It seems that everybody around us is playing Animal Crossing New Horizons, and we’re not alone in this. But a new Nintendo Switch can’t be had for love nor money, and second hand ones have fallen victim to price gouging. It seems if you’re not playing the game, you’re out of luck, or are you?
What’s to be done? [Sarbaaz37] found the hardware hacker’s solution to that question: Build a Nintendo Switch entirely from spare parts, of course! It took a month to source the parts and it’s not a project for the fainthearted, but it provides us with a look at all the parts they pack into the handheld. All told, there’s about 22 part numbers in the bill of materials.
Anyone who has peeked inside a laptop recently will be familiar with the arrangement of this type of device. An array of extremely snug-fitting and fragile electronics laid out like a TV dinner has to be carefully assembled in a specific order and this is no different. Along the way [Sarbaaz37] has some pro tips, like cleaning off the stock thermal compound and using a higher quality. The eventual result is a working Switch, which for $200 is not a bad deal, though they do note that the pandemic has since led to a price rise in Nintendo parts as well as consoles.
This is, we think, the first home-made Switch we’ve seen, but it’s not the first desirable piece of consumer electronics made from grey market parts we’ve seen. Who could forget the Shenzhen electronics markets adventure of sourcing all the parts that go into an iPhone?
Thanks [Roel] for the tip.
20 thoughts on “Nintendo Switch Built Completely From Replacement Parts”
Or put in an alert at nowinstock.net, and a month later, get an ACNH edition Switch from Amazon for $299. Assembling one from parts does look like a fun endeavor, though.
What if someone wants a Gen1 and cant one
Now that’s an interesting concept. Can’t buy a hackable Gen 1 then just build your own.
What I did was to get a console that had a gouged touchscreen then a couple joy-cons that needed parts of their casing and analog sticks replaced.
But it looks like the market got tighter as my quick search is turning up consoles for nearly double what I payed for the console and I can’t find a single broken joy con for under $20.
I’d not heard there was a shortage, and just went out and bought one off the high street a day or so after AC release as a present. Most surprised to learn later that they were like gold dust!
I think it was as word spread that AC was actually good.
Not shocking that he got it to work I’m more shocked on how nintendo allows you to buy most of the parts.
Doctrine of first sale, the parts aren’t theirs any more so the best they could hope to do is respond negatively to any network outreach the console makes (denying online play or firmware updates).
Doctrine of first sale wouldn’t apply to parts from a factory.
An impressive build, but it makes me wonder what would be the minimum in parts to run it in dock mode only. No screen, battery, etc.
my switch never left the dock, it would be nice to have the minimum to run it, less parts to fail no battery to explode
the mainboard + a docking board is round about 200$ the battery can maybe replaced with a cap and resistor? maybe if the price for the board i dropping i will give it a try
Ouch! this article is an anti- right to repair weapon
Why? Because someone built a device from legitimate parts involving no hacking or cracking of software code or DRM? Nintendo likely made it’s premium on the parts, mostly it just cuts out the retailers profit.
Please make a video. This is awesome
Please don’t! Annotated pictures and written instructions are so much more useful for this sort of project. Thank you for bucking the trend of “everything must be a video” Sarbaaz37 !
How are they loading the software (legally) to get it to work?
Not pictured there is the main board, which he paid US$99 for, the main board includes all the serial keys and that sorta stuff. The rest is just peripherals really.
How did you get the OS ?
Its likely already on it. I could be completely wrong but one should assume these parts were scraped from broken Switches, if that is the case the OS is already there. You could compare this project to fixing a Switch you already own that the screen broke on or any other part but with this you’re replacing every part to make something you never had.
I hope im right about the OS because ive been really thinking of doing this, or like the other person said building one that is permanently docked. Does any one know how one could be built using the least amount of parts? Maybe just the motherboard/cpu, (maybe somehow hardwire the hdmi cable to it so no docking port chip was needed) would the joy pad connectors on the sides be needed if you were going to use a wired controller, i guess the docking port would then be needed. No screen, perhaps a smaller cheaper battery or a capacitor and resistor in its place? Thank you
Ah. At least I can put a Raspberry Pi that makes a Switch-like and run Linux to it :D
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