Nintendo Nostalgia: GameCube-Inspired Joy-cons for the Switch are the Ultimate Blast from the Past

While we await news of the Switch 2, this retro pair of joy-cons reminds us of one of Nintendo’s greatest hits – the GameCube. Designed for the Switch, these new joy-cons feel instantly familiar to the touch, given that they’re shaped like the iconic GameCube controller. My only real criticism is that it isn’t purple in color like the original!

Launched in 2001, the GameCube had a strong lineup of games, including popular titles like Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Metroid Prime. It also supported backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance games, and competed directly with Microsoft’s Xbox and the Sony PlayStation 2 on the retail shelves. Pretty much defining Nintendo’s track record at the start of the century, many enthusiasts will agree that the GameCube played a pivotal role in Nintendo’s success – and now Daliang Creation Design’s controllers bring that familiar feeling to the Nintendo Switch.

Designer: Daliang Creation Design

Designed to be either snapped onto each side of the Switch or used independently like a regular handheld controller, these joy-cons evoke the nostalgia of the millennium. Their contours almost perfectly resemble the ones on the GameCube controller, and the buttons and joysticks on the side match the original design too – including the unique XYAB layout.

The controllers, although designed with an undeniably retro appeal, have all the trimmings of a modern joy-con. You’ve got extra buttons on each handheld unit, along with four trigger buttons instead of the two found on the original GameCube controller. The only real caveat to their ergonomic form factor is that they’re great for single-person playing, but when used as two individual halves for PvP games, holding them sideways can be a bit of a hassle.

This isn’t the first time someone’s crafted GameCube controllers for the Switch. Back in 2020, Wii hardware modifier ShankMods cut apart an original GameCube controller and fit a custom set of PCBs inside them to make them work with the Switch. Daliang Creation Design’s controllers build on ShankMods’ design, with a few extra buttons, LED backlights, and other bells and whistles, so to speak!