Nintendo Switch gamers were in for a rude awakening during the first anniversary of Nintendo's latest hybrid gaming device. It turns out that some of their gameplay data relating to playtime is being deleted right off the system. This is especially prevalent for those who managed to get their hands on the pre-release Switch units.
Polygon is reporting that the unit they had received on February 24th, 2017 that was used to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has had its playtime data erased. After claiming to have spent "hundreds" of hours in Nintendo's sprawling adventure game, the data now shows that there have only been six days worth of playtime on the tracker.
According to the article, more than a year's worth of progress was erased over the course of the year. But Polygon's anecdotal evidence isn't being reported on in a vacuum. Apparently, other launch day consoles are saying the same thing and that apparently some of the data for games that they had been playing over the past year has been erased.
When reached for comment, Nintendo told Polygon that this was an issue that the technicians were aware of and that the playtime data is displaying incorrectly for some users. With a representative saying...
It sounds like there could be a technical issue on Nintendo's end when it comes to displaying the data. There's no information on if this was caused by a recent firmware update to the Switch or if this was a problem from as far back as when the Switch first launched last year.
Apparently, this problem is only apparent in games that have been played for hundreds of hours. For games that are played a lot less the issue doesn't appear to be present. For instance, for my own profile on the Nintendo Switch for games like ARMS and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, the data is consistent with the playtime put into the games since their purchase last year.
Some gamers are saying that having logged in more than 500 hours in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been replaced in the user profile menu with a note showing that the game has only been played for a few days. This definitely seems more like a bug than a feature.
Apparently, it's only for games of a certain age. It doesn't appear to have affected newer games like Super Mario Odyssey.
The main issue that some people had is that they like to keep track of their playtime and this really disrupts their ability to do that. I suppose for parents who monitor how long their kids play each day or each week, this could definitely make this hard for them.
Hopefully there's a reasonably timed fix on the horizon to straighten all of this out for Nintendo Switch owners.