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?