Hori Gives The Switch A Proper D-Pad ... With A Catch
Pro – Third party peripheral company Hori is releasing a left Joy-Con with an actual D-pad that will most likely help you die a little less in Celeste or any of the other Nindie platformers coming soon to Switch.
Con – That Joy-Con will be missing some key features.
Switch owners who regularly use their Joy-Cons will welcome the comfort and control of an actual D-pad over the face buttons featured on the standard left Joy-Con. However, Hori's left Joy-Con only works when it's attached to the system – so Joy-Con grips users are still out of luck. Hori's controller also lacks acceleration, gyro sensor, or vibration features. But again, D-pad!
If the Hori Joy-Con interests you, it may be a while before you can get your hands on it. It's set for a July release in Japan for 2,678 yen ($25.36 USD) with no information on when it will be made available internationally. For comparison, Nintendo's MSRP for individual Joy-Cons is $49.99. Of course, you can find replacement shells and D-pads from companies like Basstop without losing any features, if you're good with tiny tools and don't care about warranties.
I'm all for third party peripherals fixing common issues, but there are a lot of caveats to Hori's controller, which I'm not psyched about. For my buck, I'd rather switch out the shell and D-pad to give my Switch that Atomic Purple aesthetic and retain all of the Joy-Cons' functionality. If I can find the right tools for my fat, clunky fingers, that is.