The keyboard accessory is being manufactured by Cybergadget, a Japanese company that specializes in third party accessories for gaming consoles and other gaming hardware. The company previously created a keyboard accessory for the Wii and other consoles. The keyboard is already available for sale on the Japanese version of Amazon for the price of ￥3,758 (approximately USD$33.00) Cybergadget offers a number of Switch-related accessories including carrying cases, screen protectors, and game controllers.
It’s not a full-size keyboard as it lacks a number pad. It weighs in at 250 grams (0.55 lbs.), making for a rather light accessory overall. While it can be plugged into the Switch’s dock to charge, in unfortunately won’t pass that charge along to the Joy Con controllers.
Cybergadget’s Switch accessory was created to fill the needs of certain titles for the platform such as the MMORPG Dragon Quest X which allows players to use text chat with one another. Although Nintendo’s latest console is still relatively new, it’s the fastest-selling console in the company’s history and there will likely be more titles that will make use of a keyboard accessory in the future.
Keyboard accessories for gaming consoles have been around much longer than one might think; the Super Nintendo Entertainment System had the Xband peripheral which allowed users to connect to the Internet through the console. Sony’s PlayStation 2 console had an official keyboard accessory packaged with a Linux distribution for the system; although the PS2’s glory days are long past, a PS2 Linux community still exists to this day. These examples, while interesting, were by no means the oldest – the Magnavox Odyssey 2 (released in the late 1970s) was one of the first home video game consoles – and it featured a QWERTY keyboard right on top of the console itself.
What do you think of Cybergadget’s Nintendo Switch keyboard accessory? Is the inability to charge the Joy Con controllers while they’re connected a dealbreaker for you? Do you think a keyboard accessory will be a necessity for games like Dragon Quest X or will it simply be a novelty? Let us know in the comments below!