People Are Already Finding Workarounds For The Nintendo Switch's Design

The Switch, Nintendo's new phablet console, was a big bet, but perhaps not a smart one. Despite being marketed as a step into the future, it launched with more hardware issues and irritating design flaws than playable titles. As such, fans who just plunked down $469.95 are already rolling up their sleeves to build solutions to make their shiny new investment work the way it ought to.

Image: Thingiverse

One of the biggest complains about the Switch has been its flimsy, poorly-angled kickstand. The consensus is that it sucks. And because the charging port is located on the bottom of the console, it can't receive power while propped in an upright configuration. Over on Thingiverse — a site for people to upload plans for 3D prints — there are three different stands that allow for charging, ranging from a pair of lightweight clips to a full-sized dock. (There's an officially licensed stand from Nintendo, but that's going to run an extra $24.95.)

The shallow joysticks and lack of a D-pad have also been frustrating for some Switch owners. Make these joystick extenders or this D-pad cover if that's your gripe. (And these are legitimate gripes, especially for a hyped console where basically everything will cost extra.)

Detached from the main body of the Switch, many players found Nintendo's pint-sized Joy-Con too small to hold comfortably. MyMiniFactory, another place to find 3D-printable designs, has plans for a more ergonomic add-on for people with adult hands who want to play Zelda without getting carpal tunnel. Of course, you could also ruin your Switch's resale value by sawing the grips off the included controller holster thing and duct taping them to the console itself.

Image: imgur via Brain_mf

There's been concern, too, that one of the major gimmicks of the two-in-one console — the Switch's dock, which lets it seamlessly blend into a home entertainment setup — could end up scratching the screen. Luckily, the DIY fix for that doesn't require owning a 3D printer, although it's a bit silly to drop any amount of money on a product that damages itself, only to prevent it from being used as intended by adding pantyhose or a hand-made cosy.

Image: Reddit via tcran420

As YouTuber JerryRigEverything shows, the Switch's screen isn't made of glass or sapphire like most mobile phones — it's plastic. Let me repeat that. This $469.95 console, which is intended to be fully portable and withstand the damage of being constantly lugged around, has a plastic-covered screen. Nintendo's consoles don't lend themselves to home repairs, and having such a shoddy screen feels like a huge oversight.

Our own reviewer had so much trouble even tracking down a Switch that it should not be surprising how many "replica" Switch 3D printing plans are floating around. At least a non-articulating hunk of plastic does exactly what it's intended to do and costs a fraction of Nintendo's asking price. Even if Switches are flying off the shelves, it's a bad sign when less than a week after launch, fans are already having to fix your bad design decisions.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo


    Reads like a Lifehacker article.

    Circa 2009 :p

      They always come off as telling people what to think rather than opinion pieces.

      Plus after they took part in the little Wikileaks psy-op hit last year, I'm wary of what they send us from over the ditch.

        Yep, this one comes off as "Look at this piece of shit. While you deserve to be ridiculed for investing any money into it, be thankful that I'm here to show you how to fix its minor flaws that I'make a big deal of by sinking more money and effort into it. Sucker."

        Don't worry, as soon as they convince every one it's crap they'll be back to tell us how it's an under rated gem of a console that never got a chance.

    While I can totally understand the little mods people are making for it, I can't for the life of me understand why people made a 'replica' that doesn't actually do anything. I guess you're meant to use your imagination as you stare at a blank screen? Or are people just that hell bent on getting sore hands without the bonus of getting to play Zelda?

      There is a concentrated effort to showcase how crap Nintendo is.

      I'm not without gripes myself but Zelda....I play now

        Nintendo is great at game development. They're just a bit rubbish at everything else.

          I would say they have consistency issues with being great.
          They try new things, which is either a huge success, or a flop.

          I will wait to see the numbers on failure rates before I go calling the switch a mess.
          Nintendo has always had the tightest margins on product defects.

          But hey times change, it's been a few years worth woe for many in games

    The plastic screen will likely mean less broken screens.

      Exactly this. For a handheld console, especially one that'll like get used a lot by kids, this is going to save a lot of shattered screens in the future.

        It'll get used by a lot of adults too, and those kids will just end up with scratched screens.

          Other than it obviously being cheaper, I'd say a scratched screen beats a non functioning one

            How often do you break a glass screen? My 4 year old niece and my 5 year old nephew use their parents phones/tablets all the time and have never broken the screen. I worked for a year in a primary school that had ipads for every class room and I saw 2 broken screens in that time. I'd much rather have a screen break due to being clumsy than have a device that ends up with a scratched screen when used as the device is marketed to be used.

            Just being plastic doesn't mean it will survive a drop either, with the way the joycons flex i wouldn't be surprised if they can break at the right angle, not to mention the internals.

            A device designed to dock the way this is needs much more screen protection.

            Last edited 08/03/17 3:32 pm

              I've never broken a screen. My 9yo nephew has broken 2 iPads though. Niece has broken my sisters phone too.

              perhaps a 10 buck screen protector?

              I'm a high school teacher, and more than half the kids with phones have cracked screens.

                Well I'd suggest that the kids with cracked screens wont go far in life.

      Phone screens are thinner. The switch being a larger device could afford a thicker glass screen that wouldn't break as easily.

        Glass still creates the possibility of shattering which can injure kids (the main demographic here).

        I'd personally prefer glass too but Nintendo tend to go for the 'safe' option whenever they have the chance, can't say I blame them for it really when I see how many phone screens some of my friends have broken...

    Buy a Vita?
    Use Vita TV (never bought that).

    The Vita is a great handheld with a good catalog of games. Not sure why fewer used its processing power like Killzone etc. Pity Sony abandon it...

      Hey if the Switch is a hit I wouldn't be surprised if they brought it back, wouldn't be the first time Nintendo moved Sony and Microsoft.

      Sony may have abandoned it... but I never will.


      I love the Vita for the same reason I love the Switch (or at least the concept of it anyway, needs a bit more before I'd say I really love it), just wish Sony wouldn't have ignored the Vita so much :(

    Think I'm going to continue to wait for the inevitable refresh. Game catalogue this year ins't exactly enthralling, so a year for the ecosystem to mature will do well for me I think.

    how about using a screen protector instead of putting a sock over your docking console? super weird.

      Because then your dock will still have a hard surface that rubs against the screen protector, and can leave you with stuffs on your screen anyway? I had screen protectors on my 3DS but that still didn't stop the screen scratching problem from happening, I had to put on little felt stoppers to keep the two halves of the clamshell from touching and rubbing against each other.

        I used screen protectors on the kids DS and they are still pristine every time I change the protectors.

        I think people just want to find stuff to whinge about, seriously. if you're scratching any screen through a screen protector you're doing something wrong. its a plastic dock....

          I never said through the protector. I still like to have my screen protectors as scratch-free as possible, they are just there so that if something does happen it is easier to replace than the fixed-in-the-hardware screen. I certainly don't want to be having to replace the damn thing every few months thanks to normal use.

            That makes sense. Fair enough

            I honestly don't know what people are doing to the consoles. Been taking mine in and out of dock constantly with no issues.

              Don't get me wrong, I agree that it seems like people just want to complain about every little thing that doesn't even matter... I just also think that some of the little things do matter :P

              I myself can't figure out what the big problem with the joycon straps is, they go on and off right way or wrong and the only way they get stuck for me is if the lock is engaged.

                Yeah some issues have simple solutions so it's not even worth talking about. Others do matter. As I said, it just feels like most articles and comments are people having a whinge. Everyone forgets the crap games and features the other consoles launched with.

                I do have some concerns but it's all just a little negative

    As YouTuber JerryRigEverything shows, the Switch's screen isn't made of glass or sapphire like most mobile phones — it's plastic. Let me repeat that. This $469.95 console, which is intended to be fully portable and withstand the damage of being constantly lugged around, has a plastic-covered screen. Nintendo's consoles don't lend themselves to home repairs, and having such a shoddy screen feels like a huge oversight.

    The DS and 3DS have plastic screens, and survive extremely well. If you are going to take it out of the house, and jam it is bags and things, then a case and screen protector makes sense for any mobile device.

      *Jabs my 3DS with a sharp knife*

      Uh oh, I better find some lifehacks to make this Nintendo product less prone to sudden boycotting.

      Ive seen a drop test where a guy drops it, mostly face first, from standing position eleven times and the screen doesn't crack or hardly get any scratches. THis is the reason for the plastic. The outer case of the switch shit the bed before there was any real damage to the screen.

      It HAS to be designed kid friendly in the drop stakes. Any scratches I've ever had on screens is mostly invisible when it's on anyway.....just get a protector and quiet down.

      Last edited 10/03/17 12:34 pm

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