It looks as if your plain Gray or Neon Nintendo Switch will have to do for now, as it appears heavily applying custom skins on the system might destroy its default coating.
Leading accessory maker dbrand, which creates customs skins for nearly every gadget there is, recently took to Reddit to caution users planning to send in their Switch systems for customization not to bother, because doing such might just damage the system's outer skin.
"We're here to make a public service announcement that under no circumstances should you be buying a vinyl skin [or] wrap for your Nintendo Switch," the company posted on the Nintendo Switch subreddit. "[T]he coating which exists on the Joy-Cons [and the main console] is either cured or designed in a way which doesn't play well with adhesive."
Sorry, No Custom Joy-Con Skins For You
The company said that it received the system a couple of days ago, whereupon it began prototyping it for possible skin customizations. After a few bouts of prototyping, the company began to notice the system's peeled outer coating.
It continued prototyping but hit pause when the Joy-Con's outer layer became visibly damaged. The company provided an image illustrating the issue, which shows the Joy-Con with what appears to be chipped material, as if it had been prodded and pricked numerous times by pins, or roughly scratched.
The company held off on passing any final judgements lest a retail until proved different outcomes. When the Switch officially came out on March 3, it applied the same tests again, rendering similar peeling results.
Beyond the Joy-Con controllers, the Switch's back panel is another trouble spot, dbrand explained. Because the logo on the back is cured in a way which peels off when in contact with adhesives or vinyl wraps, it gets destroyed permanently. To illustrate it better, the company provided another photo, this time with the peeled logo on the system's back panel.
The company says that it purchased 10 retail Switch units to make sure that issue wasn't isolated to just one unit. True enough, all units delivered similar results, leading dbrand to declare that no one should put vinyl wraps or any adhesive-backed skin of any kind on the system's back panel and on either Joy-Con.
"This is really quite unfortunate, not just because we were going to make a ton of money from this console, but more-so because it genuinely did look dope with a skin," wrote dbrand.
Dbrand Wins The Honesty Award
Upon posting, users frowned at the unexpected drawback, although a lot them did commend dbrand for coming clean with consumers instead of cashing in on potential Switch custom skin requests even when it was already aware of the Switch's incompatibility with vinyl wraps and certain adhesives.
"[You] earned a potential customer for coming out clean with information like that," wrote one Reddit user. "Wow. Thank you for being such a stand up company and not just going after the money," wrote another.
While its decision to come clean is laudable, it still doesn't erase the fact the users won't likely have the opportunity to customize their Joy-Con controllers, because even with the lowest-grade adhesion in 3M vinyl, according to the company, the material still peels off.
So, no: dbrand won't be selling custom Switch skins for any user, and it advises against buying from other companies as well.
Thoughts about the unfortunate news? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!