It’s been revealed that the Nintendo Switch ties content purchases to a particular account, meaning players can reclaim games and DLC should they lose access to their system.

While Nintendo has developed a reputation for innovation thanks to hardware like the DS and the Wii, it’s fair to say that the company’s online infrastructure has often left a lot to be desired in comparison to its competitors. Now, it’s been revealed that the Switch console brings some modernizations to Nintendo’s online service.

Up until now, content purchased online for use with Nintendo hardware has typically been tied to a particular console. That meant that if someone’s 3DS was packed with digital games and got stolen or lost, they ran the risk of losing access to all of those purchases.

By comparison, the likes of Microsoft and Sony have long operated online infrastructures that allow players to reclaim past purchases that are tied to their account. This kind of system is now commonplace, but Nintendo has continued to lag behind.

However, it seems that the company is bringing its online storefront up to snuff for the debut of the Switch. The console isn’t set to arrive until early next month, but this week one lucky fan received the system early due to a shipping error, and has since posted footage that demonstrates changes to Nintendo’s content ownership policy.


During the initial set-up process, Switch owners will be presented with a screen that explains how to initialize the console, according to a report from Nintendo Everything. This screen states that the user’s Nintendo Account contains their eShop purchase history.

“By re-linking your Nintendo Account after initializing the console, it will be possible to redownload any software or DLC purchases using that account,” the message continues. However, there’s a note that warns about discontinued software being unavailable, covering Nintendo in the eventuality that a developer decides to pull their content from the eShop.

It’s good to see Nintendo establish this element of its account system, as it’s something that users have been requesting for years. Given that the Switch is a portable device, as well as being a home console, it’s particularly important that owners can reclaim purchased content should they accidentally lose their system.

Let’s hope that this modernization effort carries over to other aspects of Nintendo’s online platform. The Switch will be great for local multiplayer — but it could be a great system for online play, too.

The Nintendo Switch launches in North America on March 3, 2017.

tags: Nintendo, Switch