If you picked up Nintendo’s new Switch console this weekend, you’ll be glad to learn that the Joy-Con controllers work well on a Mac, Windows PC, or Android device. French Nintendo fan site Nintendo Actu has been experimenting with Joy-Cons on Windows and Android devices, and software engineer Sam Williams has discovered Nintendo’s controllers also work on macOS.
On a Windows PC the separate Joy-Cons can be paired over Bluetooth, but you’ll need an app like JoyToKey to map the buttons to mouse and keyboard controls. This works relatively well, and in my own testing I was able to play some Halo Wars 2 on a Windows 10 PC with just a single Joy-Con. Without the JoyToKey app, games don’t appear to natively recognize the Joy-Con button arrangement on Windows PCs.
Such functionality isn’t surprising, especially given that you could use Nintendo’s Wiimote on PCs thanks to Bluetooth, and the Joy-Cons are simply identifying as similar Bluetooth controllers. Microsoft’s latest Xbox One controller can also be used on other devices thanks to Bluetooth, as can Sony’s PlayStation 4 controller.
While I’ve only tested the Joy-Cons on a few Windows games, it will be interesting to see if developers can combine two Joy-Cons and find useful cases for them in indie titles. We saw lots of third-party hacks for using the Wiimote and accessories like the Kinect on Windows, and it will be up to the community to decide how to support the Joy-Cons with fun hacks, apps, and games.