Nintendo Wants To Trademark ‘NSW’ Acronym, Australia Ready To Welcome Mario As New South Wales Premier

Nintendo Wants To Trademark ‘NSW’ Acronym, Australia Ready To Welcome Mario As New South Wales Premier
Image: Nintendo, Kotaku Australia

Nintendo has applied for a trademark on the acronym ‘NSW’ via the European Union Intellectual Property Office. NSW is the favoured shorthand for its Nintendo Switch console.

The application was first noted on Resetera and later reported by VGC. Hardware makers like Nintendo are partial to three-letter acronyms — PS5, XBO, NES, they’ve been around for a while.

Nintendo usually takes a fairly straightforward approach to acronyms: NDS for its Nintendo DS, GCN for the GameCube, N64 for the Nintendo 64, and so on. NSW would replace the console’s current acronym, which is HAC. This follows a longer tradition at Nintendo of using codename abbreviations to identify its hardware. The codenames usually differ from the final name of the product. The Famicon/NES was abbreviated to HVC, or Home Video Computer. The GameBoy was DMG, or Dot Matrix Game. The DS was originally NTR, or Nitro, and the Wii was RVL, or Revolution.

Nintendo has never formally confirmed what the Switch’s HAC codename stands for. The acronym breaks with tradition, differing from the console’s codename, which was Nintendo NX. The two leading theories are that HAC stands either for “Handheld And Console,” in reference to its convertible design, or “Hachi,” the Japanese word for “eight,” being the company’s eighth major home console (though this theory is subject to a fairly specific pecking order).

The Australian elephant in the room

All of this, of course, ignores that NSW is a very important acronym here in Australia.

The state of New South Wales is rather surprised Nintendo would try to trademark its long-standing abbreviation, even on the other side of the world.

Some found the entire thing very funny.

Others were ready to welcome the new New South Wales premier, the honourable Mario Mario.

Some suggested NSW premier Dominic Perrottet consider a career change.

And others still decided that New South Wales would simply have to change its name.

Obviously, this is all good fun and a fairly odd coincidence. What do you think about NSW as an abbreviation for Nintendo Switch? I’ve never seen it written as NSW before, to be honest. Even in my own weekly This Week In Games column, I refer to it as NS, not NSW. I suppose I could change the acronym, I just never thought to add the W before. Keen for your thoughts on this one.


  • Renaming New South Wales as Nintendo Switch I’m not sure if that’s possible I think Australia should continue using New South Wales as it’s own name.
    But Mario as NSW Premier replacing Dominic Perrottet no absolutely not.
    If that’s what the European Union wants turning New South Wales into Nintendo Switch then what’s they’ll do.
    But Mario to become NSW Premier replacing Dominic Perrottet absolutely not fuck no.

  • The virgin Super Mario Bros vs the chad Super porkBarilaro Bruz.

    Fuck off Mario, we’re full.

    • I imagine Bruz wouldn’t take kindly to another Italian stereotype swooping in to grab all the coins and stomp on wildlife.

  • This article is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone refer to the Switch as ‘NSW’.

    On the face of it, looks more like a company claiming something is common because they want to will it into existence for some bizarre reason.

    • A trademark doesn’t need to be common. It just requires an intent to use for commercial purposes, and is typically limited to the relevant industry only. It happens all the time, that’s how trademarks are supposed to work. (Trademark, THEN marketing campaign, not marketing campaign then trademark, which would just encourage trademark squatting.)

      There’s no conflict here since the NSW government and the Nintendo Switch operate in completely different markets and there is no prospect of confusion.

  • NSW also means Navy Special Warfare which is the command for the US Navy Seals. Mario is becoming a tactical response group?

  • More of an internal thing I’m guessing, a lot of the past codes don’t look like they made it in to public usage.

  • Switch software and hardware is already regularly acronymed to NSW on invoices sent to retailers. Threw me off every time.

  • It’s not an acronym. An acronym forms a word (NASA, ASCII, ASIO) NSW & the others mentioned are initialisms.

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