Mini-Review: WaterField Designs CitySlicker Case For Nintendo Switch
March 31, 2017
A good case for a handheld video game system is hard to find. Cheap cases aren't manufactured to quality specifications and inevitably fail to protect your hardware. Many manufacturers only sell cases as part of overpriced, wasteful "starter kits" that require you to buy pitiful accessories you do not need nor will ever use. Heaven help you if you want to sport a professional, adult image with your game console and all you can find to store it is a screaming neon case emblazoned with a kiddie property intended for someone a third of your age. While I'll happily stuff my Nintendo 3DS in my pocket when I go out into the world, the Switch is too delicate and too large for me to comfortably take it around with me unprotected. I haven't even taken it out on my back porch yet, let alone to midnight basketball games and millenial rooftop parties. I need a solid case before I even think about traveling with my Switch, so I was thankful when I read that WaterField Designs (which has a history of designing sleek, reliable cases for consoles and mobile hardware - I'm still using their cases for my Nintendo 3DS and my Sony PlayStation Portable six and ten years later respectively) has recently started selling a case designed for the Nintendo Switch. The company kindly provided a sample CitySlicker case for me to check out and I've come away impressed.
The CitySlicker is designed to hold the bare essentials of portable Switch traveling. There's a spot for the Switch itself with attached Joy-Cons, five game cards, a portable battery charger (WaterField specifically lists the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 as the intended charger, but feel free to fit any similarly sized model in there), and cables such as earbuds, HDMI, or USB-C. There's also room for two optional straps and the company's own game card storage holder (both sold separately). I'm not entirely sure why you'd want to carry an HDMI cable with you without the Switch dock which is required for outputting games through a television, but that's between you and your cable collection. I don't have any of those optional accessories or cables, so I'm using those spaces to store things like Joy-Con grips and whatever else I decide I'll need as I accumulate more Switch gear. As a new Switch owner, I feel like there's some room to grow with this case.
The space intended to hold the Switch features a built-in microfiber cloth so that each time you insert or remove the console from the bag, you wipe the screen clean. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but that's a very nice touch. The interior sides have padded stiffeners secured into place with Velcro intended to take pressure off of the Joy-Con sticks while they are at rest. The top leather flap is held in place with two magnetic snaps that require a bit of force to open. I have the TARDIS blue flap model supposedly colored after the iconic phone box from television's Doctor Who, but the shade of blue looks just a bit darker to my eye than the Doctor's color of choice (it's a very nice dark, almost black, shade of blue, and while it's attractive, it's not Time Lord).
The only real issue I've had with the CitySlicker is that the left Joy-Con stick tends to become hung up when I pull the Switch out of the case. It's not a dealbreaker; it might even be preferable that the Switch doesn't slip out of its protective pocket that easily, but I'm already in the habit of tugging the left side of the case forward a bit to give room for the Joy-Con to clear the area on its way out. Perhaps given some time and some wear, it'll loosen up. It's worth noting that I'm not the only person out there those has noticed this issue.
Priced at $79, this is not a cheap case, but if it's anything like the other WaterField cases I've used over the years, it will hold up and keep your gaming gear safe while looking professional for years to come. It's recommended.