Nintendo Switch skins recalled by Dbrand.

Nintendo Switch Skins, Stickers: Dbrand Says Don’t Buy Them, Explains Why

Nintendo Switch skins are probably a hot seller for gamers looking to get some quality time in on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and maybe one of the other lesser-known titles. Dbrand, the manufacturer of console and controller skins, has offered a stern warning against buying those stickers and vinyl decals.

Why would a manufacturer go out of their way to tell you not to buy their product? Dbrand explained that the console/handheld hybrid’s coating doesn’t work with said products and could actually destroy it.

The question now remains why Nintendo would do such a thing since customizable consoles and controllers are almost a must among the hardcore gaming crowd. You know who they are, the ones who buy consoles with skins based on their favorite video game such as the Call of Duty Xbox One or Halo Xbox 360. The Switch was designed to be a handheld, as many Breath of the Wild reviews have revealed, with a drop in frame rate once you start playing it on your HDTV.

Many hardcore 'Call of Duty' gamers bought skins for their consoles based on it.
Many hardcore ‘Call of Duty’ gamers bought skins for their consoles based on it. [Image by Activision]

One advantage in handhelds is grip, which is something you don’t get with a glossy hard finish. Instead, Nintendo went with the porous route, so it feels better in your hands as you play on the go. Both Xbox one and PlayStation 4 use a similar tactic, but with their analog sticks. A porous surface makes it easier to hold, and the wrist straps are only there in case you accidentally drop the JoyCon anyway.

This surface uses a kind of coating which doesn’t work with skins and stickers, as the adhesive doesn’t have enough surface area to remain intact. There have also been signs that the coating tends to wear off if anything is applied in such a manner.

If you absolutely must have a Nintendo Switch which tells the world you’re a massive Zelda fan, you’re better off buying a version of the console with game’s logo printed directly into the shell, if Nintendo makes one. The only safe alternative is to buy one of those snap-on shells like some smartphone users purchase to protect their mobile devices, since they latch onto the frame itself, and not the surface.

Smartphone-style shells could be an alternative which doesn't harm the console.
Smartphone-style shells could be an alternative which doesn’t harm the console. [Image by Pan Xunbin/Shutterstock]

According to Games Radar, Dbrand released a public service announcement after testing the decals on ten different store-bought Nintendo Switch consoles. Their conclusion was unfortunate, as decals and stickers which wear off could have been a secret selling point for them. They could have made a “ton of money” allowing the public to continue wasting theirs, but they made a judgment call.

The Nintendo Switch skins and stickers actually harm the console itself, as seen in photos they released on Imgur, which reveal the surface deteriorating with the removal of said products. As for screen protectors, they didn’t mention those, though unless it’s a touch screen, there isn’t much point other than keeping it clean. Snap-on shells may come with a hard version not requiring anything which could damage the console’s coating.

Dbrand took to Reddit with their full announcement, in which they stated that they will be taking their Switch decals off the market, and have already issued refunds to those who pre-ordered them. They feel it’s better to maintain a positive image in the eyes of consumers than to sell them something which could ruin a video game console.


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[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]

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