Each and every Nintendo Switch ships with a hidden copy of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game Golf along with a NES emulator necessary to run it. What’s more is that NES Golf runs on the Nintendo Switch with motion controller support too. This Easter Egg was discovered by hackers who acted on a comment from a user on online gaming community GBATemp.net
However what’s most interesting is how Golf is triggered on the Nintendo Switch. According to Nintendo Switch hacker yellows8, it can only be played one day in the year – that day being the death anniversary of former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata.
“The month+day must match the date of Iwata’s death: July 11. The loaded date originates from network-time-sync’d time, regardless of whether the user has it enabled or not. When the system was never connected to the Internet, it comes from the user-specified date instead,” yellows8’s entry on the Switchbrew wiki reads.
What this means is, unless you resort to unofficial methods, the only legitimate way to access NES Golf on the Nintendo Switch is if your Nintendo Switch has never been connected to the Internet thereby allowing you to manually changing the date to July 11. Reason being, the system knows the real date if connected to the Internet even once, and will ignore any manual clock change.
Also, both Joy-Cons must be removed from the console and users have to mimic Iwata’s hand gesture used to signal Nintendo Direct – the company’s video presentations. When it launches, you’ll hear a Japanese voice clip from one of Iwata’s many Nintendo Direct presentations.
It’s an interesting tribute to one of the gaming industry stalwarts. Prior to the Nintendo Switch being revealed, the company considered it to be the final project Iwata was involved in.
“I don’t have many details on the device itself but I do have some background for it and some PR techniques they will use for it. A thing to note about this device is that much of its production was started in 2014 and many [sic] of the stuff I list here was outlined by the late Satoru Iwata before his passing. Hence in the company, the NX is considered the last project of their late president,” industry insider Geno said in conversation with Dual Pixels. “Employees since his passing utter a phrase at the end of meetings and during idea brainstorms which is “岩田のために!” which roughly translates “For Iwata!””