by on Oct 1, 2019

Overwatch on Switch will use the Joy-Con like a laser pointer

When played on the Nintendo Switch, Overwatch will make use of the console’s gyro-aim support to let players aim by tilting the Switch or pointing the Joy-Con at the screen (via WccfTech).

Speaking to Vooks, producer Wes Yanagi detailed the opportunities and challenges of porting the game to the Switch. The controls are ‘basically the same as the other consoles’, and customisation capabilities will be ‘very similar’ as well. But, the most significant addition is the gyro-aim support using the motion sensors in the hardware. 

‘With gyro-aiming, you can tilt the Switch or Pro Controller to give a little nudge to your aim and help line-up shots. Or, you can detach the Joy-Cons and point it at the screen like a laser pointer. One of our designers plays this way and dominates,’ Yanagi explained. The gyro-aim is able to be tweaked for individual heroes, too. 

Of course, given the diversity in Overwatch’s roster, it will be applicable to some characters and not others. The team didn’t stretch motion controls to where they wouldn’t belong, and so the feature feels like a natural addition. ‘I think hit-scan heroes will benefit a lot with gyro-aiming,’ Yanagi said. ‘Overwatch has a lot of verticality in its gameplay, and I think players will eventually find it much easier to track targets on that axis.’

And, it was actually Nintendo’s idea. ‘They expressed how it was a popular feature on the Nintendo Switch and encouraged us to investigate it,’ he clarified. ‘A few of us were a little skeptical at first, but after doing a bunch of research and experimenting with various implementations, it really grew on us. I think most people who spend time learning the controls really like it a lot.’ Yanagi also went on to say that once players give gyro-aiming a chance, they ‘may not be able to play without it.’ 

Overwatch will release for the Nintendo Switch on October 15.


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