If you rushed out over the weekend to be one of the many lucky individuals to welcome Nintendo Switch-ownership into your life, then you’ll no doubt be extremely pleased with your purchase.
You will also be additionally pleased to learn that thanks to the power and versatility of Bluetooth, the Switch’s Joy-Con gaming controllers have also been shown to be compatible with Windows and Android hardware, as well as machines running macOS, as discovered by French site Nintendo Actu, and software engineer Sam Williams.
In a similar fashion to Nintendo’s Wiimote, the little cute Joy-Con controllers are simply identifying themselves as Bluetooth accessories, and can therefore be paired against multiple device types designed to recognize and connect with Bluetooth peripherals.
In the case of Microsoft’s Windows 10, It’s been shown that a Joy-Con can be connected and used to play games like Halo Wars 2, but that an additional app install in the form of something like JoyToKey would be needed to map the buttons on the controller to the mouse and keyboard which a user would typically interact with to play such titles.
Without that app install, the Joy-Con can be paired, but the experience is a little all over the place with titles not able to recognize the button configurations.
It shouldn’t really come as a huge surprise to lean that these gaming controllers can be recognized, paired, and ultimately used with other devices via Bluetooth. Microsoft’s new Xbox One Controller, Sony’s PlayStation 4 DualShock 4, and even Nintendo’s Wiimote have all been able to be used in this manner with other Bluetooth devices. The interesting part really comes when you see what third-party developers ultimately seek to do with this ability, and whether or not they can integrate an innovative use for this functionality and control into their own titles.
The Nintendo Switch is of course extremely new to the market, which means the Joy-Cons are also new and shiny to those developers and tinkerers out there who like to play around with hardware and see what’s possible. It’s likely only a matter of time until we start seeing some fun and quirky little games or apps appearing that can take true advantage of Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers on other platforms like Windows or macOS.
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