Nintendo’s War Against Ergonomics

It wouldn’t be a Nintendo piece of hardware without the Switch throwing the simple mechanics of how the human hand works out of the window.

Whilst open to some debate, the Switch has had a relatively successful launch despite some baffling design choices. I always have to imagine that Nintendo’s QA team either doesn’t exist, or the company doesn’t allow employees to point out silly choices.  Perhaps David Icke was right and this titanic force of entertainment is run by alien reptilian overlords that cannot fathom how are monkey hands work.

Our Three-Handed Overlords


Draco, the home of Nintendo

Particular choice design decisions for the Switch include putting the charging point on the bottom of the tablet, the ability of the dock to scratch the screen and the claw like button positioning. But how was this a surprise! Lets look back in history at previous Nintendo hardware, its often fantastic but utterly devoid of any understanding of human hands.


The N64 controller and the DS make me think that Nintendo is run by a three armed species. As the post-N64 audience elements of those attending Goldeneye Royale will no doubt ask, how are you meant to hold the controller. And the DS suffers from a similar issue, how are you meant to use the buttons either side of the screen and the touch pad?

Boss Man Mario

Despite my conspiracy theories about alien reptilian overlords running Nintendo, the reality is more mundane.

Image result for mario boss

The Board

Nintendo relies primarily on first party publishing. This offers the company to tailor its hardware to cash cow software. What makes this strange is that, specifically the hardware is tailor to one specific killer app, namely the flagship Mario title.

The N64 controller is perfect for Mario 64, not so much for a first person shooter like Goldeneye. At our event, I fully expected the winners to be those which can bend there hands to accommodate vertical targeting.

All will become clear in New Donk City

With the stretches required to fully utilise the Switch buttons, no doubt all will become clear with Mario’s newest adventures in New Donk City, until then by advice to Nintendo gamers is grow a third arm (like the Nintend-luminati) or hand yoga to flex your mitts to this unworldly design.

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