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Pokemon Snap fan recreates the game’s camera and turns it into a Joy-con accessory

New Pokemon Snap
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A Pokemon Snap fan has gone above and beyond to create a custom camera controller for the Nintendo Switch. 

YouTuber BigRigCreates - also known as Matt Brinza - created their own custom Joy-con accessory for the Nintendo Switch in order to play New Pokemon Snap the way they’ve always wanted to, with a replica camera controller that has motion controls.  

In their video, which details how the process went, Matt explains that the idea came from their frustration with the fact New Pokemon Snap didn’t come out on Nintendo’s previous-gen console, the Wii U. According to the YouTuber, the Wii U would have been perfect for a new Pokemon Snap game due to it looking similar to a camera, it’s motion controls, and built-in screen. 

Matt also took inspiration from the Nintendo Labo cardboard accessories, one of which was designed to act just like a camera. The creator set out to make a controller which combines the motion controls of the Wii U with the Nintendo Switch and, because just making a Joy-con accessory would be too easy, the YouTuber also went as far as customizing it so that it looks exactly the same as the camera in New Pokemon Snap.  

We got the opportunity to chat with BigRigCreates themselves and asked them a few questions about what went into their custom controller. It should be noted first and foremost that this was a big project to undertake. Not only did it take a grand total of 50 hours - with 35 of those dedicated to 3D printing alone - but it also required the use of two 3D printers and several types of paint. The process apparently began a week before New Pokemon Snap was released and was completed a month after. 

According to its creator, the camera controller did run into a few issues though, mostly relating to the dreaded motion controls and remapping them so that they acted more like a camera. “It took me a while to find a program that could help me remap the gyro controls,” Matt said, “but thankfully ReWASD allowed me to do exactly that.” 

Following this, they then had to connect their Joy-cons to their PC (via Bluetooth) and remap the buttons on the Nintendo controller to a virtual Xbox 360 controller. “At the end of the day,” Matt reflects, “my homebrew approach never felt like a polished experience, but I was still happy to technically get full motion controls working.” 

Unfortunately, as demonstrated in the video, this new way to play New Pokemon Snap isn’t actually the most ideal. However Matt has said that “if Bandai Namco had developed New Pokemon Snap with the Labo in mind, I'm sure that would have been my preferred way to play the game.” 

As for what BigRigCreates is up to next, the expert in 3D printing has said that they have a few more gaming-related 3D printing projects up their sleeve with plans to release a video on how to make a professional-looking portal gun from scratch coming soon. 

Need an excuse to get back into Pokemon Snap? Find out what the latest New Pokemon Snap update brings to the game. 

Hope Bellingham

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at University, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became GamesRadar's trainee news writer where I get to spread the word about the goings-on in the video game world. My expertise lies in Animal Crossing related topics after spending the last 15 years immersing myself in island life. I also know a thing or two about The Last of Us, and way too much about the Kingdom Hearts series.