The first Nintendo Switch flashcart may be ready to launch sometime in 2024.
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Nintendo’s current Switch handheld-console hybrid has been uniquely resilient to flashcarts due to tightened security. The Switch’s GameCards are built with Nintendo’s proprietary tech and have been tough to crack. The Switch actually features a dedicated ASIC that communicates directly with the GameCards through a custom protocol designed by Nintendo.
If recent reports are accurate, then big progress has been made. It appears that the first Switch flashcart is here, and it may be ready to release in January 2024. In a NickMoses05 stream, a guest from the modding scene speculates that the flashcart could be running via an exploit, potentially a GameCard-based exploit that no one currently knows about. It’s also possible the flashcart requires a modchipped Switch in order to function.
The clip, which was obtained by AfterTimeX, shows an R4-like device fashioned into a Switch GameCard case with an SD card holding the games slotted into the card. Users have to pop the card in and out to change games and both Super Mario Wonder and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was launched via the card itself.
Users are suspicious about the video, though. The footage originated from a beta tester for the flashcart, who provided the clip in response to community doubt on an original demo video of the card in action. Even still, the modding scene is skeptical and warns people that this could be another hoax.
Nintendo has fought back on Switch exploits by releasing new hardware model revisions to circumvent the security faults in the original Tegra X1-powered model launched in 2017. Nintendo will also ban users who run modchips, and it’s likely that the company will develop some sort of firmware update to battle any kind of flashcart tech.
Although the Switch is believed to enter the last bit of its lifespan, the system is still very important for Nintendo. It’s likely that the Switch 2 will be backwards compatible with OG Switch games, and because of that, Nintendo will support the system for another 1-2 years. This support should include game releases as well as security patches/firmware updates to address any exploits.