One of the major selling points of Nintendo’s Switch console is its portable nature. However, for some games, this feature might become a double-edged sword. Beyond just the handheld nature of the console, the Switch is full of fancy gadgetry like HD Rumble and an IR Sensor. It also packs all the MotionPlus waggle of the Wii, even though that clashes with the traditional Switch portable setup. That clash might be why several top Switch titles are forgoing portable support this fall.
Kotaku noticed this phenomenon first. Super Mario Party, which is due out later this week, features 80 minigames that make heavy use of the Switch’s tertiary features. Up to four players can join in the fun, but each has to have their own Joy-Con. No one with bigger hands can rely on a Pro Controller for comfort. More importantly, you can’t rock the game single player with your Joy-Con attached to the screen. While not a lot of folks are going to be playing Mario Party solo, it does limit what you can do with the title.
Super Mario Party isn’t the only game to suffer these issues. The World Ends With You, which comes out on October 12, supports both Joy-Con and touch controls, but they can’t intermingle. If you’ve attached your controllers to your Switch, you’ll be swiping on the screen to play the game. While the original DS version of the game lets you use buttons and your thumb at the same time, this new version leans more towards the iPad’s touch-exclusive gameplay.
Pokemon Let’s Go is another interesting case. While touch controls have been confirmed to be optional in handheld mode, you can’t turn them off. After all, when they’re selling a whole Poke Ball accessory, they want you to use it. This leads to a situation where the game is playable on the go, but just in theory. In practice, you’ll need to find a flat surface if you want to skip the waggle and use buttons to catch a Beedrill.
While third-party games have dabbled in disabling key features of the console before, it’s notable to see Nintendo doing it. Will Nintendo’s innovation get in the way of more of their future titles? Or will there always be edge cases that aren’t worth catering to? Only time will tell if the trend of games disabling the Switch’s portable nature grows or flares out.