Enough USB ports to provide a fighting setup anywhere, anytime!
The Nintendo Switch has been gradually gathering fighting game titles since its launch, building on the slightly-oddball Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers and the excellent upgrade of Pokkén Tournament DX to include other great games like the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, Pocket Rumble, Slice, Dice, and Rice, Blade Strangers, the fan-service festival SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy — and earlier this month, the jewel in Nintendo’s fighting crown: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With these and other titles, both new and downloadable classics, there is no question that the Switch has grown immensely as a platform for fighting game fans.
The Switch’s most obvious feature — its portability — is both a blessing and a hindrance for fighters: while it’s fantastic to be able to take your favorite fighting games on the go, the multiplayer options (most important to fighters, obviously) can be troublesome when the console sports only a single USB-C port. HORI offers a solution to this with their USB-loaded Multiport PlayStand accessory, and it’s a great gadget that makes the platform into an instant fighting game setup you can drop anywhere that there’s a flat surface.
The PlayStand solves the primary issue of connecting multiple controllers to the Switch while not using the dock: the lack of USB ports. This folding stand sports four USB ports — even more than the dock itself! This enables you to hook up USB-powered controllers at will — be they fight sticks, Pokkén pads, or probably the most important: the Nintendo GameCube controller adapter, opening up ports for those beloved GameCube controllers so integral to Smashing.
The Switch connects to the stand via a USB-C jack in the base of the stand, one that even has a bit of spring-loaded swivel to help get the console on and off easily while staying firmly connected during use. In addition to the four USB ports on the side of the stand, a port for an AC adapter is built-in (adapter not included), so you can play with or without the power connected. The stand has some rubber feet on the base to minimize sliding around, and is quite well-balanced and stable once the the console is attached. It can be adjusted to a range of viewing angles, too. While not in use, the stand folds up for easy transport, using a lock button on the hinge.
This stand is designed to provide the controller options that those extra USB ports allow while on the go — but it is not meant as a replacement for a dock, and you cannot connect the Switch to a monitor or television via the PlayStand. However: if you want to connect to the internet, you can still pop in a USB LAN adapter and use that instead of the much-reviled WiFi.
This is an example of HORI creating a product that serves a simple need for Switch players, and doing it well. This stand delivers what it promises: a good display stand paired with USB ports to give you the controller options needed for fighting games. For $39.99 USD, it’s a small investment for a lot of utility, so if you want to bring your fighting games outside and be able to drop a setup nearly anywhere to run some matches, this is a must-have. Look for it on Amazon, GameStop, or Arcade Shock.
- Easy to use and transport alongside the console itself.
- Provides four USB ports when the Switch is connected.
- Compatible with the GameCube controller adapter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- AC adapter can be also used to keep the Switch powered up during play.
- Can be used with a wired internet adapter.
- Cannot be used as a full dock to connect the Switch to a monitor or television.
HORI provided Shoryuken with a sample Multiport PlayStand for the purpose of this review.