Nintendo is catching up to the present with the Nintendo Switch – kind of. The company recently confirmed digitally-purchased games would be attached not to your Switch hardware but to your Nintendo account. If your Switch was stolen, dropped in the toilet, or used as a frisbee to stop a would-be burglar, that doesn’t mean you’ll lose all your games. A big difference from the past.
Nintendo says, however, sharing your purchases between consoles isn’t part of the plan.
At a recent preview event for 1-2-Switch, an audience member asked Nintendo’s planning and development general manager Shinya Takashi whether or not digitally-purchased Switch games would work on a second Switch.
“Currently we don’t have a system in place like that for Nintendo Switch,” Takashi said via the translator. “But we haven’t made any final decisions about how we would approach that going forward in the future, so unfortunately I can’t provide any concrete answer for you right now.”
What the heck does that mean?
Well, it’s a translated statement, so it’s possible some nuance has been lost. It seems to suggest Nintendo accounts will work on one Switch at a time. That is to say, if you want to use your account on a different Switch, you’re cutting off access on the original.
So does that mean to play a digitally-purchased game, you have to log in before you can play? Or can you just sign into your account, download your games, and then turn off the wireless radio? The release of the Switch is barely more than a week away, so we’ll surely find out pretty soon just how this works if Nintendo doesn’t clarify in the meantime.
While buzz for the system is “tremendous,” Nintendo’s frequent stumbles with anything intangible – digital purchase rights, virtual console handling, voice chat, and anything online – make stuff like this all the more difficult to ignore.