We had the chance to get our hands on some early prototypes of the Switchblades accessory, which is currently raising money via Kickstarter. Are these worth a go, or a waste of money? Read on to get our impressions.
If you don’t know, Switchblades are an accessory designed to give a touch of class to the Switch console, and to protect the Switch’s rails when the Joy-Cons are removed. The first package we were sent by Gravilogic included the earliest prototype of the Switchblade, before the kickstand was added.
Based on these initial prototypes, it was easy to see the appeal of the product. They really looked quite nice on a docked Switch. They were easy to attach to the Switch, and easy enough to remove as well: just push the notch back and pull up on the Switchblade. It required about the same amount of effort as removing a Joy-Con strap from a Joy-Con.
However I admit they felt a little bit pointless, or worse. For starters, they are quite useless in handheld mode. Additionally, it’s impossible to charge your Joy-Cons on the console itself when the Switchblades are attached. Even when I was playing with one pair of Joy-Cons, I would have preferred to have my other pair attached to the Switch so they could charge while I played. It still felt like a strange trade-off when playing docked.
In a Reddit AMA, fortunately, the makers of the Switchblades received feedback about some of my complaints, and they also received a suggestion to add a kickstand. Not much later, they sent us a prototype of the new and improved design.
The integrated kickstand actually works better than I expected. When closed, the kickstand is flush with the back of the Switch as well as the Switchblade itself. The plastic kickstand extends barely below the bottom of the Switch, so it’s easy to swing out the kickstands and set your Switch up for tabletop play.
Using the kickstand lets you adjust the viewing angle however you want: Gravilogic states you can set it between 40° and 75° and that seems accurate.
All in all, the Switchblades seem like a nearly perfect accessory for tabletop mode. There are other Switch stands on the market that offer improved viewing angles over the console’s kickstand, but none are as compact or classy as the Switchblades. Below is a gallery of images from the project’s Kickstarter, and the photos are much higher quality than anything my phone could take.
Switchblades are available for pre-order on Kickstarter now.
Thanks to Gravilogic for sending us these samples.