Christmas is almost here. But it's not so close that you don't have time to order some last minute presents. And if you need a hand with that, here's some suggestions.
A properly good case
I'm not talking the plastic rubbish you see at EB or JB Hi-Fi. A Switch is a treasured device, and it should be housed in something appropriate.
Case in point: this pouch from Waterfield Designs, a company based in San Francisco that specialises in custom leather and canvas cases for laptops and other devices. The waxed canvas - my favourite, since it wears well - goes for $US49 and can come with an optional card holder, although you don't really need it.
I reviewed the larger SwitchPack earlier this year, which has enough space for a Pro Controller, extra JoyCons, chargers, cables - you can even wedge the Switch dock in there (although you won't get the Pro Controller in at the same time).
The Switch might fit in just about any bag, but that doesn't mean you should be putting a $469 console in just about anything.
But for most people, the smaller pouch is just right.
Something to fix the Switch's stand
The Switch's stand is the weakest point of the console. And coupled with the position of the USB-C port, it can be a genuine annoyance. Fortunately, you can fix both of these problems cheaply with the Hori Playstand ($20), which props up the console while allowing you to use the USB-C port at the same time.
The only kicker with the PlayStand is that it doesn't come with a battery of its own, a necessity if you're on long-haul flights or spending a long time on the daily commute. There's a few options here for under $40 for the smaller batteries, and closer to $60 for 10000mAh offerings. EB Games are currently selling the Venom Power Pack and Stand for $57, which I reviewed earlier this year. It's good.
A nice retro controller
It's always handy to have an extra controller on hand, especially if you've got a friend who has a penchant for the NES classics that come with the Switch Online service. Hell, even if you're just doing four player sessions of Smash, it's nice to be able to hand someone a full-sized controller instead of a single JoyCon.
Having four Pro or GameCube controllers lying around isn't practical. So to spice things up, the authentic-looking 8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller - which works just fine on PC as well, if you wanted to relive some classics that way - is available for $66. I've called out the Pro version because it has the dual analogue sticks, while still keeping the SNES aesthetic. All the Switch buttons you need are there, and there's a USB-C port at the top.
If you want to save a bit of money, and don'tmind the difference in shape, EB Games are selling the FC30 Pro bluetooth controller for $36 right now. It's a much more rounded shape, but if the button placement isn't a problem for you, it's a great price. There's a black-themed NES version as well, also for $36.
My heart lies with the SF30 Pro, however. Amazon are selling the Famicom-themed version for a fraction cheaper ($59) as well, if that's more your style. I can never go past those blue/green/yellow/red face buttons, though.
A better network connection
You can't gift a good NBN connection or fibre for Christmas - well, unless you're a mining magnate I guess - but you can at least help out. And with Smash's online performance being a bit wonky, the Switch can use all the help it can get. So spending $36 for a LAN adapter, which lets you use a wired connection in place of Wi-Fi, is a solid investment.
EB are selling the official version, but you can save a little extra if you're happy to go with some third-party alternatives. Here's a bunch that will cost you $25 or less. I'd recommend getting a USB 3.0 version if you can, like this adapter from UGREEN. $24 isn't much to pay for better online connections (although there's no accounting for your opponents).
A good headset
The Switch's 3.5mm headphone jack works just fine, and since voice chat has to go through your phone anyway, you might as well rely on a headset that uses as little of the Switch's precious battery as possible.
For an headset that's affordable and works with the Switch - but also your PC, your phone, and every other console - the latest revision of the Arctis 3 is a solid choice. Amazon are selling the 2019 model for $78.69 right now, which is a bargain compared to the $100 or more other retailers are charging.
If you do need a headset with a microphone, there's the wired Corsair HS50 wired headset for $69. It's not too bulky and it's a reliable performer for the price, offering the same audio quality as the HS70 minus the wireless functionality.
Some classy Nintendo threads
I'm not against gamer-themed clothing. The problem is much of it is too garish, a little too obvious. Not everyone wants something that screams a brand when you're out at a pub. Sometimes, you want something a bit classier.
This Zelda-themed tunic from Musterbrand ($140) in Europe is what I'm talking about. People who know Zelda will spot it immediately, and those unfamiliar with the franchise will just think you're wearing a classy hoodie. The Voyage cotton coat ($155) is great as well, although it's obviously not for the summer months.
If you're after a lighter jacket, and don't mind branching beyond Nintendo's warehouse a little, the Uncharted-inspired Utopia ($108) is rather sweet.