There are so many potential Joy-Con color combinations, yet Nintendo’s customization options is severely lacking for the Switch.
This article was originally published in March 2018.
I got my Switch the day it launched in 2017, and I’ve never loved a console more. But I have one small regret: In my haste to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I got a Switch with gray Joy-Con, a color that feels so antithetical to the vibrant, colorful worlds the Switch offers a portal into.
Luckily, it’s possible to purchase a separate pair of Joy-Con, which I’ve considered. But, looking through the different options, there isn’t a pair that I totally love. That’s why I’d pay good money to customize my Joy-Con.
Right now, there are only a handful of options available here in the U.S., including blue, red, yellow, blue, green, and recently purple and orange. But, for whatever reason, Nintendo only offers Joy-Con in couplings, rather than allowing consumers to buy them individually. Only the gray is offered by itself, and that’s the least interesting color Nintendo offers.
I get why Nintendo has adopted this approach. The company can create themed bundles while eliminating any buying confusion, because not everyone realizes the left and right Joy-Con are different. But it means I can’t create the exact combination of colors I want. It makes me wish Nintendo would embrace something like Microsoft’s Xbox Design Lab.
There’s so much potential; Nintendo could allow players to customize the buttons, bumpers, joysticks, and more. It would open up a world of new color possibilities—well beyond what Nintendo offers right now. Instead, the company is severely limiting what’s available.
What’s worse is Nintendo has a Joy-Con color viewer on its website, giving Switch owners the opportunity to create their favorite color combinations. Unfortunately, if you want a left Joy-Con in red and a right Joy-Con in yellow, you have to buy two different bundles, each of which is $79.
It’s unlikely Nintendo will ever introduce something as complex as the Xbox Design Lab, which allows consumers to choose colors for the body, back, bumpers, d-pad, and more—all for $79. At the very least, it would be great if Nintendo allowed customers to pick the two colors they want as a bundle. I’d pay a little extra to get a custom order shipped out!
Apparently, it is possible to purchase a customizable Joy-Con pair, but only if you’re in Japan. It’s unclear why Nintendo hasn’t launched a similar program here in the U.S. Surely, I can’t be the only one disappointed by the options currently available to U.S. consumers.
There are a myriad of third-party services out there eager to customize Nintendo’s portable console, but that comes with its own set of potential problems. And there’s always a concern about overall quality. Nothing will match the fit and finish straight from Nintendo.
Looking on Amazon, you can also find different shells for the Switch and Joy-Con. But that involves some disassembly and installation, so you’re taking a big risk if you go that route. Unless you’re comfortable taking electronics apart and putting them back together, I wouldn’t recommend it.
In lieu of launching a customization platform, hopefully Nintendo will at the very least introduce more color options this year. For now, I’m begrudgingly stuck with two gray Joy-Con I can’t wait to replace.
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