If Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck had a baby, it would be the Nitro Deck. That is the first thought that came to my mind when I first saw the picture of the Nitro Deck.
As an owner of Steam Deck, I can see the similarity already. Consider it as a compliment since the Steam Deck costs almost six times more. The one that we are reviewing today is the Nitro Deck limited edition in Retro mint colour.
What is Nitro Deck?
If you’re one of those people who find it uncomfortable playing Nintendo Switch too long in handheld format, then you’re gonna love Nitro Deck. Instead of having two separate controllers attached to each side of your Switch, this Nitro Deck is a one-piece handheld case that you slide your Switch screen into.
Nitro Deck is compatible with both Nintendo Switch & the OLED model. It’s been designed for you at home or on the go, casually or competitively. It delivers the responsiveness and precision you need to enjoy your favourite games comfortably, for longer.
Who made Nitro Deck?
CRKD developed Nitro Deck to be the deck for comfort & speed with zero stick drift. CRKD [Krakt] is a new brand committed to creating premium, innovative, collectible gaming hardware. A collaborative project formed within Embracer Freemode (part of the Embracer Group).
The CRKD team consists of a new wave of talent as well as industry experts with decades of experience in software, industrial design, artwork, engineering and consumer electronic products. Their mission is to identify better ways to play and create products that address these needs.
Each of their core products will connect via their True Collection System, a mobile companion app for iOS and Android that allows the community to reveal the rarity level of their purchase and create digital proof of physical ownership.
Here, users are guided through a digital experience where they tap their mobile device to their CRKD product to unveil the product number and rarity rank associated with it. Users then register their collectible hardware into their secure CRKD collection.
How much is Nitro Deck?
- White/Black: $99 (no accessories)
- Limited edition retro purple/mint: $149 (with carry case + cable + extra thumbsticks)
What’s in the box?
- Nitro Deck
- Carry Case
- 5-metre USB-C cable
- An additional set of Thumbstick Toppers
- Compatible with Switch & the OLED Model
- Designed for comfort – Ergonomic focus
- Built for Speed – Ultra-low latency connects via USB-C
- No Stick Drift – Delivered by using Hall Effect Thumbsticks
- Customisable – Swappable Thumbstick Toppers
- Create your own play experience – Re-mappable Back Buttons
- Play for longer – Built-in charging port
- Wired mode – Can be used as an extra controller
Nitro Deck – The Review
The packaging is simple and minimalistic as the Nitro Deck is encased in the carry case. This is brilliant as the case protects it from any damage in shipping. I dig the retro mint colour, it reminds me of the old Nintendo 64 colours.
For first-time use, you will need to make sure that you turn on the pro controller wired connection settings on your console (Home -> System Settings -> Controllers and Sensors -> Enable the pro controller wired communication). After that, it’s ready to use by simply attaching your Switch to the Nitro Deck. You’ll need to press a button on the back simultaneously to eject the console.
Four programmable buttons on the back are available for use if you wish to utilise them. Pressing the programming button at the back is required to map them.
Two USB-C inputs are located at the back for input (charging) and output (wired mode).
The difference in terms of comfort between the stock Joy-Con, and this Nitro Deck is night and day. I gave this Nitro Deck to my eight-year-old daughter, and she loves it so much. She used it to play the new Super Mario Bros Wonder game, and she said “This is so comfortable, the buttons feel smooth, I like the vibrant colour and the built-in stand.” There you go, that’s the one-sentence review that I concur 100%. It has become her go-to controller for the Switch console now.
It’s also worth mentioning the Nitro Deck has zero stick drift and was built with Hall Effect thumbsticks for precise & responsive stick drift-free control. Plus there is no lag whatsoever since it’s using a direct connection via USB-C.
Furthermore, I love the ergonomics of the Nitro Deck, as I have bigger hands and the stock Joy-Con is somewhat a bit tiny for me. I can definitely enjoy comfortably playing Nintendo Switch in handheld format much longer with this.
- Compatibility: Nintendo Switch & the OLED Model
- Colours: White, Black, Retro Purple (limited edition) and Retro Mint (limited edition)
- Dimensions: H: 110mm x L: 260mm x D: 46mm
- Weight: 272 grams
- Does not support Amiibo
Nitro Deck Review – The Verdict
If you’re looking for an alternative to Nintendo Joy-Con, I would highly recommend the Nitro Deck as it’s reasonably priced and has more bells and whistles than Nintendo Joy-Con.
Disclosure: Nitro Deck review sample was supplied for reviewing