Now that the Nintendo Switch has launched, Nintendo has revealed its game policies for the console. According to the Nintendo Switch support page, gamers can share digital games with other accounts on their console, and play their digital games on other consoles, though there are some limitations.
Essentially, once a Nintendo Switch owner purchases a game, any account on their home console can access and play the game. This is good news for households where multiple people want to play a game and progress at their own speed. It’s also an easy way for friends to enjoy couch co-op games.
Accessing games on another console is also fairly straightforward, but requires an extra step from Nintendo Switch owners. In order for Switch gamers to play their titles on another device, they will need to deactivate their account on their home console, and activate the account on the second device. To play on their home console again, these gamers will need to deactivate their account on the second console and sign in again on their home console. This process isn’t difficult and can be done as often as gamers want, but is essentially to play games on different consoles.
This step effectively removes any opportunity for game sharing on the Switch. This falls in line with previous expectations about the Nintendo Switch’s game sharing potential. Previously, Nintendo had said there was no way for Switch owners to play games on other consoles, but that the decision was yet to be finalized. It seems this current path is that final decision.
It’s unfortunate that Nintendo Switch owners can’t share games like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can. That said, this decision by Nintendo will help make sure gamers purchase titles for full price, while still having access to them on other consoles if they desire.
We will quickly note that save files cannot be transferred between devices. This means any progress made on a second console will not transfer to a gamer’s home console. Instead, players will pick up where they left off on their home console. Additionally, accounts cannot be deactivated remotely, so gamers will need to physically deactivate their account on their own Switch console before activating it on another console.
Nintendo Switch is out now.