Video game merch site Fangamer has a new Kickstarter going. Yeah, we know, yet another video gaming Kickstarter. Fangamer has a good track record, though, and this new idea is too cool to ignore. The crowdfunding campaign is for a Nintendo Switch accessory called the Flip Grip. The idea is that you can turn your Switch sideways and connect the Joy-Cons to what would normally be the top and bottom of the tablet. This lets you play games meant for vertical orientation on the go.
Those of you old enough to remember the heyday of arcade gaming might recall that many games like Punch-Out!!, A.P.B., and Xevious were meant to be played on a tall, narrow display. Japanese titles back then usually used Roman characters even for Japanese words, and so vertical orientation was called TATE (縦, pronounced "tah-tay") mode after the Nipponese word for "vertical." Arcade gaming purists are emphatic that these games can only be truly enjoyed in this orientation.
There's already a strong library of vertical-mode games on the Switch. In fact, Nintendo's little tablet would seem to be the perfect platform for playing that kind of title, given that you can pop off the Joy-Cons and then just turn the machine sideways. However, doing that implies setting the Switch down. The Flip Grip solves that little issue, allowing you to take your Nvidia-powered Nintendo along anywhere and still play in vertical mode.
The Flip Grip was first conceptualized by Jeremy Parish of the Retronauts. Fangamer put him in touch with designer Mike Choi, who ultimately made the accessory a reality. It's made from a single piece of "durable injection-molded ABS plastic" and includes a slot on the back that can be used (along with a credit card or similar object) to prop up the Switch in vertical mode. While installed in the Flip Grip, your Switch's game card and SD card slots are exposed, although you won't be able to charge or turn off the machine without removing it.
If you're interested but concerned about contributing to another crowdfunding effort, don't worry. Fangamer says that the Flip Grip is already designed, prototyped, and ready for manufacturing. The crowdfunding campaign has already reached its goal with 17 days to go, too. The site plans to have the handles delivered to backers by October or November, but you can still get in on the campaign and order a Flip Grip for just $12.