CRKD's Nitro Deck is a Must-Have Nintendo Switch Upgrade

Sorry, Joy-Cons. You just don’t cut it anymore.

Gaming
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Japanese gaming giant Nintendo launched its wildly popular Nintendo Switch in 2017 and, six years later, newcomer to the scene CRKD has dropped an accessory that we wish we’d had the whole time. Alas, you can’t turn back time and it’s better late than never, right?

CRKD’s Nitro Deck is an alternative to the Switch’s detachable Joy-Con controllers, which, let’s face it, aren’t perfect. They’re notorious for stick-drift – leading to a class-action lawsuit and eventually an official apology from Nintendo – and the D-pad, well, isn’t really a D-pad. It is, rather, four concentrically arranged buttons that are supposed to do what a traditional D-pad does and, whilst they work in theory, they’re OK for some types of games and not-so-good with others. The Nitro Deck fixes both issues and is, essentially, an oversized handheld gamepad that you dock the tablet part of the Switch into for a more ergonomic and comfortable gaming experience (this is truer still if your hands are on the larger size, given the Switch’s relatively small proportions). While not quite as large as the Steam Deck, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Valve’s handheld at least partly inspired CRKD’s design.

Thanks to its Hall effect sensors, the Nitro Deck is completely stick-drift-proof. No matter how hard you play, the control sticks on the Nitro Deck should remain accurate and responsive over time. This is because a Hall sensor employs a magnetic field and has no moving parts, meaning its control sticks simply will not wear down in the same way that the Joy-Con’s mechanical ones do. The Nitro Deck’s sticks are also larger than those on the Joy-Con, making it easier to make more precise movements when needed. In addition to this, they’re customizable and the company sells Stick Tops in various colors.

On the back of the Nitro Deck you’ll find four programmable buttons. These can be set to almost anything you like, including button combinations you’d normally have to do manually. The Nitro Deck has its own built in kickstand, too, which is considerably stronger and more sturdy than the one Nintendo put on the Switch. The Nitro Deck is also capable of being used as a handheld controller with the Switch docked in the original dock.

Going into its seventh year, the Nintendo Switch is still one of the most popular gaming devices in the world. While rumors of a Switch 2 persist, there’s no official word from Team Mario on a follow-up device. CRKD’s Nitro Deck may feel like an upgrade to some, just another accessory to others, but it’s a welcomed refresh for all Switch users.

Starting at $59.99 USD / £59.99 GBP, CRKD’s Nitro Deck lineup consists of the Base Editions in black, white or grey, and the retro-inspired Nostalgia Collection that includes a purple version based on the GameCube’s iconic launch colorway. Both of these collections are available now. Additionally, two collections are up for pre-order, namely the four-strong transparent Crystal Collection and the Canvas Collection that launches soon with a kraken-inspired design.

 

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