Nintendo Announces Yellow Joy-Con For The Switch, Plus A Battery Pack New Amiibo

Nintendo took a break from all the game announcements in its most recent Nintendo Direct presentation to make a few hardware-centric headlines. Perhaps the most notable is that the Switch console's Joy-Con controllers will soon be available in a Neon Yellow color option to complement the existing Grey, Neon Blue, and Neon Red models. But a Joy-Con palette swap wasn't the presentation's only hardware-related announcement.

Nintendo also revealed a new battery pack that will debut alongside the yellow Joy-Con. The company didn't offer many details about the battery pack, and it seems like something of a strange accessory, considering the Joy-Con controllers use their internal batteries only when they aren't connected to the Switch. Those internal batteries are said to last about 20 hours per charge; that's far longer than the Switch's own three-hour battery life.

Still, there's nothing wrong with a little backup power, we suppose. It all comes down to how much the battery pack costs--the Joy-Con controllers themselves are $50 each or $80 in packs of two. Combined with the new color option, if the battery pack isn't reasonably priced, it could make more sense to buy new Joy-Cons than to extend your existing controllers' batteries. We'll know more when the battery pack's price is revealed.

Both the yellow Joy-Con and the battery pack suggest two things: that Nintendo is far from done with releasing new Switch accessories, and that the company is toying with complementary hardware and software launches. Both of these new products are set to debut on June 16, the same day the company's new Arms fighting game will be released. The launches could help draw attention to each other and get more people into stores.

Nintendo wouldn't have to stop with Arms. Fans have already mocked up color variants for Splatoon 2, the sequel to Nintendo's ink-based third-person shooter debuting on July 21, and it isn't hard to imagine Nintendo embracing a similar concept with an official product. Other flagship titles like Super Mario Odyssey (due out this Winter) or the all-but-inevitable Super Smash Bros. entry would also lend themselves to new color options.

But that's just conjecture on our part. For now we know that Nintendo is bolstering a new franchise's debut with Switch accessories. And that wasn't all. The company also announced new Amiibo (collectible figurines often used to unlock exclusive content in games) during the presentation. Those included three new Links from The Legend of Zelda; new Splatoon 2 inklings; and Cloud, Bayonetta, and female Corrin for Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo also said the Switch dock used to connect the console to your TV will be available on May 19. This can be useful if you want to move your Switch between TVs without unplugging its cords, moving the dock, and reversing the process when you reach your destination. Nintendo's MSRP for the dock is $90, though, so you'll have to weigh the inconvenience of moving a fairly light piece of plastic against the cost of buying another dock.

Now the question is how long it will take for the Switch console to stay on store shelves. It's been pretty consistently sold out since launch, problems with the Joy-Con controllers be damned, so new controllers or accessories might not matter that much to people who haven't been able to get their hands on the console yet.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jross12
    "...that's far longer than the Switch's own three-hour battery life."
    You made the same incorrect claim in your Switch review. Do you not like the Switch or is factual information on a tech news site not important?