Nintendo Switch bricking on third party docks

Nintendo BrickSome third party accessories and Nintendo’s 5.0 firmware update are causing dead Nintendo Switches for unsuspecting owners.

The issue is somehow USB-C oriented and seems to be popping up on Nyko portable docking kits from what I can see. The issue happens after a user updates to the new version of the Nintendo Switch firmware and then suddenly you’ll have a bricked Switch and that’s that.

Nintendo is quick to point out that you should probably not be trusting third parties with your Switch and only purchase their stuff, which of course they would.

This sort of brings to mind HP breaking printers with non-OEM cartriges. Hopefully it’s just some bad code and Nintendo will step up and find what it is in their new code that’s causing third party devices to brick the Switch rather than just telling people that third parties can’t be trusted.

As of right now, the official statement is “Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process. They might not work at all with our game systems, and they could have compatibility problems with certain games, the Nintendo Switch system itself, and other licensed accessories and peripherals.”

Coming from the phone world, if I suddenly found a charging cable bricked my phone after an update I’d be angry at the phone manufacturer for not engineering in some sort of logic to say “is this going to brick the phone? don’t do it”.

Oh what, I put these Millenium Falcon Gold Dice in my car five months ago and after an oil change the transmission fell out and it’s the die’s fault? Uhhhh.

Hopefully combined they’ll get it fixed soon or someone will issue a very detailed map of what went wrong. Third party innovation (and lower expense) is key to making some really niche products.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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3 thoughts on “Nintendo Switch bricking on third party docks

  • What’s the point of using USB-C if they’re not going to play nice with the standard?

  • On the one hand, I wish Nintendo supported USB-C fully so any USB-C video adapter (e.g. DP over USB-C) would work. On the other hand, such adapters never worked on the Switch, so these third party docks are specifically designed to work on through unofficial means. It’s somewhat hard to argue that Nintendo should check FW compatibility with equipment that was designed to circumvent their original equipment lockout. It’s harder to defend million dollar third parties hacking together something to earn a few bucks. Especially since these docks have been ruining Switches since they came out; the FW update just made it less incidental.


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