avatarby John CallahamMarch 6, 20170 comments

The Nintendo Switch is the latest game console from the famed Japanese gaming company, which launched late last week to huge sales, but mixed reviews so far. One of the console’s standout features is its Joy-Con controllers, which are designed to be used in multiple ways. As it turns out, those same controllers can also be used to play games on Windows, MacOS and Android devices in addition to titles made on the Switch.

French Nintendo fan site Nintendo Actu says that the Joy-Cons are recognized natively on Windows via a Bluetooth connection. However, in order to actually use them to play games, players will need to install a third party app like JoyToKey so they can map out the specific buttons to Windows-based mouse and keyboard controls.

The same site says that the Joy-Cons also connect natively on Android. The bad news is that, according to its testing, the connection between controller and Android has a lot of latency issues, so that games don’t play correctly. It’s possible that other Android devices will have better connections to the Joy-Con controllers.

Also, software engineer Sam Williams reports the Joy-Cons also work on MacOS, again via Bluetooth. He states that in his experience the controllers didn’t need a third-party app to work like they do on Windows. He just linked them up to his MacBook Pro and started playing Ms Pac-Man with the controllers via OpenEmu.

As usual with this kind of discovery, keep in mind that the Joy-Cons were officially designed to work only with the Nintendo Switch hardware and games. As a result, your mileage in playing games with these controllers on other platforms will likely vary widely.

Have you bought the Nintendo Switch and, if so, what are your initial impressions? Have you also tried to use the Joy-Cons on other devices? Let us know your experiences in the comments.