When the Nintendo Switch first launched, it was a pretty hot ticket item, with North American stores being sold out in droves. I scoured every retailer in my city, in hopes of finding the elusive console hidden on a shelf somewhere. Finally, a store managed to have one in stock, but alas, for it was the standard grey colored Joy-Con package. Though mildly disappointed at the less colorful variant at the time, I was still happy to have a Nintendo Switch at all, and I still am. However, whenever I picked up my Switch to play it, I would always notice just how drab and boring the regular Joy-Cons looked. as opposed to all the different official colors available; the cutesy pink and green, the vibrant red and blue, or even the striking neon yellows. There was always the option of buying a bulky metallic case, shelling out the money for brand new Joy-Cons, or getting an expensive custom-made shell, but I continued to wait, in hopes of an appealing and simple solution.
So, when I got the opportunity to review dbrand's Nintendo Switch skins, I jumped at the chance; I was incredibly curious to see how exactly they'd fare, as typical console skins always came off looking like a cheap method of decor to me, but they always offered so many colorful choices. It also helps that dbrand promises their premium 3M adhesive won't damage the plastic housing of the Nintendo Switch, unlike many of their early competitors. With the bevvy of colors and patterns advertised on their website, I decided on the ideal style I wanted for my Switch; tablet, dock, Joy-Con and all.
Though I was amused and greatly tempted by Dbrand's yellow and purple "Waluigi" look, I went with a choice that consisted of blue and orange Joy-Cons--the lovely colors of Tempy--and a sleek black matrix and red combo for the dock.
To my surprise, when I pulled open the packaging, I found an extra PlayStation 4 skin, to further showcase dbrand's products for the more traditional console owner. That wasn't the end of things, however; nestled behind it was a large print of GBAtemp's logo! Made with a raised design, and presumably using a d-pad and button skins for Tempy's face, it looked fantastic. I'm not quite sure who over at dbrand decided on packing that bonus in, but I was instantly impressed at the care and time it must have taken to create it.
Applying the skins was something of a daunting task, initially. Having clumsily misplaced stickers and screen protectors for my various handheld consoles in the past, I assumed that wrapping the Joy-Cons in the sticky material would be nothing short of an ordeal. That is, until I read the included cards that instructed me to watch the tutorials before doing anything. One short-yet-detailed YouTube video later, and I had placed the skin on both Joy-Cons with incredible ease. Dbrand has made the process as fool-proof as possible; you simply peel off the skin from the paper, follow along with what you're watching on screen, and you're done. Every skin appears to have been placed strategically on the backing paper with the specific intent of ensuring that you'll be able to apply it with as little worry as possible. For the Joy-Cons, there's a flap that you can line things up with, on the dock, there's a strip that allows you to take it nice and easy while sticking it down along the edges of the system, and on the console face skin, you place it on the non-stick side of the paper to help guide it into place. There were a few bumps on the Joy-Con skins, but merely grabbing a hair drier and using a bit of heat while lightly pressing down fixed any imperfections.
Once everything had been applied, I was quite impressed! Rather than appearing to be a vinyl skin, the glossy shine of my newly colored Joy-Cons made them look as if I'd precisely painted them, or used an impossibly thin metal case. The colors are nice and vibrant, and there were no visible gaps or air bubbles, as they had been flawlessly attached. I slightly expected to have an issue with the tight fit of the skins messing with the pressing of buttons, but not a single button was impacted. As for the feel, the skins are nice to hold, and are smooth, without being too slippery to grip.
Starting at $4.95 per Joy-Con, the prices are more than reasonable, as you're getting a decal that's guaranteed to not damage the controller's housing. It's also a much more sensible option for those that want to give their tech some extra personality without adding extra weight from clunky cases or don't want to go through the trouble of taking apart the system to paint it. If you want to get decked out in skins for the Joy-Cons, dock face and accents, and the console, it'll run you a tick under $35. Other consoles such as the PlayStation 4 (Pro) and Xbox One (X) tend to have far more colors and materials to choose from, with wood, leather, metal, and "dragon" among the list of interesting skins. There are also skins for the DualShock 4, Xbox One gamepad, and Switch Pro controller, so your accessories can match as well.
If you're like me and have always dreamed of giving your Nintendo Switch a makeover, dbrand offers a fantastic set of console skins that'll really make your system pop. Not only are they easy to affix, but they also have a quality look and feel to them, whether it's the smooth standard colors for the Switch, or the more textured kind on the PlayStation 4. Boasting a nice selection of colors, a simple application process, and a snug fit, you couldn't possibly ask for more from a console skin.
- Applying them is near-flawless
- They fit perfectly and look so natural, that you could mistake them for a shell case rather than a skin
- You can deck out tons of different devices, like the PS4, phones, and more
- They have much-appreciated tutorial videos for all their skins
- The tiny letters can be a pain to remove from the paper
- They're so good, that I just wish there was a bit more variety in colors and designs for the Switch