Just a few months after the first formal product announcements in October 2016, Nintendo's Switch home-portable-hybrid video game console went on sale on Friday. The relentless disassemblers over at iFixit took one of its specialty screwdriver kits to a fresh-off-the-store-shelf Switch console to take a look at the hardware inside and the techniques used to put it together. The first-revision Switch appears to be a refreshingly-modular system with a substantial potential for easy repairs. In separate but related news, device skin maker dbrand announced that it will not offer its vinyl veneers for Nintendo Switch consoles, saying that the coating on the Switch and its accessories will be damaged by the adhesive used in "all skins and wraps".
Users looking to take apart a Switch on their own will need a tri-wing Y00 screwdriver to first get the Switch open, but the device is otherwise assembled with tiny standard Phillips screws. Adhesive is used only to hold the battery in place and to stick the discrete display and digitizer units together. The actual hardware inside doesn't offer many surprises. A Nvidia ODNX02-A2 SoC headlines the show, with 4GB of Samsung LPDDR4 memory and 32GB of Toshiba eMMC NAND storage in supporting roles.
The Switch dock doesn't appear to be much more than a USB hub. As of this writing, the dock's rear USB port is restricted to USB 2.0 speeds. However, according to iFixit, Nintendo said it'll grow a software mushroom power-up to enable USB 3.0 speeds on that port. The Joy-Cons report to the console over Bluetooth. The red one has an NFC antenna and an infra-red camera built into it.
iFixit tore down the Switch console, the dock, both Joy-Cons, and the haptic feedback devices within the controllers in explicit detail. The site gives the Switch an eight-point score out of 10, remarking that the display is easily replaceable in the event of damage.