Flash Carts for the Nintendo Switch are Here // MIG-Switch Review

How’s it going everyone, Taki here. Today, I’ve got a big video for you. If you saw my community post, then you already know that I have a review copy of the new Nintendo Switch flash card and this video, we’re going to do a review of it. Now, before we dive into this video, I do just want to say that I think there’s a high chance that this video is going to get taken down by Nintendo. The product that we’re gonna be looking at today does have an overt piracy element to it, but I’m not going

to be covering that in this video. I’m going to be covering a part that I think is above board. Now, all of the games that you’re going to see in this video are my own. I bought them with my own money and I backed them up, and those are the cards that I’m going to use for this video for obvious reasons. I’m not going to demonstrate the process of backing up these cards because Nintendo doesn’t believe that people like me even have the legal right to be able to back up the cards that we own,

but that is what I’m going to do. I am not using any piracy in this video. That all being said, I hope they don’t do that because

there’s a lot of important information here, especially if you don’t want to buy this thing at all. The existence of this does have the ability to negatively impact every switch owner out there, including myself. And I want this information to exist so people can fully understand what is going to happen when this thing starts shipping out next month. The topic of today’s video is this guy. This is the

MIG-Switch and at a high level, this is a multi-game flash cart that is capable of being used on every switch out there, including ones that have not been modded at all. It does this by using some creative hardware on the PCB to mirror what an actual game card does when it’s inserted into a switch, and when done correctly, the company that makes this says it’s identical to an actual physical game cartridge. Right now this cartridge won’t work because we need to do some extra stuff to it, but I will just show off that it does

go in as a normal cartridge would and when you insert it all the way, it would show up here. But again, it needs some more work to be able to function correctly. As you can see, when I push this card into place, there’s a red LED right there and that basically tells you that this is not being able to read the files that are on that SD card. Now, as I pointed out, there are ways that this can be used in a somewhat legitimate sense. And there are also ways that this can be used in

an illegal sense. Now, I can’t show you in this video, but on this SD card, I have a full backup of the Super Mario RPG game, and I have all of the files that the manufacturer says will allow this cartridge to act as a physical copy of this one. What that basically looks like is you’re gonna have a series of files. The first one is the most common because it has existed for a long time. It’s a .xci dump of the actual game cartridge, and these files are typically used on modded switches or emulators like

yuzu and Ryujinx. The difference is that this cartridge is able to use several other files that are present on an actual game cartridge that haven’t been used thus far. I’ll have the full list on screen, but these would be things like unique serial numbers that are tied directly to each individual cartridge, and no cartridge should be the same. So that’s how it works from a high level, but to be able to understand how it’s actually accomplishing that, we’re going have to open it up. And you can see that there’s a screw on the top here.

So we’re just going to go ahead and take off that screw and then we will be able to see the PCB that’s underneath this front cover. I’m going to leave the shell down here so we can take a close-up look at this PCB. I’m going to put this down on the table in just a second, but I want to do one close-up shot so you can see what this looks like. So the first thing you’ll notice on this PCB is that we have two small chips here that look identical. And the thing that’s pretty obvious

here is that they have gone ahead and etched off the top of this to try to hide what this chip actually is. To me, stuff like this always seems kind of pointless because this will not stop the people who have the technical knowledge be able to find out what this chip actually is and what it’s doing. Now, personally, I don’t know exactly what these chips are, but I can guess that they’re probably an FPGA or some other ASIC that was coded to be able to act like an actual game cartridge and be able to use

those files that we mentioned earlier. Now, for those of you out there that can remember the days of the Nintendo DS, then you know that piracy was rampant on that console and there were a lot of solutions that came out to be able to do what this cartridge is doing now. But we can probably guess due to the length of time that this took to come to market, that Nintendo upped up their security to a significant degree versus those older consoles. This is an example of an R4 cartridge for the Nintendo DS, and it basically

does the same thing that this new cartridge does. But this one has less functionality at this point in time. As I mentioned earlier, I did a full backup of this cartridge on this SD card, but right now, these two chips do not know how to use those files. At a high level, there are a few different ways you can go about creating a cartridge dump, and one of the more common ways is to create what is called a split file dump of a cartridge. A dump of this game will create two different files, and right

now, these two chips have not been programmed to be able to read those split files. So we need to update this. And I’m going to show that process right now. So I have the files on my SD card and I’m going to put this inside the MIG-Switch and we need to power this to be able to update the two chips that are inside here. We can do that by putting it inside a Switch console and you’ll see that that blue light will blink once the blue lights go on. That means it’s fully updated. All right,

so we’ve gone ahead and updated the software that’s on this card. Now when we insert it into this, it should show up as Super Mario RPG, because all of the same files that are on this cartridge are now on this one. So I’m going to push this cartridge down and you should see that this LED here turns green and then the game will show up here. And it’s green. And we should be able to boot this up. And you can see that it fully works. So in this situation, we have a single game on the

MIG-Switch, and since I’m doing this in the legal way, there’s no real point to do this because I could just use my real game cartridge if I wanted to. If I lose either one of them, I’m basically losing the same amount of money. So it doesn’t make sense to just use this for a single game. So that’s when we get into the multi-game aspect of this. So what I’m going to do now is follow the same process that I did to put my own Super Mario RPG files onto this MIG-Switch and do the same thing

with three other games so I can show how this works when you have more than one title on the MIG-Switch SD card. Well, that took a little while, but I have all of the files for these four game carts that I own on the MIG-Switch SD card and now I can go through the process of showing you what it’s like to use this in multi-card mode. So let’s start by just inserting the cartridge. And if I’m not mistaken, it should just go back to Super Mario RPG, since that was the last game that I played

on this. And you can see that that’s the case. This process is a little jank for a first gen release, but let’s go through what you have to do to get this to switch to a new title. So you just saw the LED light went green when I first put this in. If you want to switch to a new cartridge, you have to eject the card when the light is solid green and then reinsert it again, and then you go to the next game in the list. So let me just show you what that looks

like. Insert the card, eject, and then when I insert again, a new game should show up here and Pokémon Sword is there. Now, if I want to switch to another game, I have to do that same process again. So eject it, insert it, eject it. And now when I insert it again, it will be a different game. And there’s Let’s Go Eevee. Eject, insert, eject, insert again and there is Link’s Awakening. So again, these are my games right here that I backed up off-camera with my own Switch, and the company that makes the MIG-Switch claims

that you can use all of these online with no problems. If they implemented this card correctly, then that should be the case, but I don’t really feel comfortable with doing that. So you’ll see that my switch is on airplane mode. we’re going to talk about the issues with this product in just a second but I want to wrap up this part of the video by going over where I think this has a valid use case so let’s say for example you’re a person with a huge collection of switch games that you don’t want to carry

around with you when you’re traveling I have a few switch models and I’ll typically try with a switch light since it’s so light but I don’t want to carry around a lot of my very expensive switch cartridges because if I lose those then I’m out a lot of money but if I just lose a switch it’s not that big of a deal some of these cartridges need to be imported into the country that I live in so it’s a big hassle to replace them if I do lose them but it’s not a big hassle to

replace a switch since these are very easy to get where I live so from like a non- pirate standpoint I can see the appeal of something like this for someone that has a large collection of switch titles that they don’t want to travel around with obviously you could use digital releases for something like this but I like to buy all of my games as a physical release that’s where the above board aspect of this product ends and now I want to go over some of the issues or potential issues that I think people should be

aware of now that this exists after checking out the comments from the last couple of days I have seen a lot of people that are now worried about the secondhand market for switch games and that’s something that’s valid to go over let’s go through a couple of scenarios let’s say for example somebody owns this Pokemon sword game and they do a full backup like I did on their Mig switch later on they go ahead and sell this on the second handm Market or they return it to the store that they bought within the return window

you come along and buy this game and use it on your own switch and then you go online with it while the original owner of this card has a full backup of that cartridge including all the unique identification that ties it back to the original physical cartridge if they go online and you go online it will be very easy for Nintendo to ban both of your devices and based on the sentiment that I’ve seen on the internet over the last few days this seems to be something that a lot of people are looking forward to

doing now when it comes to the cartridges that I own I buy half and half new and used sometimes I can get the game that I want to play with the version that’s released in the country that I live in but other times I’ll buy secondhand models of ones that people have imported in the country so I can get the us or the European version before now I never had to worry about whether or not my account would be banned from using a physical cartridge like this because the dumps that people made of cartridges like

these never included those unique IDs now that they do Pandora’s Box has been opened and I don’t think that we can ever go back even beyond the fact that we now have to worry about whether or not somebody has done a full backup of a cartridge that they now are trying to sell off this Hardware existing now makes it possible for people to make bootleg clones of original cartridges that will look identical to the original cartridge unless you open it up obviously in this example it’s easy to tell that this is not an official cartridge

because it has that SD card slot but if they remove the SD card slot functionality and only included the ROM for the game that they want to make a bootleg clone of then you can see how this could become a big issue I haven’t talked about the price at all in this video but this Hardware sells for around $6 but I don’t think these two chips here are that expensive and if another company can come around and find out how to copy this solution then it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that they

would go ahead and start making bootleg clones of more expensive cartridges unfortunately the cat’s out of the bag now and I have to assume that this thing is going to sell like crazy so these kinds of things are things that you’re going to have to be worried about going forward Beyond everything that I just covered there is a way to use this without any of the unique identification that comes from an actual game cartridge if you never intend to go online with it you do require the unique identification from a single switch game so I

imagine that somebody in the internet will just you know dump that and then everybody will use it for their own purposes but I just wanted to mention that here personally I am more interested in the dumper that this company makes right now you need to have a hack switch to even be able to dump a cartridge in the first place and if you already have a hack switch and there’s no reason to use something like this because you can just install the game files on an SD card and travel around in that way when their

dumper comes out that will expand the issues that I just talked about in my last section but it’ll also make it easier for people to take their game files and play it on the systems that they want to instead of just being locked down to the Nintendo switch obviously Nintendo’s not going to be happy about that but that’s where things are right now if you have any other questions about something that I didn’t address in this video you can leave those down below and I’ll try my best to address them I don’t have any affiliate

links in this video for this Mig switch so I can’t help you out and give you any advice on where to buy one if you want one for yourself but these will be shipping in the next month if you enjoyed this video and you want to see another take a look at a recent video that I did on the rp4 pro emulation it’s another device that kind of looks similar to a switch but it has a lot more functionality happy gaming everyone Taki out

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