As you may well remember, to coincide with the launch of the Nintendo Switch Online - Nintendo Entertainment System collection, both NES and Famicom-style wireless controllers were released for the Switch for online subscribers only. The Famicom versions are exclusive to Japan - just like the system on which they're based - and it turns out that they hold a nice little secret.
If you're familiar with your Japanese Nintendo hardware, you'll know that the 'player 2' controller for the Famicom came with a microphone built-in to be used with certain games. The second Famicom Joy-Con features this very same design, but it was assumed that the microphone was purely cosmetic, similar to how the NES Mini console looks like it can open up to slot games inside.
As it turns out, though, Nintendo's latest update to the NES Online app has revealed that the microphone really does work - just like it did in the original. Two small clips have been shared to demonstrate; Kid Icarus allows you to purchase items at a lower price if you use the microphone while in the shop, and The Legend of Zelda lets you wipe out enemies on screen.
It's interesting that the western NES Switch controllers do not benefit from having a microphone - most probably because they're intended to be a replica of the original microphone-less controllers from those regions - and that no traditional Switch Joy-Con or Pro Controllers have a microphone built in either.
With an official controller release (albeit an uncommon, Japanese exclusive one) now supporting a microphone, could future Joy-Con see the feature be included as standard? With rumblings of two new Switch models being released later this year, perhaps the Joy-Con could be upgraded with new tricks?
We'll let you dream up countless possibilities in the comments.