Review: Colorware’s painted JoyCons add a unique and personal touch to Nintendo Switch [Video]

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The Nintendo Switch is the toy I’ve been playing with non-stop from the day I bought it. If I’m not writing about the latest in Android over at 9to5Google, I’m obsessively looking for shrines in Breath of the Wild or making my way through a Grand Prix in MarioKart 8: Deluxe.

When I picked up my Nintendo Switch, all that was available was the standard looking gray option. It works, but it’s pretty generic. Then, I decided to pick up a set of neon JoyCons to give the console a bit of color, since skins just don’t work with it. However, neon just didn’t feel like me, I wanted something more personal. That’s when Colorware announced that it was extending its services to the Switch. Needless to say, I got pretty excited and now, I’ve got a set of custom JoyCons that are exactly what I wanted with the Switch.

Colorware traditionally offers two services with each product it handles. First, you can send in your own device to let the company take it apart, paint it, and send it back to you, all according to your specifications. Second, you can simply buy the product brand new, but custom painted by the company. For Nintendo Switch products, only the latter applies, but in the case of the JoyCons, I think that’s a good thing.

Via Colorware’s website, you can pick out custom painted JoyCons (or a full Switch console & dock) with choices of nearly 60 different colors. That really gives you a lot of flexibility compared to Nintendo’s four colors. Each hue is available in either a matte or glossy finish, and I personally picked out the matte.

As for colors, I opted for the Formula Red on the right JoyCon and Smoke White on the left. Personally, I think this combo looks fantastic with the Switch’s black finish, both on the front and the back. Plus, it lines up with Nintendo’s brand colors (it’s a real wonder the company itself doesn’t offer this color choice).

In the hand, these JoyCons have a slightly different texture compared to the standard JoyCons. Where those have more of a smooth matte feeling, these are a bit grainier. However, that probably will change over time as I continue to use them.

When you get your custom JoyCons in the mail, they come in an official box, as these are official JoyCons, simply taken apart and painted. They are based on the gray color option, and you can still see bits of that coming through, such as the small piece of plastic between the shoulder buttons and the triggers on the railing. With this color scheme, though, I found that pretty nice. One of the other perks is that these are clean JoyCons, as there’s no writing on the underside.

As for the functionality, these work exactly the same as a standard set of JoyCons. Sliding them into the console gives the same satisfying click, and playing with them wirelessly in or out of the Grip works just fine as well. Everything feels the same as the set that was included in the box with your console.

At $149, I honestly don’t think Colorware is asking too much for these. A standard set of spare JoyCons, colored or not, runs $79. If you ask me, the upgrade is worth it if you’re already planning to get extras, which really come in handy for multiplayer games. If you weren’t planning to pick up extra set but just want your Switch to stand out, $149 might be a bit much, though. Of course, if you’ve yet to purchase a Switch, you can buy one completely custom from Colorware for $499.

Both the full Switch set and the individual JoyCons are available on Colorware’s site for $499 and $149 respectively. The Switch ships in July (as of the time of writing) and the JoyCons ship in about 3 weeks following an order.

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