Some Nintendo Switch games permit players to hold the gadget vertically, a mode that opens up a number of possibilities for vertically oriented titles to come to the stage in the future.
Reddit user HandsomeCostanza noticed this feature days gone by with the golf video game (Neo Turf Masters), which is 01 of a handful of NEO GEO ports offered on the Switch e-Shop. new users in that thread are reporting that all of the Switch’s NEO-GEO title offer this option, along with the ability to stretch the image to fill the display vertically. (Not that anyone would ever want to do that.)
This would be a rather uncomfortable technique to play Switch games for a number of reasons. We tried holding the unit this way, leaving the “bottom” Joy-Con controller attached so we had an input technique and a place to grasp the Switch. But it was difficult to balance the gadget; we kept having to alter the position. In addition, only the Joy-Con’s analog stick and face buttons are accessible in that layout, and we kept by accidentally pressing the shoulder buttons just by trying to continue our grip.
Therefore, a vertical Switch pattern would only make sense if the unit were placed in some sort of stand, with the player using both Joy-Cons by themselves or in a Grip controller. (Note that the Switch’s kickstand is positioned to hold up the gadget horizontally, not vertically. J
With all those caveats out of the way, though, the vertical mode could be a boon for a number of people. Many arcade shoot-’em-ups think of “bullet hell” games like Ikaruga are designed for vertical screens. If a developer designed one to be played that way on the Switch, it could work fine. Portrait mode is common for cell phone games, too, so this format could help Switch ports of titles like Downwell, Ridiculous Fishing and, say, Super Mario Run.
As people in the aforesaid Reddit thread note, the vertical configuration could also support the dual screen layout of Nintendo switch game two most recent handhelds, the DS and 3DS. Imagine that company introduced a proper Switch Virtual Console, and formatted DS and 3DS titles for the system. There would certainly be issues to work out, like the fact that DS/3DS games were designed for a stylus to be used on a resistive touchscreen, where as the Switch has a capacitive touchscreen. But at the very least, it’s food for thought.