Nintendo has announced that its online store in Japan will be taking pre-orders for custom Nintendo Switch consoles later this month with a view to delivering them in October.
The customization options aren’t particularly extensive and there are no brand new color options, but it does suggest Nintendo is looking into ways to offer a more individualized Switch experience and there’s certainly room for the service to grow.
At the moment, customers are able to choose which Joy-Con color and strap combination they’d like from 5 Joy-Con and 7 strap shades. Though you’re largely able to mix and match the colors as you please, for some reason neon green is an option reserved exclusively to the left controller, while neon pink is exclusively available to the right one. So that entirely neon pink Switch is still just out of reach.
Demanding more supply
As part of the customization process you also get to choose which of the console’s more popular games (if any) you’d like to have delivered with your console as well as a carry case and other peripherals like the Pro controller for an additional cost.
The order page is extremely neat, allowing you to see the console you've put together from all angles You can see it for yourself here.
Nintendo has promised that all pre-orders placed on August 22 will be delivered to customers on October 1 and any orders placed after this date will be fulfilled from October onward.
Considering the popularity of the Switch in Japan at the moment and how hard it is to get your hands on one this is a clever move on the part of Nintendo. At the moment potential customers in Japan are waiting undetermined amounts of time for Switch stock to be replenished at retailers before joining the mad rush to try and get one when it is.
Nintendo is essentially civilizing the currently frantic process of getting ahold of a Switch by allowing its customers to get the relief of securing a console and giving them a reasonable window of time when they can expect to receive it.
There's also the added bonus of delivering them the exact Joy-Con and game combination they’d like. Overall it makes getting a Switch a much more satisfactory process.
The only hitch is that you pay for your console upon order rather than on delivery and there’s no option to cancel – so you’d better be sure about your purchase.
At the moment the service is only going to be available in Japan and there’s no indication that it’ll be rolled out to other territories.
However, it would make sense for Nintendo to introduce the service elsewhere if only just to even out demand in the run up to the Christmas period.
The console customization market is still relatively limited, with Microsoft leading the charge with its Xbox Design Lab. If Nintendo is able to tap into it in the right way it could prove to be a massive success, particularly as in its portable form the Switch becomes a part of how a person presents themselves to the world.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.