The Nintendo Switch Will NEVER Be the Same // MIG-Switch Dumper Review

Taki Udon
22 Mar 202413:56


TLDRThe video discusses the MIG Switch Dumper, a device that can clone Nintendo Switch game cartridges, potentially impacting the market for both new and used games. The Dumper connects to a computer and Switch, allowing for the extraction of game files, including unique identifiers that could be misused, leading to concerns about the authenticity of used games and the potential for counterfeit cartridges. The video also explores the technical aspects of the Dumper and its implications for the gaming community.


  • ūüöÄ Introduction of the MIG Switch Dumper, a device that could potentially change the Nintendo Switch market significantly.
  • ūüď¶ The MIG Switch Dumper is a small red box with a USB Type-C port and a Nintendo Switch cartridge slot, designed to read and clone game cartridges.
  • ūüíĽ When connected to a computer, the Dumper appears as a flash drive, allowing access to files necessary for creating a clone of a game cartridge.
  • ūüéģ The Dumper can be used with an emulator to play games without needing the original cartridge, raising concerns about piracy and counterfeiting.
  • ūüĒĄ The process of dumping and cloning games is not new, but the MIG Switch Dumper simplifies it, potentially leading to increased piracy and counterfeiting.
  • ūüõ†ÔłŹ A teardown of the Dumper reveals an ESP32 microcontroller and a Lattice FPGA, which handle IO, updating, and data decryption respectively.
  • ūüĒć The existence of the Dumper could impact the used game market, as it may become difficult to distinguish between authentic and cloned cartridges.
  • ūüí° Nintendo Switch owners may need to be cautious when purchasing used games, as there is a risk that the unique certificate files from those games could have been dumped and misused.
  • ūüďą The potential for counterfeit games to enter the market could affect the resale value and trust in the authenticity of used Nintendo Switch games.
  • ūüďö The video emphasizes the importance of being informed about the MIG Switch Dumper and its implications for all Nintendo Switch owners, regardless of their interest in the device.
  • ūüé• The video creator, Taki, demonstrates the use of the Dumper and discusses its potential impact on the gaming community and Nintendo's market strategy.

Q & A

  • What is the primary function of the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -The MIG Switch Dumper is a device that allows users to extract data from Nintendo Switch game cartridges, enabling the creation of clones with the hardware solution provided by the MIG Switch.

  • How does the MIG Switch Dumper physically connect to a computer and a Nintendo Switch?

    -The MIG Switch Dumper connects to a computer via a USB Type-C port and to a Nintendo Switch by inserting the game cartridge into its cartridge slot.

  • What are the potential negative consequences for Nintendo Switch owners due to the existence of the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -The existence of the MIG Switch Dumper can lead to the creation and distribution of cloned game cartridges, which may impact the used game market and potentially result in lost revenue for Nintendo. It also raises concerns about the authenticity of used games and the risk of Nintendo banning Switch consoles if pirated games are played online.

  • What unique file is crucial for identifying the originality of a game cartridge?

    -The ROM certificate file is unique to each game cartridge and is essential for identifying whether a game has been legitimately cloned or not.

  • How does the MIG Switch Dumper affect the process of dumping a game?

    -The MIG Switch Dumper simplifies the process of dumping a game by allowing users to extract all necessary files, including the ROM file, card ID set, card UID, and ROM certificate, which can then be used to create an exact clone of the game cartridge.

  • What is the significance of the update process for the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -The update process is important for the MIG Switch Dumper as it allows the device to stay current with the latest firmware, ensuring compatibility with new game releases and maintaining its functionality.

  • What components are identified on the PCB of the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -The PCB of the MIG Switch Dumper contains an ESP32 microcontroller for handling IO and updating the FPGA, a Lattice FPGA for interfacing with the game card to decrypt the game files, and other supporting components like resistors and fuses.

  • How does the MIG Switch Dumper impact the used game market for Nintendo Switch?

    -The MIG Switch Dumper could potentially make the used game market unreliable due to the possibility of counterfeit games being sold as authentic. It increases the risk for buyers who may inadvertently purchase a cloned game thinking it's original.

  • What precautions should a buyer take when purchasing a used Nintendo Switch game after the introduction of the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -Buyers should ask the seller if the game has ever been dumped or cloned. They should also be aware that it may be difficult to verify the authenticity of a used game without opening it up to inspect the cartridge.

  • How does the MIG Switch Dumper affect the gaming experience when running a game through emulation?

    -Running a game through emulation with the MIG Switch Dumper can provide a better gaming experience than the official system, as demonstrated with Minecraft running smoother via emulation than under the stock OS.

  • What is the potential impact on Nintendo's revenue due to the use of the MIG Switch Dumper?

    -The use of the MIG Switch Dumper could lead to a decrease in Nintendo's revenue as it facilitates the creation and distribution of cloned games, which may discourage the purchase of new games and lead to a reliance on the used market.



ūüéģ Introduction to the MIG Switch Dumper

The video begins with an introduction to the MIG Switch Dumper, a device that has the potential to significantly impact the Nintendo Switch market. The host, Taki, expresses concern that the video might be taken down due to the sensitive nature of the content. The Dumper is described as a small red box with a USB Type-C port and a cartridge slot, designed to read and clone Nintendo Switch game cartridges. The host emphasizes the importance of being informed about the Dumper, as it could affect all Switch owners, even those without interest in the device itself. The video aims to present information for both potential buyers and those who want to understand the implications of the Dumper's existence.


ūüöÄ Demonstrating the MIG Switch Dumper's Functionality

In this section, the host demonstrates how the MIG Switch Dumper works by connecting it to a computer and a Nintendo Switch. The Dumper is shown to function similarly to an SD card reader, allowing the computer to access files necessary for creating a game clone. The host uses Minecraft as a test case, showing that the Dumper can read the game's files and even run the game via emulation on the Switch. The video highlights the ease with which the Dumper can access and potentially clone game cartridges, raising concerns about the implications for the used game market and the potential for counterfeiting.


ūüí° The Implications of the MIG Switch Dumper

The final paragraph discusses the broader implications of the MIG Switch Dumper on the Nintendo Switch ecosystem. The host outlines two main concerns: the potential for people to clone high-resale-value games and the risk of counterfeit games flooding the used market. The video explains that the unique certificate file on game cartridges could be cloned and used by multiple consoles, which could lead to Nintendo banning those consoles from online services. The host also expresses concern about the difficulty in verifying the authenticity of used games in the market, as clones could be nearly indistinguishable from the original. The video concludes with the host's personal decision to inquire about game dumping history when purchasing used games, highlighting the need for vigilance in the face of these new challenges.



ūüí°Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid video game console developed by Nintendo, which can be used as a home console connected to a TV or a portable device with its LCD screen. In the video, the console is central to the discussion of the MIG Switch Dumper, a device that interacts with the Switch to clone game cartridges, potentially impacting the market and user experience.

ūüí°MIG Switch Dumper

The MIG Switch Dumper is a device that allows users to clone the data from a Nintendo Switch game cartridge. It is a small red box with a USB Type-C port and a cartridge slot, designed to read and copy game files, which can then be used with an emulator or on a modded Switch.


Cloning in the context of the video refers to the process of creating an exact copy of the data stored on a Nintendo Switch game cartridge. This is facilitated by the MIG Switch Dumper, which reads the game's files and allows for their duplication and potential redistribution.


Emulation is the process by which one system imitates the function of another. In the video, it refers to running a Nintendo Switch game on a different platform, such as a PC or a modded Switch, by using the cloned game files and an emulator that mimics the Switch's operating system.


ROM stands for Read-Only Memory, which in the context of the video refers to the game data file extracted from a Nintendo Switch cartridge. This file contains the game's code and assets, and is necessary for playing the game on an emulator or a modded Switch.

ūüí°Card ID Set

The Card ID Set is a unique identifier associated with a specific game cartridge. It is one of the pieces of data that the MIG Switch Dumper can extract, which is crucial for the cloning process as it helps to authenticate the game on a different system.

ūüí°ROM Certificate

The ROM Certificate is a file that serves as a digital signature for a game cartridge. It is unique to each individual game copy and is used to verify the legitimacy of the game when played online. The video raises concerns about the potential for this certificate to be cloned and misused, leading to issues with Nintendo's ability to track and manage game authenticity.

ūüí°Used Game Market

The used game market refers to the trade of pre-owned video games, where individuals buy and sell games that have been previously used. The video discusses the potential impact of the MIG Switch Dumper on this market, as cloned games could be sold as authentic used copies, leading to a rise in counterfeit products.


Counterfeit refers to the imitation of an object, often with the intent to deceive. In the context of the video, it relates to the potential creation of fake game cartridges that are cloned using the MIG Switch Dumper, which could be sold as authentic used games, deceiving buyers and impacting the legitimacy of the used game market.


The ESP32 is a low-cost microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth. In the MIG Switch Dumper, it serves as the main processing unit, handling input/output operations and updating the FPGA, which is responsible for interfacing with the game cartridge to extract data.


FPGA stands for Field-Programmable Gate Array, an integrated circuit designed to be configured after manufacturing to desired application requirements. In the MIG Switch Dumper, the FPGA is used to interface with the game cartridge and decrypt the game files in a similar manner to how a hacked Switch would.


The introduction of the MIG Switch Dumper, a device that could potentially change the Nintendo Switch market forever.

The MIG Switch Dumper is a small red box with a USB Type-C port and a Nintendo Switch cartridge slot, designed to read and clone game cartridges.

The device can be used to create a 1:1 clone of a game cartridge, which can then be used online, posing potential risks for Nintendo Switch owners.

The MIG Switch Dumper works similarly to an SD card reader, allowing a computer to read the necessary files for cloning a game cartridge.

When connected to a computer, the dumper appears as a flash drive with a system folder containing an Update.S2 file.

The dumper can read additional files such as the ROM file, card ID set, card UID, ROM certificate, and ROM initial data.

The ease of use and accessibility of the MIG Switch Dumper raises concerns about the potential for piracy and counterfeiting of game cartridges.

The dumper can be used with an emulator to run games without needing the original cartridge, which could impact the used game market.

The potential for cloning unique files from game cartridges could lead to issues when purchasing used games, as these files could have been copied and used elsewhere.

The MIG Switch Dumper could encourage the production of counterfeit game cartridges, affecting the trustworthiness of the used game market.

The video demonstrates the process of updating the MIG Switch Dumper with a new binary file, showing the device's adaptability.

A teardown of the MIG Switch Dumper reveals its components, including an ESP32 microcontroller and a Lattice FPGA.

The MIG Switch Dumper's PCB is simple and could potentially be replicated for the production of counterfeit game cartridges.

The existence of the MIG Switch Dumper could lead to a shift in the used game market, with potential buyers needing to verify the authenticity of used game cartridges.

The video discusses the broader implications of the MIG Switch Dumper on the Nintendo Switch ecosystem, including potential losses for Nintendo and challenges for consumers.

The MIG Switch Dumper's ability to clone game cartridges could lead to an increase in the production of fake cartridges, affecting the resale value of games.

The video concludes with a call to action for viewers to stay informed about the MIG Switch Dumper and its potential impact on the gaming community.



This red box is going to change  the Nintendo Switch market forever,  


and after today, it will never be the same.


Hey guys, Taki here. Today, we have a huge video.  As I stated in my MIG Switch video, I think  


there's a high chance that this video is going to  get taken down. But I hope that Nintendo doesn't  


because even if you don't want to buy this thing  at all and you have no interest in it or this  


card, you need to be informed about it because its  existence can impact every Nintendo Switch owner.


And if you are not informed about  what it is and what it does,  


there are some potential negative consequences  that can come out of it. So in this video,  


I'm going to present the information that  I think both sides need to know about this,  


people that are interested in getting  this and also the people that want to  


know how they're going to navigate the  landscape now that both of these exist.


Anyway, this is the MIG Switch Dumper. It’s a  small red box with a USB Type-C port on one end,  


and a Nintendo Switch cartridge slot on the  other. And if I just get a cart for this,  


it clicks into place just  like it does on a Switch.


Without even opening it up, I'm  assuming some of the things that  


were on the PCB for this are also on this  PCB because the update files are the same.


If you want to wrap your head around  this, think of it as if it were an  


SD card reader. If you connect this to  a computer with a cartridge inserted,  


the computer would be able to read  all of the files that you would need  


to essentially create a clone of it with  the hardware solution in the Mig Switch.


These are things that were usually used  for emulators, but there's a lot of extra  


identification that is only required for when  you want to do a 1:1 clone of a card that can  


then go online. That's the most important  part of this entire thing. But we got to  


see how it works. So let's get a computer  to see what happens when we plug this in.


For our PC, we are going to go with  the Nintendo Switch. Obviously,  


this can be used in a lot of things, but  I just figured since Nintendo is already  


going to be super angry that I am doing a  video on the dumper, why not make matters  


worse for myself by showing an operating system  that they don’t even want you to be able to run.


So anyway, we have the dumper here connected  to this USB cable. There’s no cart in it right  


now, and we are just going to start by connecting  the other end of the cable to the Switch.


Once that happens, the activity light  is going to go on inside the dumper,  


and if I put my hand here, you can see that  the activity light is solid red to show that  


it's active. At the top of the screen, we  have a notification that we’ve connected a  


drive called Game Card. And if we press on  that, we can view what is on this dumper.


So far, it looks like a flash drive. Now,  the interesting thing about this is that  


the properties show that this is a 275GB drive. It  also says that it has half a gig of free storage.


I don't believe that this thing has that  much space and we'll check on that later  


when we do a teardown. I just think it’s  very interesting that they’ve done this.  


As you can see, it says that we are at  99% capacity with the drive almost full.


Inside the drive, we have a system folder. In  there, we have a single Update.S2 file. If you  


recall from my Mig Switch video, that’s the update  package. They only have one update package online,  


so I would be shocked if these do  not share the same PCB components.


If we press on that file, we can see that that is  


just basically under 300KB. I’ll go over  the update process later in the video.


As you can see right now, we don’t have anything.  This just works as a flash drive. If I disconnect  


it, that goes away. If I plug it back in, it  reconnects as a USB drive. I think everybody  


watching this has a pretty good understanding  of how a flash drive works, so we can move on.


This is where things get spicy -  finding a that I can test this with.


Most of the games that I have  are things that I know would  


cause ninjas to kick in my windows,  so I’m going to go with Minecraft.


I have two of them here, and I am going to be  


upfront about what I'm doing. If  I copy any files off this dumper,  


they will not exist after the camera shuts  off. This is not a game that I need to dump.


So let's take one of our two Minecraft  cartridges, and we are just going to put  


this into our little box and then we're  going to connect it and see what happens.


So the dumper disconnects, the activity light  goes back on, and then our game card shows back  


up. The difference this time is that we now have  a new folder. I want to go into the properties  


now to see what it says for our capacity. It still  says that we have the same amount of free space,  


but now it says we have a bunch of  items that are totaling over 900MB.


If I go inside the new folder, you can see  all of the files that you would need to be  


able to clone this card on the Mig Switch.  If we look at those, we have the ROM file,  


which is pretty small, all things  considered, at less than a gig. We  


also have the card ID set, the card UID, the  ROM certificate, and the ROM initial data.


As far as I know, this file here is the one  that is unique from every single cartridge.  


It's unique to this Minecraft cartridge. If I did  a dump of this and I analyzed this cartridge and  


then I dumped this Minecraft right here, those two  files should be different. But the initial data,  


the card UID and the card ID set and the ROM,  should be identical between the two of them.


Only the ROM certificate should be different.


What I want you to kind of internalize  is just how easy it was for me to connect  


this to my Switch to have full  access to all of these files.


Now I can make a 1:1 backup  of this card. If I did that,  


do I even need the real cartridge anymore? No.


I have enough files here to make an exact  clone of this game and use it how I see fit.


That's kind of the danger  of these two products. Now,  


does this work? And the answer to that question  is yes. And it even works in the way that it is  


connected right now. We do not even need to  copy these files over to be able to use them.


If I open he who shall not be named,  


you can see that it identifies Minecraft  as a valid game. A couple of things here.


The files that are currently in use to allow this  to happen come from this Nintendo Switch. I know  


Nintendo doesn’t care about that distinction, but  I am trying to do this as above board as possible.


If we press on the game, you can see  that the game will start to launch,  


and the activity light will change.


Now we have my OLED Switch,  


using its own files to decrypt this game  running from an external card reader.


It is so strange that this is  now possible. It’s weird that  


someone would never even need to dump  their games to be able to use them,  


and I believe you can do this across all  platforms that have a USB port and an emulator.


Anyway, here’s Minecraft running on the  Switch through emulation. I have played  


a lot of Minecraft on the Switch, and the most  disappointing thing about seeing this running  


in the way that I have here is that it even  runs better than it does under the official  


system. This is just sad. You should not be  able to get an improved gaming experience by  


running an emulator that emulates the device  that you are using to run the emulator.


I’m going to show you in just a second,  but if this was in the stock system,  


I would see a ton of pop-in as the  game loads in other parts of the world,  


but it’s running way better  than it should via emulation.


Here’s that same game under the stock  OS, and you can see exactly what I am  


talking about. This isn’t even as bad as  it can get because it’s possible to get a  


defacto loading screen while you wait for  the next chunk to load in. But I digress.


We'll have one thing left to cover when it comes  to this before we start talking about some of the  


meat of this video, and that is updating it. Let's  go over to the MiG Switch website. We can see that  


the cartridge and the dumper share a binary.  I’ve gone ahead and grabbed the latest version.


It shows up as an 80KB file.  I'm going to copy this file,  


and then I will go to the system folder to paste  it in place, overwriting the one that is there.


Now you can see that our file in this  folder is only 80KB. We're going to  


disconnect this and then reconnect it. And  now when we go back in there, you can see  


the file is back to being 272 kilobytes. So  that's how we do the update process on this.


I think the next thing people want  to see is the PCB. Before doing that,  


I’m going to open the Mig Switch card. As  a recap, they etched out the two of these,  


but I was able to identify that  one of the chips was an ESP32,  


which is a very cheap microcontroller, and  the other was a small FPGA from Lattice.


Both of these should be inside the MIG Switch  Dumper. All right. Let's disconnect the USB cable  


to start opening this up. With the thing open,  we can see that they did not etch off the labels,  


so we can get a closer look at them  after we remove the remaining screws.


And here we go, this is the Mig Switch Dumper.


And as you'll notice, we have some familiar parts  that we already talked about. Here’s the ESP32,  


which is going to fill the role of  handing IO and updating the FPGA,  


and if we flip this, here’s our Lattice  FPGA. This should be the chip that is  


responsible for interfacing with the  card to be able to rip off the data.


Essentially, it's decrypting the game files in the  same way that you do on a hacked Switch. And if  


we just get our Mig Switch, we can see this Chip  is the Lattice chip, and this one is the ESP32.


Beyond that, we just have two other  chips, along with some resistors and  


fuses. There’s not a whole lot going on  here. We do have this cartridge slot,  


and I guess this is just something  that exists as an aftermarket part on  


the repair market Switches so they were  just able to get them for this product.


Anyway, here’s the back. It’s  a very simple piece of kit,  


and this is something that shouldn’t be too  complicated given what they have on this.


I might leave the case off this because I think  the bare board looks better than the red box.


That's the whole that's the whole thing.


For this last big section, I want to talk about  the impact of this. Now that both products exist,  


I feel like I can fully outline all  of the issues that this presents.


So let's get one thing clear before we  get started. It was possible to dump  


games before this thing existed, and it'll  be possible to dump them after. The big  


difference is in what is being dumped. If  you dump a Switch game on a modded Switch,  


you’d usually just have the ROM file here,  and that would allow you to play the game  


on an emulator, or on a modded Switch  by running the game from an SD card.


From Nintendo's side, they could ban your  Switch if you were to ever play that game  


with your Switch connected to the internet. This  is why people that have modded Switches usually  


only play pirated games on their emulated  system with all of the telemetry disabled.


With this tool, we now have a use for other card  contents that can be dumped. And the one that's  


important here is that certificate file because  that's the unique file for this exact cartridge.


Before this existed, there was  never a real use for those files,  


and even though people could have dumped  those files with a modded Switch in the  


past, there was nothing they could  really do with them. Now there is.


I want to be upfront about this  with you. After I did my last video,  


I said I was going to go out and buy  a ton of Switch games that I had on  


my wish list. I bought about 15 games or  so a day after I released my last video.  


These aren’t all of them, but they were  games that I had been holding off on.


Just like with the Switch consoles that I own,  


I buy a mix of new and used games. If there’s  a game that I really want to play on release,  


then I will buy that game sealed. That would be  something like Tears of the Kingdom or Super Mario  


RPG. I bought those games on release because I  wanted to experience them when they were new.


For other games that are older that I never  got to experience, I would just buy those  


games used and before these things existed,  I never needed to worry about whether or not  


somebody had cloned any unique files that could  potentially get me screwed without me knowing.


To be able to describe the situation that  we're now in, I'm going to use Minecraft for  


this and I'm going to use it for a few  reasons that will hopefully make sense  


to you. I have two copies of this. One is  inside here, and the other is on this table.


Let's say I wanted to buy a third copy of  Minecraft and I didn't want to buy it brand  


new. If I want to buy this game now, and  this is typically a game that want to use  


online that you could use online, I now  need to worry about whether or not there  


is a certificate file from the game that I'm  buying that has been dumped on the Internet,  


or that somebody has made a copy of  that they're running from a Mig Switch.


That's one worry that I have to have. And if  you think that people aren't going to do this,  


you are sorely mistaken because there's  a lot of discussion already from people  


that want to go out and buy new  Switch games just to dump them  


before returning them to a store after  they get the files that they need.


If those people go online with their clone, and  you go online with your game, that certificate  


file will go to Nintendo and they can see there  are two consoles or more using the same unique ID.


Nintendo hasn't said how they're going to handle  this situation, but they can’t sit back because  


this will cause a lot of lost revenue for  them. I wish that they would say something  


because this is not a good situation for Nintendo  Switch owners to be in. So now in this situation,  


if I want to buy this thing used, I have to  ask the seller, have you dumped this game?


And I have to hope that they have been honest.  Now, if they were the original owner of the game,  


it’s easier to track the chain of custody because  I just have to ask one person, but if many people  


have owned the same game, that’s way too risky.  Because now you have to hope that multiple people  


didn’t clone a cert file while they had  their hands on the game that you now own.


Now that is just if someone wants to use the game  on the Mig Switch. If you are a Switch owner,  


it is not going to come as a surprise  that the used prices on Switch games  


are kind of high. The official price  for new games is also kind of high.


There is now a huge incentive for people to take a  


game that has a high resale value and  just clone it with a fake cartridge  


using the hardware solution that now  exists with this Mig Switch design.


If people have the ability to turn out  near identical clones of official games,  


then the entire used market  just becomes super shady.


Let's take let's take these two games,  for example. These are the used prices  


for Breath of the Wild and Tears of the  Kingdom where I live. As you can see,  


they aren’t that cheap, especially for  a game as old as Breath of the Wild.


If we take the hardware on the MIG Switch as an  example, we have an FPGA that is going to set  


you back $2-3 in volume, as well as an ESP32 that  can go for between $2-4 depending on the model.


If we include all of the passive components  that are on this board and take into account  


the cost to get it fabricated, you are  looking at like a $7 PCB. You could  


then add some storage on the board, get a good  sticker, and a nice shell to have a full clone.


Now, when you want to go buy something from the  second-hand market, it would be very difficult  


for you to know at a glance if you're buying  an authentic Switch game because they could  


do such a good job that you won't know unless  you opened it up. That's going to be a huge  


problem going forward because now you're going  to have to worry about counterfeits and it's  


something that we didn't need to worry about  for the entire lifespan of the Nintendo Switch.


So I presented two situations to you, one  where there's an incentive for people to  


now clone cartridges of games with high  resale values, but they could even do this  


for a current release. That's going to have  a huge impact on the entire Switch ecosystem.


The cynical side of this is, well,  


Nintendo is going to be happy about this  because this will just blow up the used  


game market and cause people to only buy  new games. I don’t know if I believe that.


Going forward, I am going to have to get used  to asking sellers if they have ever dumped  


the files from their games now that these both  exist. I think that fully explains this title.


Anyway, that’s it for this review  of the Mig Switch Dumper. It does  


what it sets out to do, but  it does have some downsides.


If you enjoyed this video and you  want to see another, take a look at  


my big video on the Nintendo Switch in  2024. Happy gaming everyone, Taki out.

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