Nintendo Switch is safer without its safety straps

Commentary: I sliced my finger open using Nintendo's new system.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read
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The Joy-Con Wrist Strap. Two are included with every Switch.

Charles Wagner/CNET

Remember when people started throwing their Nintendo Wii Remotes into TV sets, prompting lawsuits and a massive recall of some 3.2 million fragile wrist straps? That probably won't happen with the Nintendo Switch , which comes with two beefy braided cord attachments in every box.

But you know what's worse than having a remote fly out of your hand? Slicing your finger open when trying to get the blasted strap attachment off again.

While the Joy-Con Wrist Strap slides onto a controller fairly easily, we've found it frustratingly hard to get it off again on both of our pre-release Nintendo Switch review units. It's a struggle, and it can break apart suddenly with a lot of force if you pull hard.

There's also not a lot of surface area to grab it safely -- which is probably why my fingernail sliced right into another finger the first time I had to remove them. (You don't need to see the bloody mess, right?) Perhaps if I'd just cut my fingernails it'd have been less of an issue.

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It can take some force to remove it -- and then it'll suddenly snap off, potentially exposing your bare flesh to fingernail damage.

Charles Wagner/CNET

The whole concept of the Switch is that you'll be able to snap these two removable controllers into various configurations whenever you like. Generally it works fine; they've got a smooth, satisfying action when I slide them into the Switch tablet or Joy-Con Grip gamepad.

We checked with Nintendo, and we're not using them wrong -- the attachment slides on, it clicks, it's in the right orientation (which is important, since you can put them on the wrong way too) and we're properly disengaging the lock and firmly pushing down the release button each time. Though a Nintendo rep said he hadn't personally seen the issue, GamesRadar also noticed it.

Bottom line: it's scary hard to get these pieces apart, at least on these early units. Until or unless you wear down the mechanism (or Nintendo tweaks them in a later batch), this safety feature might strangely be the most dangerous part of the Switch.

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