Nintendo Switch Vertical Gaming Grip Gets Funded | Tech News
On May 29, Japanese developer Treasure released its classic arcade shoot-em-up (shmup) Ikaruga with the help of Nicalis for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a masterclass in shmup design, but it was also designed to be played on a vertically oriented display commonly used in arcade cabinets. On modern TVs, that means big borders either side of the action. For Switch, the problem has just been solved with a crowdfunded accessory.
The Flip Grip appeared on Kickstarter and very quickly reached its funding target of $42,500. It’s a new accessory for the Switch which allows the Joy-Cons to be attached to the hybrid console while the screen is vertically oriented. What you end up with is an arcade cabinet in your hands, with vertical-orientation games able to drop the borders and use every pixel of the Switch’s display.
Although not officially licensed, the Flip-Grip is proving popular with 2,763 backers on Kickstarter and 17 days still to go on the campaign. It’s also cheap, with each Flip-Grip costing just $12 plus around $3 in shipping costs. As for support, alongside Ikaruga there are already 20 Switch games available with vertical gaming modes and at least another seven scheduled for release. Examples include Punch-Out!, Galaga, Gunbird, Donkey Kong, Dig-Dug, Pinball FX 3, and Strikers 1945-II.
The Flip Grip was designed by Jeremy Parish and Mike Choi with the support of Fangamer. The accessory consists of a single piece of durable injection-molded plastic which the Switch sits inside. The Joy-Cons then slide into rails on either side and securely click into place.
The Switch can only be inserted in one direction thus allowing the game card and SD card slots to remain accessible. Gaps in the Flip Grip also mean the Switch’s cooling vents aren’t blocked and can continue to efficiently disperse any generated heat. There’s also a slot on the back of a Flip Grip into which any credit card can be inserted, turning the grip into a tabletop stand.