One of the main selling points of the Nintendo Switch is the ability to take it on the go and play with friends that also have a Switch console. As Switch owners will soon discover, however, that feature does come with some limitations. These limitations have been discovered in the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which has some controller restrictions when playing the game in split-screen with two or more Switch consoles.
When playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe multiplayer on the go with at least two Switch consoles (i.e., two people playing on one console in split-screen and one person playing on the other), players only have two different controller options: a single Joy-Con controller or the Pro Controller. For one reason or another, it's not possible for players to play the game this way with two Joy-Cons attached to the controller grip, which is the standard input method for most Nintendo Switch games.
While this limitation is strange and disappointing, at least Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers the Switch's full suite of controller options when playing it on a TV and in split-screen with only one tablet involved. However, if this is a sign for things to come for future Nintendo Switch games, it may turn some people off to the idea of using the Switch as a portable multiplayer device, especially those that don't want to shell out the extra cash for a Pro controller just to play local multiplayer games comfortably.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's controller restrictions may be disappointing to some fans, but even with this slight misstep, the game has earned widespread critical acclaim across the board. Critics have praised the game for its online multiplayer functionality, the return of battle mode, new characters, new items, and everything else it brings to the table. For most Mario Kart fans, it seems likely that all these benefits will be enough to overlook the game's odd controller restrictions when it comes to portable split-screen mode.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if future Nintendo Switch games have similar controller restrictions or if they will allow local tablet players to utilize all the controller options. With plenty of multiplayer-focused Nintendo Switch games on the horizon, including Arms and Splatoon 2, we won't have to wait long to find out.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be available on April 28th, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.