Hands-on with Colorware’s custom controllers for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4

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Making a console your own isn’t something all that difficult. You could get a skin to customize it, but at the end of the day that doesn’t feel quite as natural, especially with a controller. You might lose grip or even some of the shape that the controller once came with. Thanks to Colorware, though, there’s a better way…

We’ve talked about Colorware a few times here on 9to5Toys, and most of you are probably pretty familiar with the company’s products and services. At the start, Colorware was the go-to company to get a custom colored computer. Simply ship it off, wait a few weeks, and you’d be greeted with a fully custom and professionally painted machine. In the time since, the company’s offerings have expanded greatly, including to various gaming devices. Lately, we’ve been testing out a few of those options.

Nintendo Switch – JoyCons and Pro Controller

Unlike most consoles, the Nintendo Switch is pretty generous when it comes to the available ways to use it. Included in the box are two JoyCon controllers, and you can also pick up a Pro Controller for a more traditional experience. Colorware offers a full service to customize your Switch and its included JoyCons, but if you’re like me and got one at a regular store, the ability to buy them after the fact is a good bonus.

Earlier this year I reviewed Colorware’s custom JoyCons, and they’re pretty fantastic options for adding some extra color to this console. Don’t get me wrong I love the blue/red neon JoyCons, but the most subtle white and red I got from Colorware make the console feel much more personal. There is, of course, a price hike to get these customized, but it’s fully worth it if you ask me.

Further, there’s the recent addition of the Switch Pro Controller. While the translucent design of the one Nintendo sells is undeniably awesome, I also adore the colors that Colorware offers on it. To keep a theme going I picked up the same red and white matte colors, and I think it looks wonderful. While I do recommend keeping a dark color on the grips, I was pleasantly surprised that the white color mine has was resistant to any kind of staining and even handled drops without and scuffs.

At $129 it is, again, quite a bit more expensive, but I still say it’s worthwhile if you’re looking to make this controller unique and your own. Plus, the added grip from Colorware’s matte paint feels fantastic in the hand and personally, I think it’s better than what Nintendo offers.

Both the JoyCons and the Pro Controller are available from Colorware’s website with well over 60 colors to pick from. Prices land at $149 and $129 respectively.

Xbox One – Xbox Elite Controller

I’ve owned a Xbox One Elite controller since it was released a few years back. It’s a necessity if you’re serious about Microsoft’s gaming console. When I first laid eyes on Colorware’s customization suite, I knew another Elite controller was in my future.

Colorware offers 12 different pieces of this handheld that can be customized in a variety of colors with glossy or matte finishes. That results in one gorgeous, and essentially one-of-a-kind, controller. I opted for a mix of both finishes, which resulted in a really cool look. There’s also the option to add a bit of text on the battery door. Perfect for marking your Xbox Live username!

Overall, the quality was top-notch all around with minimal complaints about attention to detail and the like. I’ve not had any issue with staining or colors wearing off. Of course, the one area to mention is that you’re going to pay a significant up-charge here. The Elite controller itself is already expensive. Colorware will take the $150 price tag and jump it up to over $260 for a unit as seen in the images above.

You can get started with a customized Xbox One Elite controller right here at Colorware’s store.

PlayStation 4 – DualShock 4

When we decided to give the custom designed Colorware controllers a shot for review, I was skeptical at best. After so many years with a Sony-made DualShock in my hands, the thought of using anything else seemed ridiculous. I’ve tried third party options in the past and they do not provide even close to the same level of comfort and familiarity as the Sony options. Even the thought of changing the textures and look of the DualShock 4 seemed like a bad idea considering my past experience, but here we are.

I decided to drastically alter the look and feel of the DualShock 4 using Colorware’s editor in order to really give its options a run for their money. As a side note, the editor is quite good and very easy to use. Altering the colors isn’t a big deal, but the textures can have a lasting effect on gamers during long sessions, especially picky ones like me. I decided to reverse the matte finish found on the front face of the DualShock 4 with the smooth texture on the back for my bespoke controller. While at first it was immediately noticeable and not for the better, it was only a matter of time before it became second nature.

The paint job is done very well from what I can tell. This is clearly professionally done, almost to the point where it looks like Sony did it themselves right off the factory line. It also ships in the standard DualShock 4 box, which was a nice touch in my opinion. Outside of that, only time will tell if Colorware’s attention to detail will remain true. As of now, after 20+ hours of use, I see no signs of degradation on the paint job, everything is running smoothly and I have become completely accustom to the new look and feel.

Head over to Colorware now to create your own bespoke PS4 DualShock 4 controller starting at $99.

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