This article will be a bit of a different format. We covered the current model of Fixture S1 Grip before. However, we haven’t covered the Grip carrying case yet. I have thoughts and points about the case, but there’s simply not enough to warrant its own article. It also wouldn’t be fair to make you read a separate article about the Grip alone. So the best option is a MASHUP! So first, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the grip (featuring @mgs2master2) and then the case. Both feature unboxing videos and sections on our final thoughts.
Fixture S1 Grip Unboxing:
- The hinges on the grip are a force to be reckoned with. They stay exactly at whatever angle you need them to sit at. And there are two of them that work in tandem to get you the exact position you want the arm to bend to and the screen to stand at. It may very well be the part that they researched and developed the longest because if the hinges failed or weakened over time, this would be a useless product.
- Color is great. Not overly complicated, it simply matches the Pro controller. Even if you had the Xenoblade Pro controller with additional colors on it, this would still match. I think it would be fun if they made additional colors though. It could add some flare. But having one solid color works just fine too!
- One interesting thing I didn’t realize until I had my hands on it was that you can also use it as a tabletop-only stand. Just remove your Pro controller from it and flatten the platform out. Just as long as it’s flat enough to lay on the table, it will stay balanced. Then you can tweak the screen angle to your liking and keep playing with the synced controller.
- The Pro controller fits perfectly. Once you manage to get it to slide in, it will stay there and not budge. It will do so until you manually remove it from the grip. I’m relatively certain that this will not work with 3rd party controllers. But if you get the 1 to 1 clone controllers that look identical to the Pro controller, they will likely work.
- Because of the nature of how this whole setup works, it seems that we can squeeze some more Switch battery life out of it. The fact of the matter is that the Switch, without Joycons connected, doesn’t have to help keep the Joycons alive. While this may be a nominal difference for most gamers, it is something that is still felt overall.
- Speaking of battery life, the other added benefit is that the controller and Switch can still be charged. The controller is fully snapped into the grip, but it still has an opening so that you can access the Pro controller charging port. The bottom of the Switch is also freely opened and accessible to charge it with. So yes, you can indeed have two cords going to the two different pieces of your setup. You’ll look like a doofus, but game like a god!
- The grip also does a great job of giving people with large hands a place to put their fingers. In other words, the grip doesn’t hinder pressing the shoulder buttons. It uses as much real estate as it can at the top of the controller so that it has a much stability as it can get. But it doesn’t overstep its boundaries. When placed correctly, you have plenty of space to press the shoulder buttons without a blockade of grip plastic.
- You may be wondering if there is something keeping the plastic of the grip from scraping up your Pro controller. And yes, on the underside there is. You’ll find that there is rubber padding in key places to protect Pro controller. They’re not everywhere admittedly. But I find that having some on it somewhere is better than having it nowhere at all. You dig?
- They also took the time to include some rubber to bolster the tabletop stance that you can do. By including rubber on the bottom of it, that creates friction. This keeps the already stabilized foot of it even more likely to stay upright and not slide.
- When it comes to games with Gyro controls, that’s a strange tale to tell. Gyro controls in games that are docked and have you using your Pro controller, expect you to do the same thing here. This causes you to have to turn the entire unit. It is not really practical to do. So the already awkward use of Pro controllers for gyro games with the added exception of the screen moving with you as I move like a mad man. A stable screen and a moving controller makes a bit more sense. The only recommendation I can make is to either play in tabletop mode or play those games detached from the grip with Joycons instead.
- So, admittedly, it is initially scary to snap the controller into the Fixture S1 as it’s a very tight device. It feels that it scratches the controller in this process since the parts that clip at the top and bottom do not have protective rubber. Not to say that it appears to be an oversight. But it’s definitely a revision that they should make. Just even spraying those parts on top and bottom to make them rubberized, would be better than this. It’s assuming that you’ll be leaving the Pro controller in, and if that’s the case, you’ll be fine. If you’re concerned about this and you already own one and want to buy one, I’d recommend a skin for the Pro controller. It doesn’t add too much thickness and may take a moment to put on, but it’s going to protect the controller.
- The whole grip, Switch, and Pro controller setup is is a heavy combination, not very logistical for extended gaming. This should only really be used by adult gamers that have the strength to hold it up for long periods of time. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a gaming accessory, but those with a stronger musculature will fare better from this.
- Then there is the small matter of touch screen games. Sure you can avoid those if you’d like, but that cuts out a big chunk of the Switch library. But yeah, touchscreen games can be more annoying than a setup of just Joycons attached to a Switch. This is because the distance you have to travel to go to the screen from the controls is greater than that of a standard setup. Not bad on it’s own, just a little cumbersome.
- Now what is a lot cumbersome is combining the last two issues. There are plenty of instances where you will have to hold that weight is a lot for a long time. Now imagine having to use the touchscreen with one hand and all of that weight is now on the other hand.
Grip Final Thoughts:
The FixtureS1 though is a very practical and useful item. It sets out to solve more problems than it creates, for sure. Someone who only games here and there and is an adult will be the main demographic. It would almost be the perfect way to play handheld for me if not for the weight because then everyone could benefit from it. Regardless, I would recommend the Fixture S1 to anyone who is currently in the market for a device like this for their Nintendo Switch.
Even if you do find fatigue due to the weight issue. You can simply try limiting play to remedy it. Or you can still keep playing, just change how you’re doing it. You could instead put your Fixture S1 Grip into the tabletop stance and keep playing with your Pro controller in your hands. All in all, I think for the price point, this is a necessary product for most adults. Not everyone would benefit from it, but most!
Fixture Grip Case Unboxing:
Fixture Grip Pros:
- First off, I didn’t even realize that I was using my case wrong! I had it put in there a certain way and it fit just fine, I didn’t really even think about it. It wasn’t until I saw the photo below when writing this article. I was able to get even more space out of this case. So a last-minute kudos to Fixture Gaming for showing me that it folds up with the Grip attached nicely. That enabled a lot more space when there was already so much. (We’ll come back to storage methods in the cons section).
- Plenty of storage in the zipper portion of the case. Not much to talk about there, but that’s where I was storing my folded-up S1 Grip for the longest time. Not much more to say about that, except I’m impressed by the fact that I don’t have to store the big plastic grip in there anymore. I felt weird how there was so much space and it always slid around. Now I know it’s my fault!
- Speaking of that storage area. It’s got a great feature that I feel more companies need to utilize. It has what I can only assume is a neoprene wall. The fabric is pretty stretchy and that is useful in a carrying case with odd-shaped objects. It can stretch out a bit more than just a taught fabric wall. And that means that it can handle your oddly shaped items better than most cases. Think of it as a stretchy trash bag that is less likely to tear with bulgy stuff in it.
- Since they’ve included a way to protect your screen from getting hurt by way of a flippy flap, they decided to enhance it. They’ve included ten Switch game cart slots for storage. That means, officially, you can have 11 cartridges with you on the go with this case. I did find that if you hate yourself, you can jam two cartridges in each slot. But look, that’s not official, and if you do it and break a game, that’s on you. I’m not recommending that. I’m just stating I did it to see if I could make it work. At the end of the day, I undid it because I feared breakage.
- The main draw of this case is that it’s not a softshell case. Nintendo themselves hardly ever release hardshell cases. In the event of this case, you can protect your Switch more due to the upper and lower sections being made of a hard shell. I’m guessing that it’s some kind of plastic inside of the fabric. It’s really great at stopping something that you dropped on it from hurting your Switch. You can also stack a few things on it without it thinking about buckling. But, hey, don’t sit on it or think that it will survive something more than falling down the stairs. It’s not a black box from an airplane. You know how you should still drive safely, even though you have a car with safety features? Same deal here, it can only assist you in keeping the Switch alive.
- Liquid resistance is another big factor I always look at when it comes to shells, cases, bags, and storage containers. The results I got from this are basically the same as it being hardshell. So, while it did keep the inside dry after I poured a cup of water on it, I would not recommend it. Don’t drop it in the toilet. Just know that if you do an accidental spill once or twice, you’ll likely be okay. Don’t bank on it protecting your Switch, assume it won’t, and you’ll be in a safer position.
Fixture Grip Cons:
- I’d like the zipper to be a water-resistant one. There are ones out there that have rubber folds that cover the zipper. This would be great considering I’m toting around a video game console. I don’t fear getting the Pro controller wet. I fear getting the Switch wet though! Yes, I’m aware that this zipper is tight and snug. And yeah, it will probably keep out most fluid. I’d simply feel more confident carrying this around if I knew there was a rubber seam.
- Game card capacity could be increased. There’s a lot of empty space in there if you don’t have much in the zipper pocket. I feel like it could stand to have a few more separators that can hold more physical games. Otherwise, I’m forced to buy game card holder cases and put them in. Why increase my overall cost as the consumer. Heck, that would even increase the weight. I think there should be at least 2 more and a slot for an average-sized stylus. The stylus part might be a nitpick, but I think having more dedicated cart storage is key. Maybe even just have a Grip case that has more slots that costs more alongside one that only has one flap, for those who have more digital than physical games.
Fixture Grip Final Thoughts:
As you can see, there really aren’t too many logical complaints with this. It seems to be that they have most of it figured out. Sure, I’d love more cartridge storage in it and would prefer to have a bit more confidence in the liquid-resistance factors. But aside from that, we have a quality case here. Heck, even if you don’t buy the grip first and you’re someone who plays games professionally on the Switch, this is a great carrying case. You can put your Pro controller and games and cables into it.
I could see this finding a use for those in the Smash community too. Heck, you can even put your trained amiibo in the zipper storage area (most sizes anyway). This can’t take much more than a handful of pounds of pressure, so don’t sit on it. But if you need something that you can quickly protect your controller and/or Fixture S1 grip from the junk in your backpack or car, this is it. Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool(s).
Thanks to @mgs2master2 for his contributions on the original S1 Grip review!