The Nintendo Switch now lets you share your digitally downloaded games…kind of.
The basic way this system works is easy enough to understand. If you have two Nintendo Switches (or if you want to share games with a friend’s Nintendo Switch) you can use your Nintendo account to designate a primary and secondary console. The primary console functions just like your console functions now. You can use it like normal and access your own library of digital games (even if you are not connected to the internet).
Where things get interesting is when you start to factor in the secondary console. If that secondary console is linked to your main Nintendo account on your primary console (the account you probably use all of the time) it can access your digital library so long as it remains logged in to the account associated with your games.
Here is where the catches start to come into play. First off, the user of the secondary console must remain connected to the internet in order to play digital games from the primary console. Second, if the user of the secondary console begins using their system at the same time while logged-in to the shared account, the owner of the primary console will not be able to use their Nintendo Switch with the shared account.
If the secondary user is playing when they are “booted” by the primary, then their game will be paused, and you will be able to access it from wherever you left off when the primary user has ended their play session. It’s important to remember that this is all tied to an account, so if you download a game on the secondary console while you’re logged into the primary console account, it seems like that game will “belong” to the primary user.
There are a few things that aren’t quite clear/still be figured out about this system. From what we understand, it’s possible to change which console/account is your primary as long as you disable the other first. It also sounds like you will be able to designate multiple secondary consoles. Furthermore, some have speculated that if the primary user disables Wi-Fi before the secondary user accesses their account, then they should both be able to use the account at the same time.
We’re waiting to confirm some of these details, but this sounds like a pretty good deal for Switch owners.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.