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Switch’s replica NES controllers only work with emulated NES games

Enlarge / This cute little Switch controller won’t work with your cute little Switch game library; only downloadable NES classics will be supported.

I’ve been on record for years now in my position that the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are “hand-crampingly small” when being held horizontally, NES-controller style, by adult-sized hands. So I was hopeful that the Switch-compatible replica NES controllers Nintendo announced last week would let me play a variety of old-school Switch games with a full-sized controller, complete with an old-school d-pad and full-sized buttons.

Those hopes have been dashed, as Nintendo-watchers have noticed the following disclaimer on the UK and Australian versions of the Nintendo’s Switch Online information pages (though, oddly enough, not on the US version of the page)

Please note: Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers can only be used while detached from the Nintendo Switch system, and only to play NES – Nintendo Switch Online games [emphasis added]. Nintendo Entertainment System Controllers can be charged by attaching to the Nintendo Switch system.

In its recent Nintendo Direct video presentation, the company only highlighted the controllers’ use with downloadable NES games, and the fine print of that video did state that “Controllers do not include Joy-Con functionality.” Still, these newly spotted Web disclaimers confirm that the special controllers won’t work with any other Switch games.

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