Early this morning (yesterday evening for those of you in North America), Nintendo announced that the new Firmware update for the Nintendo Switch will be released next week, on September 18th/19th.
Here’s when the update will go live:
- Europe: 2AM (September 19th)
- United Kingdom: 1AM (September 19th)
- North America (ET): 8PM (September 18th)
- North America (PT): 5PM (september 18th)
- Japan: 9AM (September 19th)
This new update will bring the Nintendo Switch Firmware to Ver. 6.0.0. Unfortunately, Nintendo is yet to provide patch notes for the update, which will most likely go live at the same time as the update itself (as usual). They will be added to this page as soon as they’re available!
Right after this update, the Nintendo eShop on all platforms will be down for maintenance, and for up to 3 hours (check out this page for more details). Once that maintenance is complete, you will be able to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online (or redeem one that you bought at a select retail, like Amazon). That’s also when the 7-day free trial announced yesterday will go live.
Important note: you will have to update the Nintendo Switch to Ver. 6.0.0 if you want to access the Nintendo eShop, even if you don’t plan on using Nintendo Switch Online at all.
There’s also something important to know about Ver. 6.0.0: once this update has been installed, you will no longer be able to unlink your Nintendo Account from your Nintendo Switch user. Therefore, you have to make sure the Nintendo Account (and any child Nintendo Account) is linked to the correct user (the one you want to use moving forward, in case you have several of them).
There’s several ways to check if your Nintendo Account is linked to the right user:
- You can review under each user’s My Page > User Settings > Link Nintendo Account. Part of the Nintendo Account holder’s email and nickname will display;
- On the Nintendo Account website, sign in and select the Shop menu option on the left. Compare your current balance and total My Nintendo Gold Points with those on the Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo Switch system;
- Compare the digital software on your Nintendo Switch with your Purchase History on the Shop menu or check to see if you have received purchase confirmation emails.
If you want to unlink your Nintendo Account, you have to do so before the update is released. Check out this page to find out how to do it (if you don’t already know).
And now, since there seems to be quite a lot of confusion regarding this change, here’s a short, unofficial FAQ about it:
Why is Nintendo not allowing users to unlink their Nintendo Account anymore?
Nintendo hasn’t communicated officially on the matter yet, but it’s safe to assume this was done in order to prevent save data cloning. A user could effectively “clone” their save data by having it sync on the cloud, then moving their Nintendo Account to another user (even on another system), and downloading the save data there.
This wasn’t an issue before because save data is stored and managed locally on the console, and it’s impossible to move it anywhere else or duplicate it. But with Nintendo Switch Online, save data can now be moved to another device, and this change is there to prevent this feature from being abused.
(Do note that this is just our own interpretation, not an official statement from Nintendo!).
Does this change anything for me?
This change should not have any impact on most users.
Does this mean my Nintendo Account is stuck on my current Nintendo Switch?
No. You can still transfer your users account to your new console (check out this page to find out how to do just that). Also, you will still be able to use the same Nintendo Account on several consoles, though you only will be to access its associated content (games purchased, etc.) on one console at a given time; you have to deactivate the other one(s) (check out this page to find out how to do that). This has been the case since the Nintendo Switch was launched in March 2017, and nothing is changing in that regard.
However, if you don’t have access to your Nintendo Switch console (because it’s not working anymore, or was stolen), you will have to contact Nintendo Support. If you plan to sell your Nintendo Switch for a new model, make sure to deactivate your Nintendo Switch via your Nintendo Account settings beforehand (check out this page to find out how to do that).
So what’s the difference between account transfer and simply using the same Nintendo Account across difference devices?
Account transfer literally transfers every single thing tied to your account, including save data. After the transfer is complete, you cannot use your account (and all the digital games and save data tied to it) on the original console, only on the new one.
Using the same Nintendo Account on multiple devices quite simply allows you to have access to your Nintendo Account settings, games, etc. across all devices. It does not transfer anything per se (just the game licences, that are moved to the console set as “Active Console”). Also, save data is not transferred: you have to use the Nintendo Switch Online Cloud Save Data backup feature to get it on a different console.
Will I still be able to switch regions with my Nintendo Account?
Yes, the change will not impact this particular feature of the Nintendo Account. All current restrictions will still apply, though (such as not being to change region if there’s funds left on the Nintendo eShop for example).