You probably already know about Hori’s $59.99 Split Pad Pro, which reimagines Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers as if they’d been broken into at the gym. Hori launched the console side by side 2 years ago Devil X Machina. It’s designed for people with big hands, or rather, anyone whose hand feels tight using the Switch’s built-in controls. Like the Joy-Cons, the Split Pad Pro slides over the sides of your Switch, but it’s twice as wide and thick and has ergonomic grips and lines. Each button, trigger and stick is larger, and therefore easier to control. With these changes, the Switch feels like a completely different (and better) console for playing on the go.
Since its debut in late 2019, Hori has released several colors, but this week, the company launched an all-new accessory. It’s called the Split Pad Pro Attachment, which combines Joy-Con-like gamepads with a wired USB attachment that can allow them to be used with your Switch while it’s docked.
The addon is light on extra features considering its $79.99 price tag, beyond giving you the option of a wired controller. It offers a headphone jack, and there are buttons to adjust the volume or mute the headphone mic, if it has one. That’s really the full ballpark of this new package and, oddly enough, the attachment can’t be purchased separately.
There’s little reason for current Split Pad Pro owners to feel compelled by the facility, but it’s much more attractive to first-time buyers. Although if you spend more time using the Switch on the go rather than docked, I’d suggest just getting the gamepads to save some money. For such a precious accessory, having to be connected to the adapter via a cable is limited, not to mention that the headphones will have another cable attached between you and the TV. And depending on your gaming setup, a cable of about 10 feet might not be long enough.
Hori would probably make the right argument that the $79.99 price tag matches the cost of buying a set of Joy-Con controllers. But with that said, the Split Pad Pro itself is seriously compromised in terms of features compared to Nintendo’s Joy-Con. They can’t work wirelessly (as in, while they’re disconnected from your adapter), and they lack rumble, NFC for the Amiibo, and gyroscopic aiming for games that support it. (Although each has a re-customizable rear paddle when connected directly to your adapter.) As far as customization goes, the paddle on the left gamepad can be assigned to any function on the left Split Pad Pro, except for the minus and snapshot buttons. the screen. It’s similar on the right side, with only the plus and home buttons omitted.
However, despite its precarious value, I enjoy using the Split Pad Pro extension – largely because of how awesome it is to use. If you love the Nintendo Switch Pro wireless controller as much as I do, this Hori console emulates it well as a comfortable, regular-size gamepad. The analog sticks, triggers, and buttons on the Split Pad Pro feel just as responsive as the Nintendo, with the added benefit (or annoyance, depending on the person) that they’re wired and never need to be recharged.
Oddly enough, I also enjoyed using it as a PC gamepad to play games like elden ring. With that toy, I didn’t mind that this product didn’t shake. Steam recognized it right away, and if you can get past some of the face buttons that don’t match what’s on screen, it’s a seamless experience — at least in terms of the controls. While the facility can increase or decrease the volume in Windows, audio traversal with its headphone jack does not work. It’s hard to call this a product flaw that means more that it’s a Switch accessory, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.
Whenever I show the Split Pad Pro attachment to the folks in our office, the initial delight becomes confusion as I explain the price and how small the facility itself is. It would be a slightly different story if Hori started including it alongside Split Pad Pro for a lower price difference. But as it stands, the Split Pad Pro is the only essential aspect of this bundle, not the attachment.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner/The Verge