The Nintendo Switch is part of the 8th Generation of game consoles. The previous 7th generation was composed of the Nintendo Wii (the best-selling console of its generation), the Sony PlayStation 3, and the Microsoft Xbox 360. It helped bolster Nintendo from the slump it got from the poorly selling Wii-U, serving as their iteration of a handheld console but this time it also serves as a home console hybrid at the same time. It was released back in 2017 and has sold quite a lot just 3 short years compared to the lifetime sales of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
So do you want to know how to hook up Nintendo switch to a projector? Keep on reading to find out. It’s as easy as hooking up a Switch to an HDTV or computer monitor. As long as you have an HDMI port to work with, you should be good to go.
What is the History of the Nintendo Switch?
Released in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch was Nintendo’s second chance of making up for the failure that was the Wii-U, which severely underperformed right off of the heels of the hugely successful Nintendo Wii or the best-selling Nintendo home console of all time.
- A Versatile Gaming Device: The Wii-U failed because its clunky second screen controller didn’t appeal to the masses as much as the original Wii’s motion controls. Additionally, it felt more like a rehash of the Wii, which eventually got a bad reputation in terms of being home to loads of shovelware or garbage games with low-quality control from the usually stringent game and console development company. The Switch’s gimmick of doubling as a home and handheld console had more mainstream appeal than making a poor sequel to the Wii.
- Quality First-Party Nintendo Games: Like the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, and Wii-U before it, the Nintendo Switch is host to Nintendo’s first-party games as heralded by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Donkey Kong and Mario. You have your usual franchises involving Mario, Zelda, and the Smash Bros. series. Nintendo has also gone out of its way to woo third-party developers back into the fray after it had alienated them to the point of them preferring Sony or Microsoft consoles over their hardware. The Wii-U’s sales itself was bolstered by an emerging independent game scene as well.
- Both a Portable and Home Console: The main gimmick of the Switch that allowed it to win back fans is the fact that it can be used on an HDTV then picked up and used with its own screens like a portable tablet or smartphone. It’s a portable and home console at the same time, thus giving Nintendo a reason to release it despite the failure of its Wii-U console. It’s the newest iteration of the Game Boy and DS line of consoles with a home console twist instead of belonging in the line of consoles for NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube. If you wish to use the Switch at home, just plug it into the special dock that then connects to the HDMI port of your HDTV.
- So How Does The Switch Connect to Projectors? A Nintendo Switch connects to a projector the same way it connects to an HDTV. As long as the projector has an HDMI port and cable, it can connect fine with the dock of the Switch. To use the Switch as a mobile console, just remove it from the dock and use its battery and built-in screen. Otherwise, you can set it back to the dock and let it charge. The Switch is unique in that it can switch from TV or projector to built-in mobile screen in a jiffy without interrupting your game. It can get complicated though if your projector lacks an HDMI port.
How to Connect Nintendo Switch to a TV versus a Projector
In order to connect the Nintendo Switch or Switch Mini to your TV, monitor, or projector, you need to do the following. This applies to the whole Nintendo Switch Family and perhaps the Nintendo Wii-U, which also started using the HDMI cable and port to make a display connection. It’s also important to note that the Switch doesn’t support TV mode.
- Connecting Your Projector to Your Switch without HDMI: If your projector has A/V cables aside from HDMI because it’s a vintage Light Crystal Diode (LCD), Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS), or Digital Light Processing (DLP) type of projector, you need a converter or adapter to use it. Non-HDMI TV sets, monitors, and projectors require an HDMI converter in order to be able to play the Switch at its 1080p HD full resolution. Inside the box, the Switch comes with a 6.2-inch tablet, 2 Joy-Con controllers, 1 Joy-Con grip, a TV dock that can be used on projectors, a power charger, and an HDMI cable. You need HDMI ports and HDMI conversion to allow your Switch to work on vintage appliances, for the most part.
- It Starts with the Nintendo Switch Dock: First off, open the back cover of the dock of your Switch. From there, connect the USB plug from the Switch’s AC adapter with the model number of HAC-002 unto the top terminal of the device clearly labeled for it. It outright says “AC ADAPTER” in all capital letters for your convenience. Afterwards, connect the AC adapter to the wall socket or outlet in order to turn the Switch on. It’s at this point that you should connect one end of the included HDMI cable unto the bottom terminal of the dock known as “HDMI OUT”, also in all caps.
- HDMI Linkage to Your Display of Choice: Now that the HDMI output of the Switch’s dock is connected to the HDMI cable, you can proceed to connect the other end of the HDMI cable unto your HDTV, HDMI monitor, or HDMI projector. Naturally, if you’re using a projector, its screen is separate from the device. You should already have it mounted or placed correctly relative to the screen it’s supposed to project the digital image from your Nintendo Switch. Also, take note that the display requires the HDMI cable and the charger or adapter requires the USB cable instead. Finish up by closing the back cover of the Nintendo Switch’s dock.
- Working with the Joy-Con Controllers or Joy-Cons: As for the controllers of your Switch, you have removable Joy-Con controllers that you can remove from the sides of the console or the large tablet-like screen of the Switch. If the Joy-Cons weren’t previously attached to the Switch console, they should first be registered to the console so that you can use them as wireless controllers. Learn more about registration from the Nintendo Switch website, tutorial, or user manual. The Joy-Cons look like miniature versions of the Nintendo WiiMote or Nunchucks. While the console is on the dock, its LCD screen will remain turned off.
- Taking the Console Out of The Dock: The LCD screen will turn on as soon as you take the console off of the docks. It works just like a tablet or a handheld DS when it’s removed from the dock. As mentioned earlier, your progress on games such as Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be saved whether you’re playing the Switch through an HDTV or projector as well as through its built-in LCD handheld screen. Remember to select the correct HDMI input when playing on a TV set. With a projector, there’s only one HDMI output anyway, so you’re good to go.
- No HDMI Port on The Projector: If your projector lacks an HDMI port, you can convert the HDMI out of the Nintendo Switch dock into something else that suits your projector. Maybe it uses Digital Video Interface (DVI) and separate sound cables or DisplayPort (one cable for sound and video) instead. Or it could be a vintage projector that supports VGA for computer monitors or RCA for media players connected to the TV. You can avail of adapters or converters like the HDMI to RCA Converter Cable or the HDMI to Component Converter to do the job for you. It all depends on which ports the projector accepts. Remember that it should be an HDMI to A/V converter instead of an A/V to HDMI converter since the first standard should refer to the source media being converted.
See more Top 5 Best Portable Projector for The Nintendo Switch
The Bottom Line
The reason why Nintendo got away with releasing a second home console in the same generation as the PS4 and Xbox One is that it doubles as a handheld console that’s cut from the same cloth as the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, DS, and 3DS. It’s a hybrid home and handheld console that kept Nintendo afloat after the Wii-U sales disaster.
With that said, it shouldn’t take rocket science to connect your projector to a Nintendo Switch’s dock using an HDMI cable. The only time it gets complicated is if your projector uses ports other than HDMI, such as DVI or DP as well as vintage ports for VGA, RCA, and other A/V formats before the Turn of the Millennium. In such cases, an A/V to HDMI converter or adapter is called for. A Switch supports full HD 1080p projectors but if it’s a vintage one from the 1990s, you need an HDMI to VGA or HDMI to the component converter to make it work.
- Currys, “Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch“, Tech Talk, April 2, 2020
- “HDMI to RCA Converter Cable“, Amazon.com, Retrieved May 3, 2020
- “HDMI to Component Converter“, Amazon.com, Retrieved May 3, 2020