nintendo switch sitting on table

For those of you gearing up to grab a Nintendo Switch, whether on launch day or down the road a spell, you can go ahead and establish your Nintendo Account ID before all of the best options are taken.

Because Nintendo just gots to Nintendo, they've decided to introduce a completely separate identification system before the launch of the Switch on March 3. But, in order to understand how said Account ID applies to your Nintendo Network ID and games across Nintendo's various platforms, you're probably going to need to break out a pencil and some scratch paper, as this material will appear on the midterm.

As Polygon is reporting, the Nintendo account system's landing page has officially been updated, giving users the chance to create a new Account ID for their profile. Again, this shouldn't be confused with your Nintendo Network ID, though "shouldn't" will more likely translate to "definitely will be, over and over again."

The distinction is kind of simple though, again, we think it's a bit unnecessary. In short, your Nintendo Account ID ties to systems like the Nintendo Wii U and the 3DS family of consoles. You'll need to have an Account ID on the Switch, however, so just think of it as your username on PlayStation Network, only Nintendo will apparently let you change it.

The reason everyone is being encouraged to log in and pick their Account ID is because, like with the PSN names, these things have to be unique. In other words, if you were hoping to nail down rad names like WolfBladeXXX or JMoney69, you're likely out of luck. That goes double for, say, Luke or David.

To be clear (and again, because this is Nintendo), your Account ID isn't actually listed as such. Once you go into your Nintendo profile, you'll see a new field for "User ID." That's where you'll want to click on the update button and roll the dice when it comes to landing a sweet name. You'll find that option under the "User Info" section.

Nintendo warns that the name should be one that you'll have no trouble remembering. If our understanding is correct, you'll be using this name to log into certain Switch services, as well as the multiplayer app that goes hand-in-hand with the new system. Unless you want to play games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 as Adrian1345267, you'll probably want to claim your name ASAP.

Again, this all falls under the "as far as we can tell" category, but it doesn't look like you'll need a separate password for the different IDs. Whether you're using your 3DS or, starting late next week, a Switch, it appears the same password is tied to both the Nintendo Network ID and the Account User ID.

Now we're just waiting on Nintendo to introduce Pal Tags, a clever letter-based system for the Switch to replace Friend Codes.

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