The Nintendo Switch has been touted as a console that gives gamers the ability to play at home or on the go. As several gamers found out, there are even more ways to play than Nintendo advertised. The system’s unique Joy-Con controllers are also compatible with Windows, Mac and Android devices, thanks to bluetooth.
Software engineer Sam Williams tipped the world off on Twitter to the unexpected connectivity built into the Joy-Con controllers. He paired the devices meant to control the Nintendo Switch to his Mac and found they functioned as any other controller would.
Other gamers have discovered similar findings, connecting the Joy-Cons to PCs and Android devices. The Nintendo Switch Pro controller likewise can connect via bluetooth to devices other than the Switch itself.
The ability to pair the controllers gives the Switch a little additional functionality — especially for those who have emulators on their other devices to play classic games.
It isn’t a huge surprise that the Switch controllers would be compatible with other platforms; that has become the trend for controllers. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers also feature bluetooth connectivity, as did Nintendo’s Wiimote controller for the Wii.
The Switch Joy-Con controllers stand out because of the innovative way Nintendo has utilized them for the Switch console. The controllers combine to create a unified controller for console-style gaming, snap to the side of a tablet for playing on the go or break out into two separate controllers for multiplayer action.
When paired to a PC, Mac or Android device, the Joy-Con controllers operate as separate entities, the same way they do when used for multiplayer gaming. It’s possible in the future they may be linked together through a third-party software solution.
While bluetooth provides the Joy-Con controllers with some additional, unexpected functionality, it may also be part of a technical problem that appears to be plaguing some Switch owners. Some gamers have complained about connection issues with the controllers, including one of the Joy-Con controllers becoming temporarily unresponsive.
The signal loss issue has primarily affected the left Joy-Con controller. Nintendo’s solution for the issue thus far has been to recommend users keep the Switch controllers away from other wireless devices that may interfere with the signal, though there are a number of other solutions that may help fix the problem.