It’s the upgrade Nintendo fans have been anticipating for years. Early accounts indicate that, with the Switch, eShop purchases will finally be tied to Nintendo Accounts, rather than consoles.
This sounds like a boring piece of bookkeeping, but it’s actually a major upgrade for anyone who’s ever purchased a game on the eShop. The way the system works now, it’s incredibly difficult—if not impossible—to redownload games or convince Nintendo to transfer purchases from one console to another. With the old system, losing your 3DS usually meant losing all your digital games (or a lot of time on the phone with Nintendo’s customer service), and upgrading to a newer iteration of a console meant leaving your games behind.
Under the new system, purchases would be tied to each user’s Nintendo Account, allowing players to redownload purchases onto new systems as long as they’re logged in to that account. Basically, the same system that nearly every other digital content service employs.
Nintendo hasn’t outright announced the change, but fans spotted it written in the fine text of the Nintendo Switch’s initialization screen (as caught by NintendoEverything). It can be seen in certain early unboxing videos.
Would you take a look at this: Purchases from the eShop are tied to your Nintendo Account. pic.twitter.com/SyC1BIZm0V
— Bjoern the Switchy (@BjoernTheSmexy) February 17, 2017
“Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history and current balance,” the fine print reads. “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 yet to comment on the discovery.
The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd.