Nintendo: Maybe Don't Use the Wireless NES Switch Controllers in Tablet Mode

Nintendo: Maybe Don't Use the Wireless NES Switch Controllers in Tablet Mode

You know, maybe don't.

It's a really good time to be a fan of retro Nintendo consoles. Not only did Nintendo release the NES and SNES Classic editions in recent years, but yesterday Nintendo announced that the Switch will be getting special, wireless NES controllers to play the classic NES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online. Sadly, Nintendo only recommends you use them wirelessly as they are *ahem* uncomfortable to use in tablet mode.

"The design of the NES controller is as close to the original as possible, to give NES-Nintendo Switch Online games a very authentic feel. As such, the controller's horizontal layout doesn't lend itself to being used while vertically attached to the Nintendo Switch console," Nintendo of America said in a statement.

"The NES controller works great in both docked mode and tabletop mode, and Joy-Con controllers can be used in any mode," the company added.

Wireless NES controller for Switch.

Nintendo doesn't say the NES controllers can't be used vertically, but considering how they're laid out when attached vertically, I can't imagine they'll work very well even if the NES game accepts the input. And considering the NES controllers only work on NES games for the Switch it's probably a good thing they can't be used for tablet mode play. Still, if you're a runner who enjoys using difficult control-scheme, well here's an uncomfortable one for you.

The NES controllers for Switch are only available for subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online, which is Nintendo's new online service launching on September 18. The service includes online play for all Switch games that support it, as well as free NES games and special offers. The service also offers cloud save backup for Switch games, though voice chat is still relegated to the smartphone app.

For more check, out our Nintendo Switch Online guide for pricing, service info, and more.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Related articles

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.