Nintendo, always one to long remain frustratingly behind the times on seemingly universally accepted practices and technologies, is finally taking a major stride forward with user accounts. Specifically, users eShop purchases will finally be tied to their accounts rather than their consoles on the Nintendo Switch.
The news comes via one of two Switch customers to whom a launch console was accidentally shipped early. After the first customer released video footage, the initial hubbub was over everyone’s first extended look at the console’s user interface, which Nintendo has oddly kept secretive despite now being just two weeks from launch. One viewer picked up on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in another video revealing that each user’s Nintendo Account will store all of his eShop purchases.
“Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history and current balance,” reads Nintendo’s fine print glimpsed in the video. “By re-linking your Nintendo Account after initializing the console, it will be possible to redownload any software or DLC purchased using that account. (Software that has been discontinued may not be available to redownload in some cases.)”
Nintendo has been pilloried over the last two console cycles for its failure to create the kind of cohesive account system competitors Microsoft, Sony and Valve have long had on their respective platforms. Nintendo finally revealed last month that the Switch would do away with the hated Friend Code system used for online play on the Wii and other platforms and games as well as its lackluster Nintendo Network counterpart on Wii U. But today’s video is the first indication that the new Nintendo Account system will allow users to carry digital purchases across consoles, giving them permanent ownership.
Despite the Switch’s March 3 launch fast approaching, Nintendo has not yet responded to this seeming revelation.