Woman buys hacked Switch that’s banned, gains partial refund

Nintendo Switch - Hack - Ban

The old saying: “Crime doesn’t pay” is often true. However, sometimes it can. Erm-well, this situation, as reported by CTV News, requires more context Nicole Jones is a Canadian lady who purchased a second-hand Switch was technically paid due to a crime if you want to get technical. You see, this Switch is actually one that’s been hacked before and subsequently banned from accessing Nintendo’s servers. But, she did manage to get a refund, thankfully.

After taking this matter to court, the lady was awarded half of the bill she paid for the used Switch: $380 CAD (meaning that she got $190 CAD back). While the seller originally did not want to pay her back, arguing that the console was still functional, the court settled the matter on the side of Ms. Jones. The reason being that the limited functionality of the system was not mentioned in the seller’s listing and so she ended up buying an item that was described as “Like New” essentially under false pretenses.

Not so fast

Nintendo will disable a Switch’s ability to access its online servers when it detects the system has been tampered with in some way. Even if the system has not been used to engage in piracy (where the crime would come in), the modifying of critical system files would still be enough to tip off Nintendo’s detection software. Once online services for a system are disabled, it is no longer able to download new firmware updates, game updates, upload cloud saves, or download new software from the eShop. So, while it is still functional, you’re essentially only getting half of its actual potential.

Unfortunately, Ms. Jones is still going to have to find a way to secure a fully-unlocked Switch. Since, once a system has been banned, this ban cannot be reverted. And of course, her selling it to someone else would just bring this situation up all over again. Not the average console buying experience at all.

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.