouses, it may have the same situation, so you could try them all and return what's unneeded. Best of luck, fellow big-handed gamers!
I’m going to start by saying that while I appreciate many of the design elements of the switch — I struggle with the joy-cons. They feel so minute in my hands, and overall I just find them uncomfortable and difficult to use. The joy-cons are what keep me from loving the switch.I pre-ordered this controller the second I saw it — and I have no remorse. It is exactly what I was expecting. As for their size and the fact they make playing the switch as a handheld even wider — this is a controller that presents itself to be like a full-size console controller — how else could it do that without making the switch wider? With that said — the feel of this thing is like an Xbox controller only split in two.So depending on what your expectations are this is so far the best solution for people like me — people who want the feel of a full-size console controller when playing the switch as a handheld. I use the Pro controller when the switch is docked, and this is my new portable set-up.Yes, you can still charge the switch in it’s dock with these attached. No, there’s no rumble. This controller doesn’t have a battery, so you don’t need to charge it. But it’s responsive and utterly natural feeling. I sat down to try it out & ended up playing 4 hours of Dragon’s Dogma.
Im loving it so far! Feels great once connect it reminds me of a Xbox One Controller. Sticks are nice and tight and the D Pad feel real good. So far I tested it on BOTW, Astral Chain, Super Smash Bros, Dragon Quest XI, and Stret Fighter. This will change the game for FPS and Fighters on the Switch.
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