Gear Review: Pokémon Universal Nintendo DS Poké Ball Case

By now you’ve likely already settled on a trusty, go-to carrying case that you’ve been using to lug around your favorite Nintendo DS family portable gaming machine. I know it can be hard to change from something you’re already comfortable and familiar with, but it may be time to consider a new option, especially if you’re a gotta catch ’em all Pokémon enthusiast and aspiring Trainer.

PDP’s new officially licensed Pokémon themed case, designed to resemble the iconic Poké Ball, is universally built to hold whichever portable Nintendo device you own. DS, DS Lite, 2DS, 2DS XL, 3DS, 3DS XL, New 3DS XL–it holds ’em all. You could probably fit some other devices in there, but these are the officially supported ones. I tested the case with a standard 3DS as well as a DS Lite. (For those of you who may be curious, no, a PlayStation Vita does not fit inside. But a PSP does! At an angle of course.)

The clamshell case, approximately 7″ x 6″ x 2″, closes securely with a sturdy zipper, which is zipped and unzipped using a high quality rubber pull embossed with the Pokémon logo. Inside, the top half is outfitted with six red elastic slots stitched directly into the felt-like interior lining–to hold the same number of 3DS or DS game cards–plus a horizontal loop for storing a spare stylus (or maybe two, depending on their size).

The lower compartment features a netted pouch where the hardware goes. This pouch is drawn somewhat taut along the top by a red elastic strap, but it doesn’t close the system off completely, if you’re using one of the smaller units in the DS family, such as a DS Lite or an original 3DS. So because there’s an empty space above the pouch, there’s nothing preventing the system from sliding out of the netting should the case jumble around or flip upside down. A Velcro strap or some other form of latching mechanism to create an enclosure would’ve been nice as an extra security blanket when needed.

Fortunately, the gap leaves enough room to squeeze in the AC adapter (at least for the 3DS and DS Lite), and with that inside to fill the dead space the system will stay in place no matter how hard you jostle the case around. Obviously this leeway is needed to accommodate the fixed, slate-style 2DS or one of the larger XL systems, so if you own one of those you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Despite being squarish in form factor (though the corners are rounded off), the outside of the case is 3D molded into the likeness of a Poké Ball, with a sort of vinyl or rubberized coating giving the shell a soft, shiny, smooth finish that feels really nice in the hand. I don’t know if it was intended by design or just a happy accident, but I found that the black lines on the outer shell, which are actually recessed channels between the molded red and white halves and around the center circle, form perfect grooves to grip the case by. Every time I pick the case up, from any side or angle, my thumb always seems to naturally slip into this channel, reassuring me that I have a firm hold.

The case feels a little squishy when gripped tightly, but the structure is more than sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of light, daily transport. I wouldn’t feel confident putting it through extreme punishment, like stepping on it or taking a hammer or bat to it, but it has no problem withstanding an accidental drop or tumbling around in a backpack. The rubbery coating seems like it has potential to get marked or dinged–at least more so than a matte finish–but it’s remained unmarred for me thus far.

PDP’s Poké Ball case does primarily prey upon Pokémon fandom with its slick outside aesthetic and immediately recognizable design, but this is not an instance of all style and no substance. The case does fulfil its duty as a solid storage/transport solution. It’s probably not a case I would choose for rugged use, but for the average user who treats their devices with respect as well as users in the younger Pokémon demographic who want a cool case they can show off to all their Poké pals (especially for back to school time!), it’s a fabulous little carrier. Nintendo DS Poké Ball case, I choose you!

Buy From: Amazon or PDP for $14.99.

Disclosure: A Nintendo DS Poké Ball Console Case was provided to VGBlogger.com for review consideration by PDP.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!