dbrand’s latest potentially-illegal vinyl wrap ‘Switches’ up your Valve Steam Deck

It even has a dubiously pixelated Nintendo Switch logo on the back that definitely won’t make Nintendo’s lawyers happy!

It’s officially been nearly 6 years since Nintendo dropped the Switch (it launched in March of 2017), and to be absolutely honest, while the Switch has been wildly successful as a console… it’s kind of getting a little old. The company also released a Switch Lite and a Switch OLED, although everyone’s eyes are on the rumored Switch Pro, which doesn’t seem to be arriving soon. Deciding that it wasn’t worth the wait, the folks at brand launched a vinyl that, well, seems to be a thinly veiled jab at Nintendo. The SwitchDeck is a special-edition vinyl wrap that turns your Steam Deck into a makeshift Nintendo Switch. Complete with color-matching wraps for the left and right sides of the Steam Deck (and even a plausibly-deniable pixelated Switch logo on the back), dbrand’s kit really converts your Valve gaming device into some MacGyver-ish Switch Pro.

Designer: dbrand

This isn’t the first time dbrand’s done something mildly controversial yet incredibly tongue-in-cheek. The company also launched ‘Something’ skins for Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, and Pixel phones to make them look transparent like the Nothing phone (1). It seems like the SteamDeck hopes to evoke the same sense of childish joy by firing shots at Nintendo and Valve’s legal teams in a way that gives its customers the last laugh. I’ll be honest, I find it fun, even if it’s at the expense of an entire company’s legal department!

While the Steam Deck has loads of buttons and triggers, nothing’s quite as triggering as that pixelated logo on the back!

For people looking for extra protection for their Steam Deck, the company even offers a hard-shell cover that’s hilariously called the Killswitch Case. Designed to provide ‘military-grade impact protection’, the case covers the back and handles, leaving all vents and ports unencumbered. It even features a mechanically-mounted kickstand that lets you prop your console up while gaming or watching videos.

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Move over, Nintendo Switch – this gaming console concept comes with joy-cons AND a folding display

While the demand for a folding phone seems to be incredibly niche (and localized to just Asia), this conceptual gadget named Tam Tam makes a pretty compelling case for folding phones by turning them into the most versatile gaming devices. The Tam Tam can be used as a phone, a handheld controller, a mini console, or even a nifty multiplayer gaming system for two or more people. The secret? Folding displays and detachable Nintendo Switch-style joy-cons.

Designer: Jinseon Lee

The Tam Tam is a portable folding console with a Huawei Mate X-style outward folding design. The phone exists independently, but pairs rather well with a set of interchangeable joy-cons that snap onto either side, turning it into a makeshift Switch-style console. The joy-cons can be used separately too, allowing you to explore various gaming arrangements – my personal favorite being Tam Tam’s multiplayer mode.

The multiplayer mode sees the phone set up in an A-shaped format with two halves of the screen facing each of the players (sort of like a game of battlefield). Players can even set the phones up in a 4-player format (image below) and play a variety of competitive games. Unlike the Nintendo Switch, however, Tam Tam offers a whole range of controller types, spanning D-pads, knobs, broad joysticks (or joy-discs), etc.

The controllers can be attached or detached on demand

Multiple controller formats enable different gaming experiences

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a folding console, though. A foldable Nintendo Switch 2 concept surfaced last year, which sported the same versatile gaming format, albeit with a larger tablet-sized foldable display. Earlier this year, redditor MikeDubbz hacked together a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip to let you mount Switch Joy-Cons on each side. The Z Flip ran an emulator, turning the popular foldable phone into a faux Gameboy of sorts!

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This ergonomic Nintendo Switch concept was inspired by a classic video game baddie

Although it was hardly the first portable gaming console, the Nintendo Switch undeniably re-ignited a gaming market that was ready for something novel and mobile. In terms of raw power, it couldn’t stand up against its Xbox and PlayStation contemporaries, but its portability and flexibility quickly endeared it to the current generation of gamers and their more itinerant lifestyles. Over the years, however, the design flaws of the Switch’s form surfaced, particularly when it came to the comfort and ergonomics of the handheld device. Since Nintendo itself doesn’t seem keen on addressing those pain points, third-party manufacturers and designers have taken upon themselves the task of coming up with solutions, some more unconventional than others. This concept, for example, retains the basic Switch design but puts a unique twist that also ends up making it look a little bit more interesting.

Designer: Duncan Crosse

The innovation that the Nintendo Switch brought to the gaming world was its ability to be a handheld gaming device as well as a home console in one. The secret sauce is, of course, the removable Joy-con controllers that opened a whole new world of use cases, including a pair of exercise equipment. For all the advantages that they brought, the Joy-cons lacked that final polish when it came to ergonomics. It wasn’t exactly terrible, but gamers could definitely feel the strain after a few hours.

Third-party accessory makers started pushing out Joy-con alternatives, some with Nintendo’s blessing even, that tried to improve that aspect of usability. The designs vary slightly, but the basic concept remains the same. By changing the shape of the Joy-cons to match the shape of typical game controllers, the Switch’s comfort can be improved significantly. This concept design, however, challenges that assumption by changing not the shape of the Joy-con but only its vertical position.

Named after one of the enemies of the iconic Invaders computer game, the Small Invaders design concept only makes a single adjustment to the Switch’s structural design. It adds an additional “Session” mode where the Joy-cons can sit lower down the side rails of the main Switch body. This creates a way for the player’s fingers to wrap around the Joy-cons, similar to how they would wrap around the bulges of conventional gamepads. That said, the device could still be used normally in a “Casual” mode where all three parts are aligned perfectly. The design also throws in small details that will delight Nintendo fans, like the use of element icons for the buttons, a nod to Pokemon’s four basic types.

With this concept, there is no need to change the somewhat flat design language of the Nintendo Switch. In fact, the Small Invader design takes that even further by applying some design cues inspired by Teenage Engineering, particularly with the use of clean geometric shapes. Of course, Small Invader would require a re-engineering of how the Joy-cons physically connect to the Switch, so it’s never going to happen. Still, it’s a worthwhile thought exercise that actually resulted in an interesting and fun design that we do wish would become a reality.

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Razer Edge is an Android tablet that is taking the Nintendo Switch head-on

Gaming accessory giant Razer has finally taken off the veils from its newest device, which borrows its name from an ill-fated gaming handheld launched almost a decade ago. The original Razer Edge might have sadly been too far ahead of its time but would probably have a better chance today in light of the Valve Steam Deck. Unfortunately, that’s not the direction that the company decided to take for this revival, and it has designed the new Razer Edge to be a proper mobile device. Rather than just adding to the slowly growing number of Android-powered gaming handhelds, however, the Razer Edge’s design does try to offer something a little bit more practical, which coincidentally puts it in direct competition with the Nintendo Switch.

Designer: Razer

While many in the new breed of handheld gaming devices are trying to recreate the magic and the success of the Nintendo Switch, almost all of them follow the design of the Switch Lite instead. That means that the controllers of these devices are fused to the main body and can’t be removed, unlike the Switch’s Joy-cons. That does simplify the design a bit, but Razer isn’t content to settle on that trend. Fortunately, it has the experience and expertise to change the game a bit.

The Razer Edge is, in reality, an Android tablet that comes with a new version of the company’s Kishi V2 controller, now with a “Pro” attached to it. It’s a rather chunky tablet by today’s standards, but that’s mostly because of things like built-in active cooling. Regardless of the form it has taken, it’s still an Android tablet at heart, which could actually be its biggest selling point compared to rivals like the Logitech G Cloud.

The Razer Edge has access to an expansive suite of games and apps coming from streaming services and Google Play Store. Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Steam Link are all pre-installed, covering the majority of these services. The outgoing Google Stadia is, of course, tragically absent. More than just the games, though, you can also use the Edge as a normal tablet for both games and anything else, with or without the controllers attached. The latter opens the doors to more use cases beyond entertainment, including reading, browsing, checking emails, or social media.

Admittedly, the Razer Edge will still be a hard sell for people with gaming-worthy smartphones already, especially ones that are compatible with Razer’s own Kishi V2 controller (or the upcoming Kishi V2 Pro when it becomes widely available). For those with less powerful phones, however, it makes a better proposition than something like the Logitech G Cloud, precisely because it can be used as a normal but chunky Android tablet. The flexibility of its functions, on top of having access to games from almost all major platforms, gives it a very sharp edge (pun intended) against the Nintendo Switch. The Wi-Fi model of the Razer Edge is launching in January for $399, while a Verizon-exclusive Razer Edge 5G will also be arriving with still undisclosed availability details.

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Foldable Nintendo Switch ‘Go-Cons’ let you carry your love for gaming no matter where you go

Tiny enough to fit around your keychain, these Go-Cons are the most portable Nintendo Switch controllers you’ll ever find!

Not that the current set of Joy-Cons ever had a portability issue, but that didn’t stop Liam de la Bedoyere from seeing how small he could make gaming controllers. Looking like something that 8BitDo would design, the Go-Cons are foldable puck-shaped controllers that open up into fully-functional gaming interfaces, complete with a joystick, XYAB buttons, and even shoulder buttons. Designed originally for an Instagram design challenge, Bedoyere (who goes by his IG moniker Bored Eye Design) found his concept getting a lot of attention from Nintendo geeks for its unique appearance and template. The Go-Cons fold shut when not in use, becoming almost like a tiny fidget toy for your fingers. Open them up, however, and the compact little device turns into a controller that you can use with any gaming console, or even your laptop or phone!

Designer: Liam de la Bedoyere (Bored Eye Design)

For comparison, above is how the Go-Cons measure when placed alongside Nintendo’s own Switch Joy-Cons. They’re ridiculously compact (even more considering the fact that Joy-Cons are compact versions of ergonomic controllers), however, the buttons are exactly the size they need to be. Bedoyere was careful enough to shrink the controller without shrinking the controls themselves, making it still incredibly user-friendly. Even though the controller’s designed to be small, it has a majority of the buttons required to be functional, and even has a USB-C port to charge it periodically (I honestly don’t know how small the battery pack would be on this)

There’s an aspect of delight when it comes to opening the Go-Cons. They’re small enough ti fit in your pocket, but pop them out and pop them open and you’re now ready to game! I assume there’s a locking mechanism for the controller so it doesn’t accidentally close on you while you’re in the middle of a mission, and given how tiny they are, one can only hope that they’re built to be incredibly durable.

While Bedoyere originally envisioned the Go-Cons to be Nintendo-specific, there’s no reason why they can’t be used with any other devices. The fact that they connect via Bluetooth makes them incredibly versatile, and it’s a wonderful way to play games with multiple players when your Switch has just 2 controllers. Just distribute as many Go-Cons as needed and you’ve got yourself a perfect multiplayer rig for anything from Mario Kart to Fortnite. If someone at 8BitDo is reading this, reach out to Bedoyere and make this happen, please!

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Nintendo Switch as an electronic music production kit uses modular Akai Pro MPC ‘Joy-Cons’

We’ve seen loads of Nintendo Switch concepts that explore the console’s modular design and motion tracking abilities, from Labo kits to even this absurd Joy-Con that turns the Switch into an augmented reality gaming device, but this is a pleasant first. Designed by Sydney-based Alquemy, who clearly feels the Nintendo Switch is capable of being more than a gaming machine, this unique set of modular controllers turns the Nintendo Switch into a one-of-a-kind electronic music production and deejaying station. Modeled on the Akai Pro MPC (a popular MIDI controller), these modules snap to the sides of the Switch’s screen, turning it into a deejay set. You’ve got buttons, knobs, keys, everything you need to control playback, and obviously a touchscreen surface that gives you complete control over the entire experience. Before I sing more praise for this concept, it’s worth noting that this Nintendo Switch Akai Pro MPC crossover is just that… a concept. However, if there’s someone at Akai reading this, you may want to just build out a prototype, even if it’s just for kicks! I’m sure there’s a small intersection between the gaming and the electronic music-making community that will ABSOLUTELY love this!

Designer: Alquemy

With two modules that snap onto the left and right side of the Switch’s screen, this music-making rig is quite literally a fascinating build. It’s a zero-compromise kit, with all the controls and ports you could possibly think of, while still being incredibly portable. The Nintendo Switch supports SD cards, which is perfect for storing music, files, stems, loops, and other effects on board, while the ‘MPC Switch’ modules let you map out all your controls on the keys and knobs so you’re ready to start mixing off the bat. All you then do is run the Akai app on the Switch and you’re all set!

What I find really remarkable about Alquemy’s concept is how incredibly detailed it is to the point where it begins making sense. Sure, it’s easy to look at the Nintendo Switch as a purely gaming-specific console, but what is it if not a tablet that’s connected to the internet with its own dedicated app store? The only thing stopping the Switch from also being a music-making device is just one thing – perception. And probably resources, but mainly perception.

The MPC Switch modules come with backlit keys for easy control in low-light settings. Speakers built into the sides of the modules help pump out music at volumes higher than the Switch is capable of, although you do have a whole bunch of ports on the back of the modules to hook up other accessories, plug-ins, racks, synths, and other instruments. You’ve got two MIDI in and MIDI out ports, a set of RC ports, and even two sets of quarter-inch audio ports for connecting speakers, headphones, guitars, etc.

The Switch has everything else you could possibly need. WiFi connectivity for cloud-based applications, Bluetooth for connecting to other peripherals, a USB-C for power or even hooking to your laptop, and a 3.5mm port for headphones because what deejay doesn’t wear headphones?!

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AYN Loki Mini wants to make handheld PC gaming a bit more accessible

PC gaming has taken on a new form in the past years. Although there have already been portable gaming PCs from Chinese brands before, it was the success of the Nintendo Switch and the arrival of Valve’s Steam Deck that spurred the creation of a new generation of handheld PCs, particularly ones that are clearly inspired by the Switch and the Steam Deck. Just like with their larger laptop counterparts, the prices and specs of these gaming computers vary widely, even if they look basically the same. Most of them tend to lean towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, but newcomer AYN wants to shake up that market a bit with not one but four Loki gaming PC handhelds to choose from, depending on your needs and budget.

Designer: AYN

When it comes to the design of gaming handheld devices, there isn’t exactly much room for deviation and innovation. Short of implementing removable controllers like the Nintendo Switch or a hulking “mini” laptop like some of GPD’s designs, the basic form these handhelds take involves flanking a screen with D-Pads, actions buttons, and analog sticks. The AYN Loki and its siblings don’t break out of the mold in this regard and actually look more like a Switch Lite than a Steam Deck.

It doesn’t stray from the staples either, which is actually part of its appeal. In a somewhat small package that has enough room for a 6-inch 1080p screen, you will have the basic hardware and features you’d expect from a handheld console, like analog triggers, a gyroscope for motion control, and vibrating motors for rumble effects. The one thing that the AYN Loki does differently from existing handhelds is to include some RGB lighting that will let owners pick from three different hues. It’s not as expressive as similar features on gaming laptops and desktops, but it’s an added touch that gamers will most likely appreciate.

The biggest appeal that the AYN Loki, particularly the AYN Loki Mini, will try to make is its price, which starts at $299 for that “Mini” model. All four variants will actually have the same basic dimensions, varying only in some thickness and weight to accommodate different hardware components. The AYN Loki Mini is only small in the sense that it has the least powerful hardware options, which might not be enough for anything but the most basic PC games. At that point, the Loki Mini loses its advantage over the $650 Steam Deck, but AYN also has other options on the table as well.

It’s still uncertain whether this new wave of handheld gaming PCs is just a passing fad or the start of something revolutionary. The Steam Deck mostly dominates gamers’ attention, but it is hardly perfect when it comes to execution. Valve does continually push out updates that improve the device’s performance and control, but some things like design are set in stone, affecting the ergonomics of the device until the next design iteration. There’s also the matter that the Steam Deck still offers one of the best balances between price and performance, especially since Valve worked with partners like AMD to optimize the hardware, something that smaller brands might not be able to emulate.

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JoyCon-shaped TV cabinets attach to the sides of your television, turning it into a massive Nintendo Switch!

Sure, you can cast your Nintendo Switch onto a TV, but can you turn your TV into a Nintendo Switch??

Rather succinctly named the Nintendo Switch TV Cabinets, these little storage units attach to the sides of your TV, turning it into a massive wall-mounted Nintendo Switch replica. Designed and built by WishIWoodWorkshop, the cabinets come built-to-order, designed to match your TV’s size. They’re made from a combination of wood, plywood, and MDF, and get finished with a coat of paint to make them look exactly like the JoyCons, complete with the joystick and buttons!

Designer: WishIWoodWorkshop

The cabinets come in two styles – with a hinged door on the front (shown above), and with drawers and shelves (shown below). You provide your choice of style (along with your TV’s dimensions) while placing an order. The Nintendo Switch TV Cabinets don’t come cheap, though. Clearly more of a vanity purchase than a practical piece of furniture, each pair of cabinets can set you back $750 plus shipping.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons is the crossover we didn’t know we needed

Echoing an aesthetic that’ll remind some of the Nintendo DS, this unique fan-made hybrid is taking Reddit by storm. Designed and built by Reddit user Mike Dubbz, it features a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip running a Nintendo Switch emulator but more notably, also comes with Switch Joy-Cons attached to each side of the device. Made possible thanks to a small 3D-printed module that allows you to mount all three parts together into a single unit, this ‘Frankenstein monster’ of the tech world is simultaneously weird and wonderful.

Designer: MikeDubbz

The build is rather simple (unlike this extremely surgical project that turned GameCube controllers into Joy-Cons) – it merely features a single 3D-printed holder that unites the two Joy-Cons with the Z Flip. Mike mentions in his Reddit thread that the Joy-Cons also didn’t need major configuring since they simply paired with the Z Flip using Bluetooth (the phone treated the two controllers as two halves of one single controller), and the emulator (DraStic, in this case) even mapped the controls out perfectly.

If you’ve got a Galaxy Z Flip and some Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons lying around, you’re in luck, because MikeDubbz is selling his unique intermediary 3D-printed module on Etsy for people to buy and use. Mike offers variants based on whether you’ve got the original Z Flip or the newer (and slightly thicker) Z Flip 3. The module also works with third-party Joy-Cons too, although Mike recommends using the originals. Sheer genius, eh??

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G-Case turns the Nintendo Switch into a Gundam-inspired gaming powerhouse

If you’ve ever wished you could push your Nintendo Switch to the limits, now’s your chance to armor it up like a super giant robot, ready to wage battle against idleness and boredom.

The Nintendo Switch is generally loved and looked up to, especially judging by how many have tried to recreate its magic. Case in point is the Steam Deck, which tries to bring Switch-style portability and flexibility to PC gaming. That said, the Switch isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t seem like Nintendo is keen on launching a new model that addresses owners’ pet peeves. Fortunately, arduous Switch fans at Plenbo have stepped in to give the handheld console an upgrade.

Designer: Orion Chen

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Nothing induces sweaty palms and frantic button-mashing better than realizing that you won’t have enough battery juice left before the next save point. Of course, you could try to scramble for a compatible power bank, but that means losing a few precious moments that could cost you your sweet victory. At first brush, the G-Case almost sounds like a battery case for the Switch, but that barely scratches the surface of what this innovative product can do to improve your gaming life, whether on the go or at home.

The G-Case is actually made up of a few modular parts, with the main body serving as the battery dock and kickstand. It is flanked by detachable Joy-Con cases that can also slide together to form a single but bigger controller, so you won’t have to bring along the official grip that comes along with every Switch. Those grips also hide card slots so you can bring your favorite games with you anywhere. And then here are the batteries, which do more than extend the Switch’s life. The detachable batteries have their own USB-C port, so you can actually charge your other gadgets from it.

Modular body.

Charge anything.

Fits any hands.

Handy Joy-Con grip.

The G-Case, however, is just one part of an ecosystem that Plenbo has created around the Nintendo Switch. Equally remarkable is the OneDock that removes any and all friction when trying to use the Switch in TV mode. The size of a large phone charger, the space-saving block conveniently connects to the Switch and a TV via cables while the OneDock itself plugs into any outlet. Its utility doesn’t end there, though, as the OneDock also functions as a charger and a computer hub as well.

The way the G-Case’s parts function together and independently might remind you of some futuristic armor or gear, and that isn’t by accident. Its predominantly white motif and red accents were specifically chosen to pay tribute to the popular giant robots of the Gundam franchise. And like those robots, the G-Case doesn’t just provide additional protection and comfort; it delivers a powerful modular system that promises to level up your Switch game.

Click Here to Buy Now: $69 $89 (22% off). Hurry, 168/1000 left! Raised $430,000.

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