Switch hack allows for use of USB mass storage

Now here's something I think we'd all like to see. A Switch firmware hack now allows users to plug in USB mass storage when docked. This gives you tons of options for storage space, whereas users now can only resort to microSD cards for storage. I know I'd like the option for more ways to store data, but I could see how only having this feature while docked could lead to some stick situations.

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Categories: Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment

The reason I think we’ll never see the option to use USB attaches storage is simply the fact it leaves it open to the risk of undocking the Switch while data is being read/written to the USB device. It would crash the game and potentially corrupt data.

I own a ton of Switch games that I never really play in handheld mode, so this would still be a cool solution for my storage issues. I'm not sure why Nintendo hasn't implemented this yet, but I could say that for a lot of things about Nintendo, I suppose.

The reason I think we’ll never see the option to use USB attaches storage is simply the fact it leaves it open to the risk of undocking the Switch while data is being read/written to the USB device. It would crash the game and potentially corrupt data.

Just what I was going to say. Too risky.

Tue Oct 16 18 03:39pm
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

This risk has always been present in any console with mass storage plugged in, whether it be by unplugging the HDD or the power cutting off during data tx. Yet, somehow they manage ok.

No excuse for Nintendo here. Being forced to by a new micro sd card for every few games is not a solution for digital storage.

Other consoles shut off when power is cut, the Switch kicks in battery power and thus it could potentially damage the system as well if the data is cut off while the game is running.

There are valid, sensible reasons why this isn't a feature on the system, not "evil nintendo looking to hurt its consumers!!!"

They could get around this issue by simply requiring the game to be copied to sd or internal memory before booting (this could be handled transparently if Nintendo's programmers know what they're doing). In other words,the HDD is used as a storage archive, not a boot device. This sure beats having to delete certain games and redownloading others from the internet (which is a severe bottleneck for anyone that doesn't have a fast connection, or unlimited data plans).

btw - a WD 4TB ext. HDD from amazon is $99.
Price / Terabyte = $25

Sandisk Ultra 256GB (amazon best seller list)
Price / Terabyte = $252 (lets not talk about the fact you need 16 cards to equal the HDD)

I tried to find the best price per memory unit for each format.

That's a good way of making sure the NAND memory dies far faster than its intended lifespan. Not to mention having an SD handy already defeats the purpose (and using it as you want it to be would also kill it much faster), and the system memory won't be enough to fit many large games even if just a moderate amount of storage is used, or even none at all.

"risk of killing sd card"
100,000 read/write cycles is the normal lifespan for flash memory, cmon now. That includes the internal NAND which is also eMMC flash.

You will run out of room on said sd card far faster than you have to worry about its wear and tear.
If you choose to not buy extra cards for your games (b/c it's expensive and inconvenient), you'll be stuck with erase/redownload from the internet style data management. And yes, that brings you back to your alleged problem with wear and tear.

Why not just buy a 4TB hard drive and not have to deal with that?

And for those making the "security" defense for Nintendo, that's absurd. A compromised system can load pirated content from any media format, as the title of this article suggests. An unhacked system should conversely be able to load data from any format without issues because the data is protected by digital signatures and encryption. It's not the archive format that determines security, it's the OS's code being up to snuff. The HDD itself as a format doesn't change anything.

No one ever mentioned any arguments about security. Your proposed solution already renders it pointless to have a hard drive anyways, so why not just get a 200GB MicroSD and be done with it? The average consumer won't even get close to filling it.

My point was that any sort of power disruption could be potentially catastrophic to the console, since the system is not going to shut off alongside the hard drive. That is the most important and in my opinion most likely reason why it isn't supported on the system. If the proposed solution involves having to use SD cards anyways why bother having such a terrible workaround in the first place, for something 99% of users won't even care about?

Tue Oct 16 18 04:02pm
(Updated 2 times)

Do you own a Switch or even understand the concept of the console? It’s not designed to be plugged in and stationary.

Previous consoles are stationary devices. Plugged in, and for the most part, don’t move from that spot. So the same risk has never been there.

Assuming you have a laptop, go install and run a game from a USB HDD and then rip out the cable and see how your game manages.

With a Switch it’s designed to simply lift off the dock with no interruption to gameplay or use.

Being forced to by a new micro sd card for every few games is not a solution for digital storage.

But being forced to buy a hard drive is? Okey dokey. No one needs to buy multiple micro SD cards.

Tue Oct 16 18 03:38pm
Rating: 1

Hackers do what Nintendon't

Tue Oct 16 18 04:08pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

USB storage runs against the advertising and mantra of the device. Nintendo doesn’t want a situation where the device can ONLY access software when in a dock. This defeats their marketing. USB storage will never happen with the system.

This person gets it!

When will people realise they won’t get a docked only Switch or a handheld only Switch.

The secret is the name people.

Tue Oct 16 18 05:21pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

this is an amazing feature, allows for movies to be played while docked at home or in a hotel...

everyone claiming the switch isnt a handheld hahaha now apparently it is!!!


You know, people and Nintendo claim the Switch is all about choice. Play it, handheld, play it docked. Whatever. Wherever. Whenever. You're free to choose. Except, well, you're not! There are a lot of people out there that are only interested in playing the Switch while docked. So they'd like to hook up a USB HDD, they're cheaper and have far more storage capacity. This only reinforces my view that the Switch is a handheld, with tacked on TV out. Everything about it is geared towards it. It's also frustrating that the Switch could have options like this but Nintendo deliberately choose not to allow it, just as they won't allow other features like a web browser.

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