I’ve almost forgotten that you can play the Switch on your TV. The Hybrid handheld lets you dock the system and use it as a regular console, but I almost exclusively use it as a handheld. There’s something magical playing Mario or Zelda from the comfort of my bed, or when I’m dealing with the ramifications of just not getting enough fibre in my diet.
It’s alien to me that there are so many who use the Switch primarily hooked up to their TVs through the dock. It’s even more boggling that many of these same people take their Switches to friends, and hook up their systems in other people’s homes. Some people have even bought extra docks, to make transporting their systems easier. With the relative high price of the official dock, it makes sense that people have been buying third party ones. There are a couple of other reasons for an unofficial dock, including air flow and portability.
But now they’ve been bricking Switches. According to a number of reports on both Reddit and the Nintendo forums, it seems that the combination of Switch firmware 5.0 and a few unofficial docks has resulted in some dead Switches. Affected docks include the Nyko one and the FastSnail docking kit.
According to Kotaku, Nyko is “aware of the issue some Portable Docking Kit owners are facing after updating the firmware on their Nintendo Switch to version 5.0.”
Though further testing is still required to determine the exact root cause of the problem, we believe it is related to the way the Switch handles AV output for an external TV/monitor while the console is docked on the Portable Docking Kit.”
Nintendo also seems aware of the problem, and suggests that users only buy officially licenced accessories.
“Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process,” they say.
“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.”
Nintendo has also said that it will repair any such damaged Switches under warranty, but any game save data is likely to be lost. Goodbye 100 hour+ Breath of the Wild saves.
The important thing here is that if you do own a 3rd-party dock, you might want to not use it until the issue is found and resolved.
Last Updated: March 29, 2018