Dbrand gonna Dbrand. The device outfitter is skydiving — potentially belly-flopping — into dangerous legal waters with its new don’t-call-it-Tears of the Kingdom-inspired skins for the Nintendo Switch, and for the Steam Deck, because sure, why not. And based on the announcement (via The Verge), it’s launching them for $49.95.
The “Clone of the Kingdom” skins for the Nintendo Switch are Dbrand’s “creative reinterpretation” of the design that’s clad on Nintendo’s own limited edition Switch OLED that launched on April 28.
The Verge’s Sean Hollister pointed out some things I missed at a first glance, like that Dbrand swapped the Triforce inscribed on the Switch OLED dock with the Eye of Providence (aka the Illuminati symbol). He also used a decoder to translate the runes on the left side of the dock, which apparently translate to “go fuck yourselves lawyers.” I suppose we’ll all find out soon enough whether Nintendo — a company known for being the opposite of chill when it comes to protecting its IP — considers Dbrand’s take to be a fair play, or an invitation to fight.
Each purchase for the Switch includes multiple skins for the left Joy-Con skin that swap the colors from gold and green (shown above in the image slider) to gold and black. Dbrand might be including that extra skin as a courtesy, but it could be a risk mitigation measure to save its own skin, in case Nintendo considers color-matching its console to be a step too far. It’s the same $49.95 price for the Steam Deck versions, which include skins for the front and back of the handheld and a cover for its array of buttons on the top rail, as well as a microfiber cloth and two trackpad skins.
The company has earned a reputation for its screw-the-man antics, like when it released PS5 console plates in the midst of a legal kerfuffle with Sony about... previous console plates it stopped selling due to receiving a cease-and-desist order from Sony. It even had a little fun at Nintendo’s expense with the “SwitchDeck” skins for the Steam Deck, which binds the Switch’s identity onto Valve’s handheld PC.