Building a better mouse trap: One thing I do not like about the Nintendo Switch is the JoyCons. I find them extremely uncomfortable to use connected to the console. They are better using disconnected, but still a bit unwieldy. If someone would just invent a more comfortable set of JoyCons…
A modder who goes by the handle Shank has created a set of Nintendo Switch JoyCons that look and feel just like a GameCube controller.
He used the internal circuitry from a real set of JoyCons, so his mod has all the functionality of Nintendo’s Switch controllers except for the IR sensor. Other than that, they work as expected. They even have the small buttons on the connector part for using them sideways in two-player games.
Shank also created a middle section to join them together. This connector essentially converts it into a GameCube WaveBird controller that works with the Nintendo Switch.
The chassis was created using a first-party WaveBird gamepad, which is Nintendo’s wireless GameCube controller. It may go without saying that Frankensteining the two controllers together was not as simple as gutting the WaveBird, sawing it in half, slapping the JoyCon boards into it, and gluing on the connector pieces.
Shank had to modify the inside of the controller with 3D printed parts to be able to mount the JoyCon components. There were also several other hurdles he had to overcome, including converting the WaveBird’s analog shoulder buttons to digital. The whole project took him several months to complete.
I made the gamecube joycons we all wish existed. This isn't concept art, these are real and fully functional. pic.twitter.com/266tiYmzsG— Shank (@ShankMods) January 11, 2020
Shank has no plans to sell his mod because it was so difficult to make.
"These JoyCons are not for sale," he said. "They were a pain to make, and I will not be making another set."
However, he did say that he would eventually release the CAD files for those who would like to make their own set, but he advises, “This is not a project for beginners.” Shank is an experienced modder, and there were many frustrating hours of assembly, testing, disassembly, desoldering, re-soldering, and repeat.
Of course, since he has already broken the ground and tripped over all the obstacles, it should be easier to repeat his process. If you are crafty in this way, it might be worth the effort. Shank says the WaveBird controllers are way more comfortable to use than the standard JoyCons, and they look it. Best of all, they don't suffer from JoyCon drift.