Nintendo Switch Downloadable Games Cannot Exist On Multiple Consoles Simultaneously

Want to play on someone else's console? Looks like you'll have to *click* SWITCH.

202 Comments

We learned recently that digital Nintendo eShop purchases will soon be tied to your Nintendo account, rather than to a specific piece of hardware. This should be the case as of the release of the Nintendo Switch, which includes a line of text confirming as much in its console initialization menus.

Before celebrations get too out of hand, it seems that the company still has a way to go before you can freely and simply share your purchases between consoles you're logged into (via Ars Technica).

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At a recent preview event for 1-2-Switch, YouTuber CrazyDopetastic captured a Q&A session with Nintendo Entertainment planning & development general manager Shinya Takahashi. An audience member asked, if in the situation that he bought a second Switch for his kids, whether he'd be able to buy digital games from the eShop once, and have them playable on both systems.

"Currently we don't have a system like that in place for Nintendo Switch," Takahashi said via a 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."

Barring any translation issues, the implication of this statement is that while eShop purchases will be associated with Nintendo accounts rather than specific hardware, it seems that the accounts themselves will be hardware-bound. We have to assume it's only possible for an eShop account to be logged-in to one system at a time.

We'll know more after March 3, when the Switch is officially released, and online services are up and running for us to test.

In other Switch news, Nintendo released an official unboxing video this week, walk-in customers will have a limited chance to pick up the system on launch day at GameStop, and speaking of unboxing videos, check out what's in the limited edition Zelda: Breath of the Wild box.

Finally, for all the games confirmed to be coming to Switch—but not necessarily at launch—check out our roundup.

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so_hai

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"No concrete answer for you right now..."

"We have to assume..."

Journalism!

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streetmagik

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Edited By streetmagik

Ok, I've got a question for you guys. I've been told if I sell my Wii U (Zelda system with wind waker digital), the next owner could download and play WW HD because the game is tied to the system, not my personal account. Is that true, and does the new Nintendo account setup change this? I've contemplated selling my system (doubt I'll do it), just curious if the game will be lost.

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Redsyrup

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Edited By Redsyrup

I think this is the least of Nintendo's Switch launch problems. It's really a numbers game. Anything to get the console out and on the books for fiscal tax year 2016. This new Nintendo is not Iwata's. We're looking at bean counters running the company from here on. Not good for the culture of the company.

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ProtossRushX

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ProtossRushX  Online

@Redsyrup: bean counting have you checked out games on xbox one lately? microsoft has no fucking gmes atleast zelda is on switch

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santinegrete

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Not so good for sharing, but hey, it's more portable than the last one right?

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Thanatos2k

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@santinegrete: Than the 3DS? I'd say it's less portable. Doesn't even fit in your pocket.

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BigPrimeNumbers

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Seems like when Nintendo takes a step forward they consistently stumble with that one, simple step.

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LonelyStep

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dat thumbnail tho...

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nintendians

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Edited By nintendians

Hopefully it share with other accounts in the system.

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JoshRMeyer

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Hopefully it's like 3ds, where you can own one game, and still play that game via wifi or whatever they use, with multiple people. (Hopefully better than the 3ds, or it may have even been the original ds)

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hotwog21

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Edited By hotwog21

sign ins, really? and DLC? already? the "con"soles not even out and we are talking DLC. oh gawd

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rushiosan

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That's a wise decision if you think about it, the PS3 had a serious flaw on that regard that allowed people to have extra profit by selling their extra download to someone else.

In third world markets, like Brazil, there are lots of sellers doing so. They make a new account, purchase a certain game digitally, then sell the account cheaper than what they paid for that game. Twice. That makes a good profit margin for each digital game you buy and resell.

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rarerichz

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what they mean is you cannot log into two different consoles at the same time which you cannot do with steam and ps4 and x1 between 360. which makes a lot of sense.

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Thanatos2k

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@rarerichz: You sure as hell can with Steam. Stop spreading misinformation.

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rarerichz

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Edited By rarerichz

you re right about steam but tell me can you play your games at the same time on two different devices NO. even with family share settings on you still can only play one game on the same library at a time.

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Zzshock

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@rarerichz: well, it's a deal breaker for me. I can play any game I own digitally on the Xbox one in my man cave, while anyone in my family can also enjoy the entire library from the other xbox in the living room. I doubt people want to buy the same game over and over. It gets bloody expensive.

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ello432

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Edited By ello432

@rarerichz: Or they mean what they do currently on the 3DS and the account cant exist on 2 consoles at the same time logged in or not and you have to remove the account from the fist before you can sign in to a second system. but unlike the 3DS you will keep your purchases when you log in to the new system

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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@ello432: Wait hold up, you're saying if I buy a Wii or a Wii U, I have to remove my Nintendo account from my 3DS to use on a console???

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ello432

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@PSYCHOV3N0M: No. I'm saying if you buy two 3ds you cannot use the same account on both. Nintendo wont let you put the account on the second 3ds without deactivating and removing the account on the first.

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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Edited By PSYCHOV3N0M

@ello432: Wow that sucks smh

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Bhazor

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Edited By Bhazor

"Barring any translation issues, the implication of this statement is that while eShop purchases will be associated with Nintendo accounts rather than specific hardware, it seems that the accounts themselves will be hardware-bound. We have to assume it's only possible for an eShop account to be logged-in to one system at a time."

Huh, where did you get that from? It sounds like he means you can't play one game at the same time on two seperate consoles, i.e you can't be logged into two consoles at one. You know, just like the PS4 and Steam.

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BaconTopHat45

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Edited By BaconTopHat45

@bhazor: You can be logged in to 2 consoles at once with both PlayStation and Steam. I've got multiple PlayStations and PCs and have had them logged in to the same account at the same time. In the case of steam that's literally how it does in house steaming. But it is true you can't be online and play the same game at the same time on multiple consoles (you actually can if the systems are offline though).

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MegamanX97

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Edited By MegamanX97

@bacontophat45: Can you be logged into two PlayStations at the same time?? When I log in to one my other one seems to log out immediately for my PlayStation 4s.

I understand now. You mean only if the consoles are offline!

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BaconTopHat45

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@MegamanX97: Yeah in the case of ps4 specifically you actually max out at 2 console being able to play the same game at the same time, since you can only have one registered as your "main playstation 4" and that one has full access to your library while offline. Any other has to verify online every time you boot a game.

Steam can do it with as many machines as you want though.

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MegamanX97

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Edited By MegamanX97

@bacontophat45: Thanks dude - I never knew this info. Thanks for sharing.

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nsignific

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God damnit Nintendo, you should be going above and beyond the competition as far as these things go, not be stuck in the past. You've got the most to prove right now, you can't be conservative.

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Drkr_Zen

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lol Nintendo still doesn't get it... and they want to charge for their online "services" ...sad, just sad.

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BigGamerDude

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I cant really imagine many situations where you would need to have two nintendo switches so it isnt as bad as not being able to tie switch games to your account but I can understand why people would hate it.

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BabeNewelll

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Jesus wept Nintendo can you get anything right ???

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RS13

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Edited By RS13

I am not a nintendo fanboy--I don't own a nintendo console and will probably never buy a switch--but this article really jumps the gun. All the guy asked was "if I bought a switch for me and a switch for my kids, would I need to buy the game twice so we could both play it." Nothing about whether the game could "exist" (be installed?) on two systems linked to the same account and nothing about whether he could log into the same account on two devices. He did not even specify whether his kids would be on the same account that he was. Between the vague question and the translation, it's entirely possible that the rep thought he was asking (or maybe he really was asking) about something like the family share plan.

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GreekArc8

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Edited By GreekArc8

What so you can avoid having to buy them all their own pokemon game? This isnt college, you dont get free shit just because you have "right" to it. No dumb ass you have to buy multiple copies of the games. Why on earth would they kill their sales like that? Do you want Nintendo to exhist? No? Oh. Okay. Nvm

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SQUIDWARD360

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@greekarc8: is a switch cartridge tied to one console once it's used? No. Check your logic

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GreekArc8

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@squidward360: okay your dull. A cartridge can only be played on one device at a time. Not two people playing the same game at the same time. Check your logic, hell look up the definition of logic, dumb ass.

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RomeoTheBeast

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@squidward360: Physical and Digital will always be treated differently...there is no doubt that sales of their software will take a hit if they allow people to log into 2 or more tablets. Sure it sucks for people like the father in this article but they want to avoid friends allowing others to stay permanently logged into someone else's account and playing games for free.

With no achievements (I'm assuming) what would be the motivator to play every game on your own account? Definitely a tough situation for Nintendo but I wouldn't hate them for only allowing you to log into one device at a time.

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wtf_666

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Edited By wtf_666

I have 1 PS4 and 1 xb0ne, I can't imagine a scenario where I would require 2 of either and then using the same game at the same time on both. WTF. I guess this might be a big deal for Nintendo fans as they are 90%+ kids.

No plan to ever buy 1 Switch let alone 2 or more LMAO. Nintendo was cool when I was a child many many years ago...

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SQUIDWARD360

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@wtf_666: if you're living in an apartment or your parents basement I would agree. But if you're in a bigger house with multiple televisions you may buy multiple consoles.

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Articuno76

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@squidward360: But you wouldn't be playing on multiple consoles at the same time. Surely you'd turn one off, go into the other room and turn the other one on?

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nsignific

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@wtf_666: I have 2 of each and I play local LAN games on them all the time. Granted, most games require xlive to play online, but not all do. This feature is sort of a luxury, admittedly, but it's one we've grown accustomed to. Nintendo shouldn't omit it.

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so_hai

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Edited By so_hai

How ever else would it be?

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Cyber_Akuma

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@so_hai: How literally everyone else does it? Sony, Microsoft, Steam, all of them you just simply login to your account and that's it.

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Bhazor

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@Cyber_Akuma: but you can't log in to two systems at once.

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Thanatos2k

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@bhazor: On Steam you absolutely can. Regardless, even if you can't log on two systems at once, you CAN log onto a different system, and download anything you bought on that account. The PS3 even let the owner of the system play those games even after you logged out.

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Cyber_Akuma

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@bhazor: But you CAN log into different systems simply by putting in your username and password, THAT is something you can't do with the 3DS or WiiU but can with other systems and even Steam. (and actually, with Steam, you CAN log into two systems at once)

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Bhazor

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@sellingthings:

Pretty much the latter. The Switch drives haters like nothing I've ever seen.

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