Users on Reddit are reporting that their Nintendo Switch consoles have been bricked by third-party docks after upgrading to the newest version of the console’s firmware.
As they were last year when a similar problem surfaced, Nyko docks are the main offender – but Switch owners are also reporting problems with other non-Nintendo docks on Reddit.
The dock is the part of the Switch console that allows it to be plugged into a TV. Each console comes with an official Nintendo-produced dock, but users often purchase a second dock to allow the console to be plugged into other TVs. Since first-party (aka Nintendo) docks have a typical price of £79.99, users have understandably been turning to cheaper third-party alternatives.
Nintendo’s response has been to warn against unofficial Switch docks, according to Kotaku, which is entirely predictable. Nyko, on the other hand, has pointed the finger at the recent Switch version 5.0 firmware update but said it is looking into potential hardware faults, too.
Switch Docks in the Dock: Why third-party accessories can be a Wild West
Reading between the lines here, it looks like Nintendo tested its 5.0 firmware update with its own hardware, but didn’t put third-party products through the same testing process. As a result, the changes in code (specifically regarding how the Switch handles AV output to external displays) seem to have had a catastrophic impact on these untested alternatives.
This is the danger with buying third-party accessories. They might work now, but their continued functionality isn’t going to be a priority for Nintendo’s engineers in the future when they’re updating the console.
Also, sometimes stuff is cheaper for a reason. We all know the £5 Lightning cable bought in desperation from the corner shop is going to kick the bucket in, at best, a month – and it’s no different with other cut-price accessories.
For its part, Nyko is offering to replace a YouTuber’s affected console, but when it comes to game saves it’s a little harder to replace what’s been lost.
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