One of the Nintendo Switch’s selling features was its numerous ways to play games – i.e. tabletop mode, docked, or mobile, and with the Joy-Cons connected or separate from each other. There’s an option the company didn’t include, however: turning the system vertically to play classic arcade games in portrait mode. With a Kickstarter campaign for the coming accessory called Flip Grip, that’s about to change.
The Flip Grip consists of a single piece of injection molded plastic. The Switch console is inserted into it while rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise (it won’t lock in if inserted clockwise), and the Joy-Cons are slid into the side rails the same as they’re equipped to the actual console normally. Taking them out is also identical – pressing the release buttons and sliding them up and out. Then, a rubber tab is pulled to un-dock the Switch from the Flip Grip.
It’s important to mention, this is a no-risk Kickstarter campaign. Legality, manufacturing, and product design have all been taken care of. The biggest issue isn’t in the product design but in the console’s design: the Switch wasn’t made with verticality in mind. Things like the main menu will remain sideways even when the system is held vertically, meaning players will want to only use the Flip Grip while in the actual game. There are also a couple of games that only support verticality with clockwise rotation (so the Flip Grip will have them upside down). The Switch also can’t be powered down or docked while being gripped.
After a very well-thought-out design process and professional-grade preparation, the actual Kickstarter campaign found itself fully funded literally overnight. This thing is happening for real. Once the window closes, official production will commence, and shipping is set for November this year under the internal distribution channels of Fangamer. In short, it’s about to be on like Donkey Kong.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.