This is a pretty scary situation. If you have a third-party dock for your Nintendo Switch, it would be best to ditch it right now if you updated your Switch to the recent 5.0.0 firmware.
The update for this new firmware was released just a few days ago. It added a lot of minor new features like the ability to add friends from Facebook/Twitter, among other things, but it wasn’t a particularly huge update…at least not on the surface.
It turns out this update has made a lot of behind-the-scenes changes to the Switch. This mainly has to do with stopping hackers/modders dead in their tracks, as the Switch’s internal code is now basically unbreachable. It seems like the massive changes to the system’s coding have also now interfered with the way that third-party Switch docks interface with the system itself. This has led to multiple unfortunate Switch owners reporting that their systems have been ‘bricked’ (a term used to described a device that is basically dead) after the update. Problems have been reported from a variety of different docks, such as Insignia, and the now infamous Nyko dock (which already had a reputation for bricking systems).
Popular gaming YouTuber Spawn Wave recently made a video announcing that his own Switch was bricked after the 5.0 update. He used it with the Nyko dock for an hour, and after which, the system would no longer function. He’s had to buy a new Switch and as a result, has lost all of his save data. He admitted that Nyko did offer to replace the system for him, but turned down their offer since he’s done a lot of experiments with the system which have involved various things, like taking it apart. In any case, it’s really unfortunate that this happened to him, and that applies to everyone else facing similar issues after using the system with third-party docks.
The moral of the story is: even if you really despise the official Nintendo-made Switch dock, it really is in your best interest to stick with it until these problems can be sorted out. For now, it’s unknown what’s causing the issue here, but it really does seem like the major changes Nintendo made to the Switch’s internal code are most probable culprit. Again, these changes were made to protect the system from the advancements being made in the hacking scene; it looks like the incompatibility with third-party docks has turned out to be an unexpected side-effect of this otherwise beneficial update.
Down below, you’ll find two videos from Spawn Wave: one detailing the aforementioned story of his Switch dying, while the other highlights the behind-the-scenes security changes that were made to the system with the 5.0 update.
If you have any friends or family members who are planning on picking up a third-party dock for their Nintendo Switch, please share this news story with them so they can keep their systems safe. It really isn’t going to be fun for $300 to just go down the drain, along with any save data.
Finally, as Spawn Wave mentioned in the first video: it’s time to give us cloud saves, Nintendo.