Joy-Con Comfort Vs Kotaku's Hands

After only a weekend, I'm still forming my opinions about the Nintendo Switch, but I do know that I love the Joy-Con controllers. Some of my co-workers aren't as jazzed as me, however. So I did what anyone else would do: Demand to measure their hands so I could see if their feelings about the Joy-Con were based on hand size.

Back in January, Patricia Hernandez reported from the New York City Nintendo Switch event that the Joy-Con controllers felt way too small for her. My immediate thought was that that meant they would be perfect for me. I've always felt that my hands are on the smaller side, which sometimes makes reaching all the buttons on a controller a struggle. Even my de-facto favourite, PlayStation's Dualshock 4, has given me issues.

So far, the Joy-Con really have been perfect for me. They slide right into the crook of my palm, and the joysticks line up perfectly with my thumbs. They're nice in handheld mode, but detaching them and using them individually has been my go-to. In fact, I haven't used the Joy-Con grip yet because they feel so good. It's luxurious to be able to have my hands in whatever position I want instead of holding a controller in a vice grip.

But is this really a small-handed person's dream, or do I just have some other weird problem? For reference, my hands are about 17cm, measured from the tip of my middle finger to the base of my palm.


Editor in Chief and baby juggler Stephen Totilo likes the Joy-Con when they're attached to the sides of the Switch in handheld mode, but has some issues with them otherwise. His hands clock in at about 18cm.

"I like the Joy-Con less when I hold them separately," he said. "They feel as if they're going to roll in my hands when I press buttons on them, moreso than, say, the Wii Remote did. I'm fine with them, but would rather bolt them onto the Joy-Con grip when playing on TV. This is theoretical, though, because I've spent 90 per cent of my Switch time playing handheld, such is my life in these early months of being a dad."


Luke Plunkett, on the other hand (I'm sorry), has hands that are just over 20cm, and he's had a ton of problems with the Joy-Con. Like Stephen, he was alright in handheld mode, but any other mode of play was a chore.

He said, "Playing on the TV using the Joy-Con grip gets awkward after 20-30 minutes because everything is too cramped and close together. Playing using just the Joy-Con is agony."


Notorious game delayer Jason Schreier, whose hands are only slightly larger than mine at a little over 17cm, felt similarly to me.

"The Joy-Con feel surprisingly comfortable to me, although I could do without the left Joy-Con disconnecting every few minutes because I accidentally put one of my knees in front of it," he said. "I haven't used them individually, though. I imagine that trying to play Mario Kart with one of the Joy-Con would be a little tough. Maybe I can just carry the pro controller with me wherever I go!" Jason, we've all seen weirder things on the train. Go for it, buddy.


It looks like if your hands are approaching 18cm in length, the Joy-Con might give you some issues. If you have baby hands like me, however, you're in luck. While this sucks for probably the majority of Westerners buying the Switch, I'm overjoyed (fuck). Maybe this will give me the tactical advantage I need to not suck at Mario Kart.


Comments

    What kind of comparison is this? Should at least have palm length and width, finger and thumb length, and ratio of palm to finger length. Once that's done we can start looking at grip strength and endurance. Finally, effect of dominant hand on perception of comfort.

      True, an image of how each of them holds the joycon would have been more helpful than photos of tape measures that don't even show where they start from.

    I'm somewhere at the 19cm mark (kinda hard to tell where exactly to start measuring), and find the separated joycons to be way more comfortable to use than grip mode. Though of course nothing beats the pro controller.

    Mine are 22cm. I'll be using a pro-controller if I get a Switch.

    I use a Vita without too many problems, but hands can cramp after a long session.

      Good decision. I am only 21cm and I find the JoyCons tough work (the two tiers of triggers and just too close and don't sit in a nice spot on my fingers) but the Pro controller is great. Pro controller takes a bit from both the ds4 and xbone controller and might actually be better than both for mine. I think I might actually like the Pro more than my elite. Honeymoon stages though.

    Man, Donald Trumps gonna be in *heaven* with the Joycon huh?

    Pro controller only. These "joy con" look as satisfying as doing an angry hang up with a mobile.

    Yup joycons are fine when attached or on their own when travelling, but it's pro controller all the way at home.

    I like having the option (and if anything, the Switch is all about options) but when I really want to get stuck into Zelda, I'm going Pro-Controller.

    21cm.. Can palm a basketball.. Actually find joycons on the grip much more comfortable than in handheld mode.

    Just wish the left one wouldn't constantly disconnect =\

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