The Switch’s included JoyCon Grip can’t charge your JoyCon, and that’s a problem

3 min read
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Nintendo JoyCon Grip can't charge your JoyCon

If you’re trying to keep up with everyone wrestling with the many nuances to Nintendo’s new Switch console, you’ve likely seen a bit of dust kicked up over one of the more necessary inclusions in the box – the JoyCon Grip. This plastic shell acts as a housing for the two JoyCon controllers, allowing you to use them as a more traditional controller setup without shelling out for a Pro controller. The problem here is that the Grip is exactly what is implied – a plastic grip with no additional functionality beyond that.

At a glance, there’s no issue with that, until you start taking into account just how these controllers function and, more importantly, charge. The JoyCon will charge anytime they’re connected to the main Switch unit, be it in portable or docked modes. The JoyCon Grip, however, features no way to do that. There’s no USB-C port at the top of the shell to let you plug in and charge while you play, which means if your JoyCon happen to go flat during a session your only option is to continue in portable mode. Not convenient.

This problem is alleviated by an accessory Nintendo is now selling, called the JoyCon Charging Grip. Visibly it’s almost the same, with the Charging Grip featuring a translucency akin to the Pro Controller. The real difference is in functionality, in that the Charging Grip does exactly what the name implies – it’s able to charge your JoyCon. The shell features what the included one lacks, with a USB connection at the top allowing you to plug the Grip into power at anytime.

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JoyCon Charging grip not included

Nintendo are aiming to sell this accessory for a full $29.99, so clearly don’t see the issue in the fact that the only way to charge the JoyCon out of the box is to connect them to the Switch. The proposed battery life of 20 hours makes that an easier sell, along with the idea that you’re probably going to be connecting your JoyCon to your Switch overnight anyway. But that just doesn’t alleviate the inconvenience of having them die mid-session, and realising that you’re now going to have to put your couch and TV session on pause to charge controllers.

It’s a really strange oversight, and just another sticking point to the Switch overall. It’s out on March 3rd.

Last Updated: January 17, 2017

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Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • I can’t really see the problem here.. it’ll only affect the guys who play a ton and they would be happy to shell out for the charging station.

    To me it’s simply Nintendo nickle and diming the consumer but since literally everyone does that now we can’t really blame them

    • Admiral Chief

      Ninty took a page out of Apple’s books it seems

      • Hammersteyn

        The apple doesn’t fall far from the um. Apple store?

        • Admiral Chief

          ROTTEN TO THE COOOOOOORE

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      You play a bit one day, forget to hook them up to charge, so the day after you can’t play on your TV for four hours while they charge. That’s just stupid design

      • Christian Valiente

        That’s your fault for forgetting. If you are so forgetful, then get the charge pad. Not an issue. Stupid article.

        • Admiral Chief

          Come now, that wasn’t very nice of you

          • Christian Valiente

            It is a stupid article that brings up a non-issue. The writer states human error as a problem for the Switch. Dude said “If you forget to charge them”. That’s entirely the users fault.

          • Admiral Chief

            I thought it was informative, and brought his opinion forward, but as some other commenters noted, should not be a big issue.

            Either way, calling it a “stupid article” seems a bit harsh

        • Guild

          Nope, it’s a stupid design and should have included the charging capability. Instead Nintendo are cashing in as much as possible by selling the charging unit separately. It’s a nice money grab for them.

    • Hammersteyn

      Got a charging station for my PS4 controllers last year for my birthday. So handy.

      • I sit close enough to both my consoles that the controllers stay plugged in 24/7. So this irks me to be honest. Adding another line to my shitlist regarding the Switcheroo now.

      • Ir0nseraph

        Very handy and you need 2 controllers just to be safe.

        • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

          To be honest, all systems should come standard with 2 controllers.

          • lol now you’re showing your age

          • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

            Haha good old NES days. Playing Joust by yourself just did not make sense!

        • Hammersteyn

          I can swap controllers in 0.5 seconds
          (Inside joke)

      • Admiral Chief

        ‘YOUR’ PS4? Hmmm…

        😉

        • Hammersteyn

          Haven’t won one yet 🙁

      • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

        Dude my ex bought me the docking station, best accessory ever! I have two remotes so its just a matter of switching them over when they are running low. Think the ps4 dock was R350.00 wonder how much nintendo will charge.

        • Hammersteyn

          Got two as well. My OCD demands I get a third controller. So that both docks are filled when I’m playing

          • Viper_ZA

            Sounds about right, there is no such thing as TOO much xD

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

            Im considering extra controllers just for helldivers :p

  • Galbedir

    So the only time this would be a problem, is if you play for 20 hrs straight, and don’t plug the controllers back in to charge overnight?…Move along people, no problem here.

    • PurplePariah

      Exactly what I was thinking. O_o

  • Admiral Chief

    2 days after a certain Ninty fanboi’s bday nogal…

  • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

    Nintendo should just move to the accessories industry. Was super keen on the switch but slightly turned off by the high priced accessories that would most probably be needed to give you the best experience.

    • Viper_ZA

      I am already envisioning the extreme, “ULTIMATE” bundle at R9999.99

  • Admiral Chief

    They should sell dongles next

    • Guild

      Or iPads.

  • PurplePariah

    I wonder how much extra the console would cost with a charging joycon included. Probably locally around R300 more. That’s enough to make people not buy the console, because people seem to be looking for anything at all to fault it on.

    When did we all turn into a bunch of cynical bastards?

  • Viper_ZA

    I’ll wait for a bundle deal. Heck, with the Scorpio in sight & a Ryzen build to compete with, the Nintendo will have to wait. Maybe a Christmas purchase for me xD

  • Ghost In The Rift

    DLC consoles HAHAHA!!

  • Magoo

    You guys are trying really hard to refrain from calling it what it is. A bogus cash cow.

  • Kikmi

    Nintenapple.

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