Facepalm: For non-tech savvy relatives searching for a late Christmas bargain, the Nanica Smitch might look like a bargain. The console is a blatant Nintendo Switch rip-off and sells for the equivalent of under $50, but you are getting what you pay for.
Currently available in Colombia, the Nanica Smitch does resemble Nintendo’s console at first glance. It’s even got the detachable controllers, and there’s a picture of Mario on the front of the box.
According to the Colombian website that’s selling the machine, the Smitch comes with 800 games pre-installed—it doesn't use cartridges—all which will almost certainly be illegal ROMs of NES games. Some of those named include Mario Bros., Bomberman, and Double Dragon.
Other differences include the ‘Joy-Cons’ being a lot thicker, cheaper-looking, and powered by four AAA batteries. And while the Smitch can connect to a TV, it uses RCA cables to do so, rather than HDMI.
It’s likely that Nintendo will quickly put a stop to the Nanica Smitch, or has already started the process. Few companies protect their IPs as aggressively as the Japanese firm—it has already launched several lawsuits against ROM-hosting websites, seeking millions of dollars for copyright and trademark infringement. Even YouTube channels uploading Nintendo games’ soundtracks weren't safe, having also been hit with copyright claims.
The problem is that some people could mistake the Nanica Smitch for the real thing, leaving those who receive the ‘console’ very disappointed on Christmas day.