In a technical hiccup so weird that it makes you fear for the longevity of our way of life, Pokémon Sword & Shield players have discovered over the weekend that their games and Nintendo Switch consoles are interfering with Roku streaming boxes on the same network. Roku have released an update to patch the issue in their devices.
Something about Pokémon Sword & Shield’s network funtionality is sending Roku boxes into a boot loop that makes them unfunctional while the Switch is connected and playing the game. No amount of resetting, unplugging or even factory resets were able to diagnose the issue, until Redditor TheBasedSloth twigged the fact that if he turned off his Switch or set it into airplane mode, the Roku would start working again.
Roku have now issued an update to devices affected, which included the Insignia Roku, Roku 3 and Sharp Roku TV, amongst others. In order to update, the Roku must be responsive – so any nearby Switch consoles should be off or in airplane mode – at which point you can download the update via Settings > System > Software Update.
**Service Alert – Nintendo Switch and Pokémon information – November 17, 2019
Update: 7:30 PM PT
We are aware of an issue when using Nintendo Switch and the latest Pokémon game impacting a limited number of Roku devices. We are rolling out a software update to resolve it and impacted users can check for the update by going into Settings > System > Software Update.
Recovery instructions for FAQ and messaging:
If your Roku device is not currently stuck in a boot state, perform a software update by doing the following using the Roku remote:
- Press the Home button
- Go to Settings>System>Update
- Check for update and install the available update
After the software is installed and the device has restarted, you should have recovered normal functionality and be updated to these versions depending on your device model.
- Roku players and Streaming Sticks – 9.2.0 build 4701
- Select Roku TV – 9.1.0 build 4501 or 9.2.0 build 4601
If your device is currently in a boot state, do the following before performing the steps above:
- Turn off the Nintendo Switch or place the Nintendo Switch into Airplane mode
- Restart the Roku
Note: If the behavior is caused by a nearby Nintendo Switch that is not yours, unplug the Roku device from the power source temporarily.
Reconnect to power at a later time, possibly at night time, so that the Roku device can automatically check for an update during the night.
It’s such a bizarre issue, but not really the fault of Nintendo or Game Freak. It’s likely that Pokémon Sword & Shield are calling to an obscure networking port that the Roku also uses, exposing a flaw in the Roku TV OS. Thankfully it’s been a quick problem to solve.