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Not many games release during Christmas, but there were a few new entries on the Nintendo eShop. If you thought about purchasing anything during Christmas day from the eShop you probably noticed something a little off... specifically that the eShop was down throughout the day.
This also happened right during the morning and afternoon, so if you got up, received a gift card or some credits for your account and you wanted to buy some stuff for your Switch, there was the unfortunate reality that hit home hard when you attempted to click on the eShop button from the home menu. Once you put in your password the system would attempt to load and then throw up an error screen saying that it was unable to access the Nintendo eShop.
There was a game I was attempting to retrieve from the eShop during this time and lo and behold I actually did run into that very same problem. It wasn't regional either, it affected the international Nintendo eShop, so everyone was just fresh out of luck when it came to accessing the store.
I originally thought it was a glitch or a bug with the account, but sure enough, even the Nintendo sub-Reddit communities and online discussion forums made note of the eShop being down.
Nintendo didn't exactly explain why the service was down, but given that the Switch was one of the most purchased items during Black Friday, it's not surprising that some people have theorized that Switches given to people as gifts were all activated on Christmas day and then when a whole bunch of people decided to go online to retrieve the digital game codes that came bundled with the system, or to activate the eShop cards, it brought the Nintendo Network down to a screeching halt.
Now the one thing that I didn't test was whether or not the other aspects of the online service were down. Just about everything seemed to work well except for the eShop. It was even possible to access the online Nintendo Network ID pages without any problems. However, even when using a web browser not attached to a Nintendo console, the eShop page still would not show up. So it's very well possible that a whole bunch of people were loading into the eShop all at once, attempting to retrieve their games.
The good part is that the down time wasn't too bad, and after Nintendo did some quick maintenance, the store page was back up and running smoothly again. Since then there haven't been any problems, so that's a good thing.