‘Carnage’ is Dbrand’s latest stab at Sony

Always one step away from a potential lawsuit, DeBrand’s latest skin collection takes another shot across the bow from the Japanese tech giant.

If you’re not familiar with the Dbrand vs. Sony lawsuit, it stems from the Toronto-based accessory maker’s journey to transform the kind of awful-looking PlayStation 5.

“The more I look at the Sony plan, the more I find it sluggish in comparison.”

In 2020, dbrand confirmed that its skins suck on the all-white PS5 since you can see a bright border around the console, which makes the aesthetic look unprofessional. In a heartwarming move, the company refunded anyone who bought a PS5 skin, and a month later, it dropped the first generation Darkplates.

Darkplates were the brands PS5 replacement shell, but they didn’t last very long as Sony sent a cease and desist letter because the design was very similar to the PS5 shell. In retrospect, Sony’s legal move wasn’t all that surprising since the image tag on the main Darkplate Reddit post said, “Sue us, Sony,” but you can’t blame Dbrand for trying.

The skin manufacturer did not take the letter lying down and retaliated by remaking the Darkplates 2.0 with a rounded corner, a vent for improved air flow and legal protection from Sony’s army of copyright lawyers. The Darkplates 2.0 are still being sold with the tagline “Checkmate Wise,” and you can tell that Dbrand isn’t even squeamish about the potential lawsuit by the way it printed the cease and desist letters in the binary in the new Darkplates.

Now that you’re all caught up on why Dbrand hates Sony (just like how Eddie Brock hates Spider-Man), you can understand why the company also ripped off the limited edition Spider-Man-themed PS5. You could say that Sony didn’t make enough Spider-Man side panels, so Dbrand filled the market demand, but I think the company is just living out its own Venom revenge plot.

To really rub salt in the wound, Debrand decided to take Sony’s basic plan and Actually Make it good. The Sony-led design falls flat without texture in the red or black sides of the theme. Dbrand, on the other hand, takes things a step further and incorporates a web on the red half, which gives the theme more visual interest. The black side is still void of any tissue in its core, but as it spreads over the surface, you can see it gripping and pulling against the webbing on the red half. It’s a neat effect that makes the skin more visually appealing next to Sony’s bland black and red option. The more I look at the Sony design, the more I find it lazy by comparison.

And if you like the design and don’t have a PS5, you can also get it for almost any device, ranging from gaming devices, laptops, phones and dbrands’ Rubik’s Cube. I’ve tested the iPhone option with Dbrand’s Grip case, which feels great. The grip texture on the sides reminds me of the old OnePlus ‘Sandstone’ back that I used to love. Other than that, the buttons are very clicky and it fits my phone well. On top of that, it also has a slightly raised edge on the back, which helps hide the edges of the skin, so it feels more like part of the case than I expected.

The MacBook Air skin is larger, so it lets you take in the Carnage skin in all its glory, but it’s mostly what you’d expect. What surprised me was how well the trackpad still worked with the sticker on it. That being said, when applying larger dbrand skins, make sure you really work methodically from the center of the skin to the edges to avoid trapping any air bubbles under the sticker. If you’re nervous, dbrand has some helpful video guides that aim to teach you how to install each skin correctly.

Dbrand’s iPhone 15 Pro case with the Carnage skin costs $54.90 USD (approximately $74.43 CAD) and the skin on its own costs $24.95 (approximately $33.84 CAD). The MacBook Air accessory maker’s M2 skin costs $31.95 USD (about $43.31 CAD).

– Bradley Bennett

Steam Deck Killswitch Case, Thumbstick Covers and Carnage Skin

I don’t have any children. It’s because I know I’d be a terrible parent. I’d be the dad who sends his kids in bubble wrap because they might slip and fall. Like the helicopter parent that I am, I treat my steam deck with love and too much care. I use a screen protector, I wipe it down after each use so the oils from my hands don’t build up, and I always put it back in the steam provided travel case.

So imagine my surprise when I put on Dbrand’s Killswitch Case for the first time and found that I couldn’t fit it in the travel case that Steam provided. How do I know my deck is safe and sound when I can’t wrap it warmly in its zipper?

Turns out, I needn’t have worried. The Killswitch is the accessory equivalent of a Nokia brick phone. I didn’t drop it, but I’m sure the pavement will bend in its favor. That’s unlikely to happen because the case is so grippy that I have a better hold on it than the first time I shook my girlfriend’s father’s hand.

But if that wasn’t enough, I used Dbrand’s Carnage skin. It keeps the plastic body free of scratches, and it made me feel like I was part of something bigger. We like this skin. We feel connected to this skin.

We also applied the screen protector from Dbrand, replacing the cheap Amazon one we had before. We didn’t expect to notice much of a difference, but touchscreen inputs are much more responsive, meaning we could search more efficiently for Spider-Man’s identity.

And best of all, we’ve included thumbstick covers. No more slippery thumbsticks. The dbrand thumbstick covers have a nice texture to them, add extra height for better control, and still allow motion controls to be activated by touch. We find it most pleasant.

We are Carnage. We are definitely not affiliated with Sony.

dbrand’s Steam Deck Killswitch Case with the Carnage skin costs $59.95 USD (approx.81.28 CAD). The Carnage skin on its own is $49.95. There is also a version of the case for the Steam Deck OLED.

AirPods Pro Grip Case with Carnage Skin

Let me start by saying that I don’t like anything related to Marvel (except for Deadpool) and I have never had any relation to Spider-ManSo I’m surprised at how much Dbrand’s AirPods Pro Grip Case with the Carnage Skin has grown on me.

My initial “what the hell” reaction slowly turned into, “that’s cool” the more I looked at his intricate web design which is clearly and amusingly a cut well above Sony’s Spider-Man 2 PS5 PlayStation. It’s unlike any case or skin I’ve seen before and you can tell that Debrand put a lot of work into its design. In a crowded industry, that counts for something. Since the skin slots right onto the case, attaching it is easy and only took a few minutes.

The grip case is large and features a cool-looking textured matte finish that feels great in my hand. And as someone who hates how easily the AirPods Pro case is scratched, it makes my lizard brain rest a lot easier. It’s a bit on the expensive side compared to other AirPods cases I’ve used over the years, but in a sense you get what you pay for here.

This really feels like a high-quality enclosure for your AirPods.

Dbrand’s AirPods Pro Grip Case with Carnage Skin costs $34.90 USD (approximately $47.33 CAD).

– Patrick O’Rourke

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