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With the Nintendo Switch Online service nearly ready to go live, Nintendo is encouraging its customers to make sure their accounts are in order before being locked to devices next week. In short, The Big N wants to ensure everything is in order before kicking off its new premium service.
Folks with Nintendo Accounts recently received an email from the publisher explaining that, alongside the Switch Online service, the console will receive update version 6.0.0. When that happens, you will no longer be able to unlink your Nintendo Account from your Nintendo Switch user profile. In the meantime, Nintendo is encouraging folks to make sure their own Nintendo Account and those of their kids are linked to the correct profile. The statement said:
For example, please confirm that the parent's or legal guardian's Nintendo Switch user profile is linked to the parent's or guardian's Nintendo Account, and that the child's Nintendo Switch user profile is linked to his or her child account.
So why is this important? Because the console's main account will be the one with the authority to manage save data, Nintendo Switch Online membership and eShop content. If you have your Nintendo Account linked to your kid's profile, they'll be the one in charge of all of the console's parental/management features. And what good are parental controls if Little Jessie is the one making all of the rules?
You have until 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 18 to make sure the appropriate Switch users are linked to the appropriate Nintendo Account, and Nintendo has offered a rundown of the process, just in case you need some tips.
After the update goes live, you'll still be able to unlink your Switch profile from the console, but the process is basically a deactivation. In other words, you'll only be able to have the account available on one console at a time, thus preventing players from sharing games, saves and the like. Maybe they'll allow for guest accounts at some point like on the PlayStation 4 but, for now, don't expect to log in under your own profile on someone else's Switch.
The new update will go live next Tuesday, Sept. 18, alongside the Switch Online subscription service. That service includes things like cloud save backup, online access, full mobile app support, access to a collection of classic NES titles and additional perks that have not been listed at this point. The pricing plan has not shifted from Nintendo's original structure of $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months or $19.99 for a year. If you have got multiple users on your console, you can also pick up a family account for $34.99 a year, which covers eight different users.
All of this feels a bit clunky, but it's also necessary as Nintendo moves one step closer to handling accounts more like we see on other platforms.