Pokémon Sword And Shield Are Making Some TVs Shut Off [Update]

Screenshot: Nintendo (Pokemon Sword and Shield )

Over the weekend, some players sat down to play Pokémon Sword and Shield on their Roku TVs, only to have them get stuck frozen on the startup screen before rebooting. Roku said it’s currently working to fix the problem.

“We are aware of an issue when using Nintendo Switch and the latest Pokémon game impacting a limited number of Roku devices,” a Roku representative said on Reddit. “We are working diligently to resolve this issue.”

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People began reporting problems on Reddit and social media after the game was released on Friday. “My Insignia Roku TV is stuck in a loop where it gets to the screen that says ‘Insignia Roku’ and then turns off,” wrote one person. “It’s on about a 10 second interval that it does it. I’ve removed all connected devices from it, attempted a reset, unplugged it for 10+ minutes, and even tried to factory reset the device and still no luck.”

While Roku didn’t confirm the cause of the problem, the company’s current suggested work-around includes turning the Switch off or setting it in airplane mode, effectively removing it from the home WiFi network. That means for the people currently affected, it’s not possible to use Sword and Shield’s online features and their smart TVs at the same time.

While no one yet knows for sure why the latest Pokémon games aren’t playing nice with some Roku devices, there’s some speculation that it may have something to do with how its Y-Comm feature searches for other local players online. Whatever it turns out to be, it’s one more reason I’m thankful my old LG TV has zero “smart” features and can’t connect to the internet.

Roku and Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[Update - 10:07a.m.]: A spokesperson for Roku told Kotaku a fix is currently being rolled out:

“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.” 

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Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com