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Nintendo Helps Us Make Sense Of This Weird Switch Feature

Chances are, you've been fairly up close and personal with your Nintendo Switch at one point or another. You probably know what all of the buttons do by now. You know what all the ports are there for. But it's possible there's one feature on the Switch you're completely in the dark about.


That's sort of ironic, because this strange bit of the Switch actually wants to know whether you're in the dark or not.

Nintendo of Japan finally decided to shine some light on this mystery by tweeting about it. The account posted the photo you see above, drawing a red circle around the previously unexplained section of the Switch. And then, according to our rough translation, Nintendo stated that is a "brightness sensor." It's job, basically, is to see how much ambient light you have in your surroundings, then adjust the brightness of the Switch's display in response.

How helpful!

If you've ever been playing your Switch under bright lights, this sensor has had your back, increasing the brightness in order to make the display easier to see. And if you've been playing under the covers at night, the sensor has helped there, too. By dimming the display in dark conditions, the sensor helps save both your eyes and some battery life.


Of course, this all assumes you have the "Auto Brightness" setting turned on. If you don't, the brightness level of your Nintendo Switch will stay put at whatever level you set.

With that, it's possible just about every Nintendo Switch hardware mystery has been solved. There's nothing else we've seen on the console that will be able to surprise us. Fortunately, it sounds like we could get a more powerful — but not too powerful — Nintendo Switch sometime this year, and that could usher in a whole new hardware design with all new features. We'll be ready to pick that "Switch Pro" apart if and when it arrives.