Just a few days ago, Nintendo randomly dropped a new firmware update for the Switch, bumping up the version number to 12.0. The patch notes for this update were incredibly light, only mentioning that it contained a fix for a bug related to save data cloud uploads. But, it looks like Nintendo sneakily added in a few extras behind the scenes. According to some reports, it appears that separate firmware for the Switch Dock has been patched in, and arguably even more intriguing, support for Bluetooth audio.
Both reports of these random additions come from Switchbrew, a site that contains the findings of hackers. User “Yellows8” and other contributors on the site have uncovered lines of code that point to a new Bluetooth audio driver in the Switch firmware update, as well as a line that refers to a firmware updater for the dock.
These findings are out of the blue because Nintendo hasn’t made any official mention of it (since these changes are not at all represented in the main system UI); this seems to indicate that, if these are set to be real features, they’re not quite done yet. It would be very odd for the developers behind the Switch OS to add in code that goes totally unused, so perhaps this might be for testing purposes? Clearly, there are more questions here than answers.
Building a foundation in the Switch firmware?
The Switch Dock doesn’t really do much outside of handling USB handshakes (like plugging in various accessories), charging the system and sending out a video signal along with activating docked mode performance. Thus, it’s a mystery as to what Nintendo could do by updating its firmware; especially considering the fact that it’s gone four years without such a feature. As for Bluetooth audio, this is something that’s highly requested with consoles across the board as none of the current systems, or even the last-gen systems, natively have such functionality. If Nintendo really does turn this into a feature, then the Switch would be the only modern console that can boast having it.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if and when Nintendo does something with any of this. But, the fact that there are now these lines of code sitting in the Switch’s OS does at least indicate that something could be in the works. Time will tell, but this is Nintendo—masters of mystery.