Update: Another retro-inspired mod has appeared. Clock through to see how one creative fan has turned an old Game Boy Advance SP into a more portable dock.
Original article continues below…
The Nintendo Switch has been out for less than a month, but it’s already inspired some great hardware modifications. From simple fixes to common screen-scratching issues, to more aesthetically-minded elaborate docks featuring retro Nintendo consoles we’ve seen impressive amounts of creativity.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorites, and we’ll be adding to this list over the years as the internet gets more and more inventive with Nintendo’s latest piece of hardware.
Read on for our top picks from the community.
We’re particularly fond of how the mod makes use of each of the N64’s original design elements. Its controller ports are re-imagined as USB sockets, and the cartridge slot is now a slot for the Switch’s portable unit.
Sure, the dock means that you won’t be able to charge your Joy-Cons while the console is docked, but that’s a small price to pay for this slice of retro love.
The Switch is already very easy to take out and about, but it’s a little more complicated if you want to connect it to another television while you’re on the road since the dock is quite bulky.
This mod changes all that. Simply plug it into your Switch’s USB-C port, and plug in HDMI and power cables, and you’ll be ready to go,
Aside from removing the piece of plastic that would otherwise cover the Switch’s screen, the dock is pretty identical to the official first-party version. It props the console up so it can remain nice and cool, and doesn’t take up too much room in the process.
We also like the fact that the designer has gone to the trouble of putting a little Switch logo on the front, which gives this dock a professional air that some of the other mods on this list lack.
Nintendo invented the modern D-pad with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, but the Nintendo Switch breaks with tradition by splitting its D-pad into four separate buttons.
This decision was made to allow the D-pad to act as face buttons when the left Joy-Con is used as a single controller rather than as a half of a pair, but it’s an annoying change for those of us that have grown accustomed to the classic design.
We’re not sure if this counts as a ‘mod’ per se, but after reports started to emerge of Switch docks scratching the console’s screen, enterprising users began to create fabric covers to protect their screens from the hard plastic dock.
The covers range from simple Mario logos to more complicated Zelda designs, but all should be more than sufficient to keep your screen scratch free.
We love what Nintendo has done with its new and colorful Joy-Cons, but we also have an appreciation of the retro that makes us love this mod just a little bit more.
Bringing together the new and the old, YouTube creator JordiPower has modified his grey Joy-Con controllers to look like SNES controllers. They may not have that off-white shade of the original controllers but the colorful buttons are more than enough to keep us happy.
JordiPower has filmed and posted a how to on creating these controllers for anyone desperate to make a pair of their own. Be warned, however – it requires some dismantling and some technical know-how so (and it will almost certainly void your warranty).
The Nintendo Switch is a highly portable console in many ways, but its dock? Not so much. It’s light, sure, but it seems unnecessarily large considering it’s largely empty aside from a small circuit board.
One clever Redditor, imnotashinobi, has gutted an official dock and created a travel version which they’ve dubbed “the dockling.” Rather than place the Nintendo Switch tablet inside this dock, you connect it via USB-C. This does mean carrying an extra cable but that beats a bulky dock.
A Korean Nintendo Switch owner known as ClownTV has decided to go the retro route with the appearance of their Nintendo Switch has has skinned it to look like a SNES (Super Famicom) console.
They’ve not missed any details here – the dock, tablet, Joy-Con controllers and its grip are all covered front and back. As it’s a skin and not a full paint job there are some ragged edges here and there but it’s incredibly impressive and we wouldn’t say no to a Switch that looks like this ourselves.
You can see more images of the console (we’re talking images from every angle) right here.
Another mod inspired by Nintendo’s history, this Game Boy Advance SP has been cleverly turned into a thoroughly on-brand Switch dock.
Created by Alexander Blake and posted to imgur and Instagram (@CaptnAlex), this dock was inspired by the realization of the fact that the circuit board in the Nintendo Switch’s real dock is around the size of an SP Game Boy.
Blake stripped out the insides of the SP and carved a hole above and inside the screen so that the dock connector would be protected and the Switch tablet could receive some back support. The dock is fully functional and even has HDMI, USB and power supply ports added.
Though its weight and size make for a less structurally sound dock, this mod is much more portable – something which many have been calling out for.
By Jon Porter
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