The Nintendo Switch has the unique ability to be used any and everywhere thanks to its hybrid design. However, to play on a larger screen requires you having access to a monitor or TV. But, what about those moments where you don’t have access to a larger display? For instance, a hotel room with a wall-mounted TV? Well, the folks over at Genki (who have developed other Switch accessories in the past) have decided to create a device specifically to solve situations like this: the ShadowCast. This little dongle grants users the ability to use any display, even a laptop display, with the Switch (or any other console).
How the ShadowCast works is that it has a standard male HDMI connector that plugs into the HDMI port of your Nintendo Switch Dock, or another system. On the opposite end of the dongle is a female USB-C port where you plug in a USB-C cable that will then be routed to your display, such as a laptop monitor or all-in-one computer like an iMac.
To better integrate this new display output functionality in a computer environment, Genki has made it possible for the ShadowCast to function as a false webcam. This will allow users to share their screen live on video conferencing apps like Zoom seamlessly. Video capture is also possible when using a computer, thus eliminating the need to rely on built-in console capture functionality. If you’re a content creator, Genki also mentions that the ShadowCast will allow you to connect a DSLR camera to a computer to use that as a webcam-replacement. This has actually become a really popular practice this year due to video conferencing being used more widely than ever.
Flipping the idea switch
As for the console-to-computer functionality, I must say this is quite the concept. I must admit, I have been a situation where I wanted to connect a system to my laptop. But, this truly is a very specific use case. And in the case of the Nintendo Switch, the fact that it has a screen already makes the use of such a dongle very special. Nevertheless, Genki will be selling the ShadowCast for only $39. So, if this just so happens to fit a scenario for you, it won’t be very expensive at all to pick-up. Just make sure your computer of choice actually has a USB-C port. While many modern machines do, it’s only recently started to become a common feature.
The ShadowCast is currently still in the crowdfunding phase of its Kickstarter campaign. As of the time for writing, there are 36 days left in the campaign. While Genki initially asked for $30,000 (USD), the project has already raised $298,616 across 5,472 backers. Guess there is a market for such an oddball accessory after all! The first batch of ShadowCasts are expected to be delivered by March 2021; just in time for the fourth anniversary of the Switch.