The Nintendo Switch kickstand is still bad

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge
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I bought a Nintendo Switch last week to play Super Mario Odyssey. I'm loving the game. I'm loving the Switch. But there's one thing I can't fully grasp with the device and how it made it through product testing: the kickstand.

Why is it so bad?

My boyfriend and I have been sharing the Switch, more or less, since I got it. We play together in bed and prop it up while we hold the controllers in our hands. (Lean into the Mario hat-tossing gesture controls. It's worth it.) This setup doesn't work, even though Nintendo markets the device as a versatile, on-the-go gaming solution. Granted, we aren't playing in an ideal situation. Nintendo always shows the Switch on a stable table, and I don't think a laptop on my legs qualifies as such.

Still, the Switch falls over every five minutes with the slightest bit of movement because of the kickstand; you can't charge the device while it's standing because of the kickstand; and it sits at a steep angle because of the kickstand. Also, why is the kickstand all the way over on the far right of the device? It should be in the center, or it should have two kickstands — one on the left and one on the right. I know nothing about physics or balance, but this problem and its solution seem logical. I am seriously suggesting two kickstands instead of one.

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

I attempted to play alone the other night, and with barely any force, I snapped off the kickstand. It pops back on, but I don't like that I just spent over $300 on a thing that feels cheap. Nintendo sells a replacement kickstand for $4 if yours permanently breaks.

Ross Miller, who now works at Polygon, noted the kickstand issues in his initial review for The Verge. Lots of people will be getting the console for the holidays and to play Odyssey, so it would have been nice to see Nintendo address the problem before the onslaught.

I took to Amazon's reviews page to determine whether I'm just a whiner or have a legitimate gripe. Lots of people hate the kickstand, too. The prevailing word in these reviews appears to be "flimsy." Take a look:


Some users suggest buying a different case that includes its own kickstand variant or even Nintendo's own PlayStand. Amazon Basics makes a slightly cheaper PlayStand, too. I can't personally vouch for any of the options out there, but I do hope you all find a solution. I'm only here to empathize with your struggle and to be an outlet for your venting.


Also bought a Switch for SMO and I feel the same way. The whole console, really, screams "we need to hit a certain price point." Small battery, plastic screen cover, flimsy kickstand…you don’t really think about it when the console is docked and you’re playing it on a TV, but the minute you pull it out of there it basically socks you in the face.

I recently had a drawn out conversation on Facebook about how it doesn’t have a camera or microphone included when several generations of Nintendo handhelds did and so did the Wii U on the Game Pad.

Well every camera Nintendo has shoved into a console has been shitty & was rarely if ever used. Similar to the IR blaster on the right Joy-Con, it’d really just be there to be there. It’s unessecary. Nintendo would NEEEVER natively support using it as a webcam (nor can the Switch handle that really) as they don’t even have their online network baked into their console properly. A microphone I could see being more useful but you’d have to put it in each Joy-Con for quirky multiplayer purposes. Nintendo won’t be supporting voice chat on Switch so it’s a feature that would be relegated to games that take advantage of it, as it was on 3DS.

The 3DS has the advantage of being a less complex machine so more things could fit within it and not tax the hardware. The Wii U GamePad had the advantage of being a much larger device where the majority of the processing was occurring on a set top box separate from the Controller. Therefore more things could be built in to it. The Switch is far more complex & power intensive than a GamePad & the 3DS. Sacrifices had to be made to keep it a nice size & cost efficient & power efficient & a camera and microphone were those sacrifices. For now.

You’ve got a camera and mic on every other portable device – do you really need one on the switch as well? My take on it was that the switch is aimed at people who already have a PC or powerful console – for me, the absence of voip functionality on it is as irrelevant as it not having a cup-holder. There’s no justification for it being there.

For games that need them, if it was a traditional console you could just plug in something over USB, but that will be annoying undocked especially in tabletop mode.

The minute I pull the Switch out of the dock I marvel at how much tech is packed into this tiny, portable body. To each his own, I guess?

For the price point maybe but there’s more tech in a much smaller iPhone X, if we’re just talking about size here. I marvel at how they got the price down to below $300 and still made an attractive device.

Hopefully they release an updated Switch in a couple of years that has more power, a larger battery & a better kickstand. The screen being plastic I see as a benefit, it’s far more durable and lighter than glass. Switch does have areas for improvement. You can love the system and still recognize its flaws.

I agree with everything else, but

The screen being plastic I see as a benefit, it’s far more durable and lighter than glass.

Sure it is but I’d rather a scratched screen vs a shattered one. Thinking as a parent. The adult me knows how to take care of shit.

Even if the kid knows how to put his Switch in a case and keep it relatively safe there’s always that one time it accidentally slips and falls. You’re better off if that screen is plastic vs glass. Nintendo handhelds have be praised for their ability to take abuse and keep on ticking. If we’re thinking beyond ourselves, it makes WAY more sense for it to have a plastic screen. Visually it’s still a great display, much better than I thought it’d be before I owned the console.

If kids can handle iPads, like every second child I see at the airport or in a shopping trolley at the supermarket, they can handle a Switch. Even before my Switch arrived, I bought a glass protector because it scratches like crazy, even its own dock, which is a crazy oversight.

I’ve owned my Switch since day 1.. 0 scratches & I don’t use a screen protector. I wouldn’t say I’m any more or less careful than the average adult. I put my Switch in a case when not in use & I don’t put it in the dock haphazardly or carefully, just.. regularly.

I think it speaks volumes about the person handing the device if they have a multitude of unsightly damage on their console, not Nintendo’s manufacturing. I’ve owned every Nintendo console from my childhood to adulthood & have always maintained at decent, at worst, looking console & I’m really not extra careful. I may have broken one O.G. DS back in the day.

Having worked as a manager at GameStop I can tell you the majority of consoles I’ve seen traded in had damage far beyond anything I’ve personally owned. People are rough with their stuff, especially kids. You don’t know what iPad # that kid is on or how well that parent polices that child’s activity with it.

All I can say is a plastic screen is a satisfactory safeguard vs. a screen that could break easily. You can put a glass protector on a Switch & call it a day. If it breaks, replace it for cheap. The process is not as easy with a broken screen & I hate reiterating myself but I think most parents/kids/anyone would much rather live with some scratches on a screen vs a broken/shattered one.

If you think BEYOND yourself, outside of ones personal desires, there’s no denying that a plastic screen was a smart choice by Nintendo. The screen looks fantastic as is & there was no point in taking that extra step of putting a glass screen onto its chassis when aesthetically it’d look similar, but be heavier & more fragile. Which would have undoubtedly cost them more down the line to ship them & to repair them vs people living with some scratches.

people need to take better care of their stuff. I am staggered by the amount of people who constantly drop their phones – then don’t buy a case. Butterfingers or what? I’m with you here – my switch has zero damage, because I take care of my stuff.

Absolutely right. I’ll never understand why people continue to argue for a shatter-prone screen and the expensive repairs that come with it, over simply buying a $7, easily-replaced screen-protector.

And its not just kids. I still see adults walking around with phones with shattered screens because they don’t want to pay for the repair.

I have had a tempered glass screen protector on since the first week I bought it—the pack came with two and I haven’t had to replace it yet. It’s crystal clear, still scratch free and I basically forget that it’s even there. I can’t say the same for my iPhone 7 (though it’s still in pretty great shape).

Overall, barring the dock/scratch issue, just take care of your Switch and it should be fine.

Its a Nexus 7 with a Tegra chip and therefore a fan but the tech is not that new or wow

I’m with you on the kickstand, but the plastic screen represents an eminently sensible choice for a device that’s designed to withstand children.

Like, you can put a tempered glass screen protector on a plastic screen to completely protect it from scratches, whereas there’s only so much you can do to keep a glass screen from shattering when dropped, particularly if you want the thing to still fit in the dock.

As for the battery… Look, honestly, I wouldn’t mind a larger one, but I think Nintendo released the Switch at the highest price they reasonably could – considering that it, regardless of what they might say right now, will ultimately have to replace both their home and portable consoles, and so has to be within reach for people who currently own 3DSes – so I don’t mind the sacrifices they had to make to hit that price point so much.

I guess because I am used to laptops more than handhelds The battery life doesn’t bother me one bit, and I primarily play it in handheld mode. I feel like you can get in a pretty good play session on the battery before charging it. Granted I mostly play at home and for short periods when I am elsewhere.

A glass screen wouldn’t be very vulnerable on the Switch. Phones break because the glass goes up to (or near) the edge, so it’s vulnerable to shock forces on the corner. The design of the switch means the glass would only be subject to impact if the screen fell directly on something, in which case the LCD is more vulnerable than the cover. If it were a problem, a thin silicone ring around the edge of the screen would provide lots of protection from corner impacts.

I think you’re severely underestimating the destructiveness of children. Lol
^ that’s a media player designed for children. You can bounce that fucker off a wall and it’ll keep going.

Children don’t know how to look after nice things. My friends wasted $500 buying an ipad for their 4 year old son – they didn’t put in in a case and he dropped it. Always buy a case if you’re giving it to a child

There is shatterproof glass available these days. The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 had it, and it withstood being run over by a car. Come to think of it, I don’t know why Apple/others haven’t used the technology.

That display looked trash.

Increasing resistance to shattering decreases scratch resistance

Moto’s ShatterShield display tech is plastic. Not glass.

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