The Switch Connects Digital Purchases To Your Nintendo Account

It's a small feature, but an important one: with the Switch, Nintendo will finally start linking software to users' universal accounts, not individual pieces of hardware.

Previously, games bought using Nintendo's eShop were tied to the device used to make the purchase. That's fine for people who only ever own one machine, but caused a headache for anyone who wanted to move his or her games, virtual console titles, or other digital products between systems—if, for example, one console broke and the user needed to buy another one, or if he or she decided to upgrade to a newer, more powerful model like the New 3DS.

Before, transferring purchases between systems was possible, but it wasn't easy. In order to move digital material between two machines, users needed both the original console and the new device, and had to go through Nintendo's laborious System Transfer process. If the original system was gone or no longer functioned properly, then players were out of luck—their games were gone.

That's decidedly consumer-unfriendly, and fans have been complaining about the inconvenience for years. From the looks of things, Nintendo finally listened. With a few Switch systems out in the wild, snapshots of the system's user interface are starting to appear online. In one such video, an early Switch owner runs across a block of text that 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."

However, Nintendo notes that "software that has been discontinued may not be available to redownload in some cases," meaning that if a title is removed from the eShop—because, for example, the game in question can be used to hack the system—it might be gone for good.

Still, this is a nice and long-overdue feature that shows Nintendo's commitment to righting past wrongs with its newest console. The Nintendo Switch makes its worldwide debut on March 3, 2017. Hopefully, in addition to a better user experience, it'll also arrive with a handful of games that'll blow everyone away.