Nintendo Switch 5.0 Software Update Allegedly Bricking Consoles Using Third Party Accessories
We have previously talked about the Nintendo Switch 5.0.0 software update, and it seemed to be a rather standard release adding parental controls and more social media hooks. What we didn’t know is that added code in the update appears to be bricking consoles that are using third-party accessories. Reports are coming in that after updating to the 5.0 update, some consoles are unable to charge and boot.
It appears that the consoles unable to boot or charge are using unlicensed third-party accessories such as the Nyko Portable Docking Kit or the YockTek USB-C converter. The only comment that Nintendo has made about the bricked Switch consoles is "don't use unlicensed third-party accessories." It's not clear if the consoles will work again after the third-party accessories are removed.
Multiple complaints about bricked Switches have turned up on reddit and other Nintendo forums. One user, who goes by the name Spawn Wave on YouTube, posted a video outlining his experience with the 5.0 update. After he updated to the 5.0 system software, his Switch refused to charge. He dissected the machine and using a multimeter found that power was getting to the battery, it just wasn't charging.
He then purchased another Switch that was running on 4.0.1 software. After disassembling both consoles he took the battery from the Switch running the 5.0 software and placed it into the 4.0.1 Switch and the battery charged without issue. After charging the battery to 50%, he then put it back into the 5.0 Switch and was greeted with endless reboots.
The working theory here is that the 5.0 update has code that locks out third-party docks. Speculation also suggests that this might be how Nintendo is trying to stop homebrew fans like Fail0verflow from exploiting the Switch with hacks to make it run software other than intended.
Kotaku has an official statement from Nintendo that reads, "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."
Another theory that has been put forth is that there is some sort of issue with the Switch that has to do with irregular USB-C implementation that allows the console to overdraw power from some USB-C chargers by as much as 300%. Nyko has issued a statement to Kotaku about the issues with its dock that reads, "[We are] 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."