Nintendo Switch To Feature Network-Tied Account System; Single Account Can Be Linked To Multiple Systems


With the Nintendo Switch so close to launch, many are wondering how the console's account system will work. Nintendo has yet to reveal all the details, but some recently leaked development documents seem to suggest that things will be different from the past.

According to these leaked documents, the Nintendo Switch accounts will be device-spanning network accounts that can also be accessed by PCs and smart devices. The console will also support multiple Nintendo accounts, and a single account can be linked to multiple systems.

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Nintendo Accounts

The accounts are device-spanning network accounts that can also be used from PCs and smart devices.
Users can log in to their accounts using a Nintendo Network ID (NNID) or via external services such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Linking With Nintendo Accounts
A link to a Nintendo Account can be set for each user on the NX. After an account has been logged in to on the NX, there is no need to log in again (to reenter a password), aside from a few exceptions like certain errors.
By linking to a Nintendo Account, not only will users be able to play online games on the NX, but they will also be able to use services like the following to which the link is made external to the NX.

Purchasing of content (from official websites) using smart devices and PCs.
Importing resources like NNID eCash from older hardware.
Recommending friends made in non-NX applications.

Limitations on Linking

The link between a user and a Nintendo Account can be removed at any time. After the link has been removed, the user can link to a different Nintendo Account.

A single Nintendo Account can be linked to multiple NX systems. When multiple NX systems link to the same Nintendo Account, the user nickname and icon is synchronized across systems. However, the application's save data is not automatically synchronized across systems. On the other hand, it is not possible to either link multiple users to the same Nintendo Account on the same NX system, or to link one user to multiple Nintendo Accounts.

Interestingly enough, the Nintendo Switch account system will also support the simultaneous selection of multiple accounts and allow account switching while playing select games.

An account does not need to be selected when the NX system is started, so you can design your application to make the selection at any time. You can ask the player to select an account in the regular way when the application starts, or you can support any of the following mechanisms to suit the game design.

For a fighting game, you can let users play in practice mode without selecting an account, and wait until they enter into the real fight mode, where scores are recorded, to select an account.

For titles that feature a collection of minigames, you can switch accounts for each try of each game. In this way, high scores are are recorded for each account.
For applications like simple party games where there is no need to store save data, you do not need to support accounts at all.

The NX system supports the simultaneous selection of multiple accounts. This means that scores can be recorded separately for each user when a number of people are playing together at the same time, like a sports game in doubles mode.

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd in all regions.