Disgruntled Switch user files lawsuit against Nyko for bricked device

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

An owner of a third-party docking station for the Nintendo Switch is suing Nyko for bricking his device. Michael Skiathitis has filed a class action lawsuit against the peripheral maker in the US District Court of Central California.

According to Skiathitis, the Nyko Portable Docking Kit that he bought from a Walmart in Florida caused his Switch to stop functioning. He has sent the device off for a warranty repair but will lose all of his saved data.

“Unbeknownst to consumers, the Nyko Portable Docking Kits for Nintendo Switch are prone to causing numerous problems to the devices that they are intended to support,” said the lawsuit.

The suit further alleges that Nyko failed to disclose the bug to consumers.

This allegation seems to imply that Nyko had foreknowledge of the flaw, but since the bug did not manifest until the 5.0 Switch firmware update, it is unclear how the company could have known about it.

Last month Switch owners using third-party docking stations were upset to find that their devices were becoming bricked after Nintendo rolled out the 5.0 firmware update. Users reported that their handhelds were working fine with unlicensed docks from makers including Nyko, Fastsnail, and Insignia until the update.

When Nyko was informed of the problem, it performed some tests to determine what was causing the failures.

A spokesperson for the company said, “We believe [the issue] 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.”

"[Unlicensed products] 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."

Despite the bug apparently being related to the 5.0 update, Nintendo cannot be held responsible for problems associated with users who choose to use unlicensed products with the Switch. Likewise, Nyko cannot be held liable for a bug that did not exist before a software change to the system. So from a layperson’s perspective, the case seems frivolous.

Nintendo is repairing the device in question free of charge. The only damages I can see here are the loss of data. While it is unfortunate that the Switch has no solution in place for backing up data (a big faux pas in my opinion), data loss is a reasonable risk that consumers take when buying electronics.

In this instance, the only real loss is that of the users' saved games and settings since games can just be redownloaded. So, how much is a saved game worth anyway?

Who do you think is most responsible for this Switch trouble? Was it Nintendo who issued the patch that caused devices to fail? Was it Nyko who had a glitch that conflicted with the new update? Or was it the Switch owners who were using unlicensed peripherals with their systems which they knew could not be backed up?

Permalink to story.

 

Scshadow

TS Evangelist
This is Nintendo's fault. Unlicensed equipment? Its basically a usb cable inside of a stand. And yet somehow Nintendo makes it the consumer's fault for trying to find cheaper solutions that work better. Crybaby Nintendo had to go and brick all the unlicensed dock owners. Now everyone will "learn their lesson" and be too scared to use another dock. Gotta buy the official dock. But yeah, thats what you buy into with consoles. Expect your investment into their platform gives that company leverage over you.
 

ikesmasher

TS Evangelist
This is the second article ive seen written at techspot that indicates that there was no issues with nyko docks until 5.0.

The nyko dock was known to brick switches since it released. Indicating otherwise shifts the blame to nintendo when it had nothing to do with 5.0...
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Rather, it would seem that Nyko (and perhaps others who build and sell unlicensed) have failed to provide a merchantable product. There seems to be some departure from a standard which results in Nyko failure when there is none in the licensed versions. The owner of a Nyko product should look to Nyko. Nyko should obtain and engineer to the standard. IANAL.
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
This is the second article ive seen written at techspot that indicates that there was no issues with nyko docks until 5.0.

The nyko dock was known to brick switches since it released. Indicating otherwise shifts the blame to nintendo when it had nothing to do with 5.0...
TechSpot reports what is being reported on any given news day. Occasionally we will have our own personal experiences that we can add to an issue, but in this case, none of us has any experience with Switch/Nyko dock combinations that provide us with any further insight. That is the primary reason we have a comment section on our articles and why the articles get posted to the forums. We always appreciate your contributions.

We also do not intend to shift the blame to Nintendo, Nyko, or anyone else. The facts as they have been reported by other publications and by affected users in the forums is that their devices were working without issues before the update. Were these users lying and saying that the update fouled up their Switch when it was actually bricked before the update? Could be, but that is not for us to determine. That is just speculation.

We try to be as balanced as possible in most cases, while usually saving room for a clearly stated opinion usually voiced at the end of the piece. In this case, I did not express an opinion shifting blame to Nintendo. On the contrary, I hold Nintendo blameless in this situation, and I stated so in the article.

"Nintendo cannot be held responsible for problems associated with users who choose to use unlicensed products with the Switch."

Meaning even if it was update 5.0 that caused the problem, that is not Nintendo's fault. The update works fine with most devices and seems to only have issues with third-party docks. That being the case, what is Nintendo to do? Test its software with every unlicensed peripheral on the market or combinations of accessories? Of course not. In my opinion (and I have always held this), when you use an unlicensed peripheral you have to go into it understanding that there is a certain amount of risk involved and that it is not the OEM of the console which is at fault if things go south. User chooses to take the risk; user is responsible for damages. Simple as that.

Again, we appreciate your feedback and contributions to the TechSpot community.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
This is Nintendo's fault. Unlicensed equipment? Its basically a usb cable inside of a stand. And yet somehow Nintendo makes it the consumer's fault for trying to find cheaper solutions that work better. Crybaby Nintendo had to go and brick all the unlicensed dock owners. Now everyone will "learn their lesson" and be too scared to use another dock. Gotta buy the official dock. But yeah, thats what you buy into with consoles. Expect your investment into their platform gives that company leverage over you.
Nintendo will end up spending millions of dollars.on warranty repair on devices bricked by third party devices. I remember something similar happening with the PS3 and Sony refused to repair the bricked consoles because third party hardware vioded the warranty. As I understand Nintendo's TOS, this voids the warranty on the switch as well
 

quadibloc

TS Addict
Why should peripherals need to be licensed? Why should there be something about how these devices work that makes it difficult to make compatible devices?

Basically, the government has to come down hard on companies that make products in this category, and force them to make their devices as open as possible, with any closed interfaces having to be justified in advance. This will ensure competition in the marketplace to the benefit of consumers.

It isn't just video game console and handheld makers who would have to change the way they did business under such a regime: so would Apple.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
People mad at Nintendo because they don't understand how firmware works.

Now if it's discovered Nintendo is intentionally bricking Switches for using 3rd party docks, you have an argument.
 

Scshadow

TS Evangelist
Nintendo will end up spending millions of dollars.on warranty repair on devices bricked by third party devices. I remember something similar happening with the PS3 and Sony refused to repair the bricked consoles because third party hardware vioded the warranty. As I understand Nintendo's TOS, this voids the warranty on the switch as well
It may be true that they are spending money to give out warranty repairs but they'll leave the impression that you have to buy official equipment in order to be safe and that will last into many generations of consoles. I'm not going to be surprised if 1, they can easily fix these, or 2 that they only repair them because they're in warranty and fault can't be proven unless the end user gives it away that the 3rd party dock was used.