The Switch works great as a home console and as a handheld. Its lesser-used tabletop mode, however, has disappointed some. In theory, tabletop mode is a convenient way to take local multiplayer on the go, or to play portably without holding up a handheld. It works well to an extent, but has always been held back by a flimsy, nonadjustable kickstand. That, and the exposed Joy-Con rails just look… vulnerable. This is where Gravilogic’s new Switchblade accessory comes into play. Switchblades, which have already tripled their Kickstarter funding goal, are bumpers that slide onto the Joy-Con rails. They are stylish and provide a thin layer of protection. Switchblades aren’t just a pretty face, though–each Switchblade comes equipped with an adjustable, folding kickstand that turns tabletop mode into a much more stylish and sturdy experience.
I received two demo pairs of Switchblades to test out. One pair, the Sea Orchid model, complemented the Switch nicely, but was an early prototype unit with no kickstands. I used them a bit but was not particularly enamored. The other pair I got to try, the Walnut & Redheart hardwood trim, was more up to date. The wood provided a more sophisticated finish, but that’s besides the point–the kickstands are the star of the show. The kickstands absolutely make this product, and now the Cocobolo Switchblades go with me wherever I take my Switch. As a college student constantly on the go, that’s pretty much everywhere. Adjusting the stands to angle my Switch however I want is excellent. Plus, the second kickstand added means that I don’t need a perfectly flat surface to set up tabletop mode.
I cannot say how much protection the Switchblades provide, because I am nowhere near brave enough to toss my Switch off a coffee table in the name of investigative journalism. My mind is at least eased by the barrier that now exists between the notoriously fragile Joy-Con rails and a high-speed collision with my floor. That, and as the Kickstarter page points out, the Switchblades do keep debris from floating into the Joy-Con rails.
I have very few nitpicks with the product itself. The units I received are a bit of a pain to detach from the system since you have to push an extremely small lever of sorts to unlock them. I had a hard time fitting my average-sized fingers into the small gap, and I imagine that more sausage-like digits would be occasionally frustrated.
Although it is a simple set of improvements, Gravilogic’s Switchblades revamp tabletop mode, and they look good while doing it. With them being small and easy to carry around, you can easily slip them into almost any Switch carrying case. Currently, pledging $15 on Kickstarter will net you a pair of hardwood Switchblades. (Other varieties will run you a bit more.) If tabletop mode is something you’d like to get more out of, then Switchblades are an easy purchase.
Planned release date: March 2019