With the release of the Nintendo Switch coming up just next week, Nintendo have now added a new field to their Nintendo Account user profiles, a “User ID”, and many people are rushing to claim theirs. I don’t blame them personally, I know the pain of discovering someone else has already taken the username you’ve used since you took your first steps into the internet. The new User ID, is a username that is unique to your personal account and will be used on the Nintendo Switch for online services and eShop purchases going forward, though specific details have yet to be officially announced.
It should be noted that this is distinctly different from your Nintendo Network ID, which will only work with the Wii U and 3DS family of consoles. The extent of how this new ID system will differ, is still unknown.
First hints of this ID came out a few days ago when a Nintendo Switch console was received early by a NeoGaf user by the name HipHopTheRobot, and they video taped themselves doing a full unboxing and initialization for the system for YouTube channel FloKO. In that video it was discovered that the User Agreement read:
“Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history, and current balance. By re-linking you Nintendo account after initializing the console, it will be possible to redownload any software or DLC using that account. Software that has been discontinued may not be available to redownload in “some cases”.”
For a long time people have complained about Nintendo’s online services, because unlike other similar services, there is no cross play, games that are available on multiple consoles must be purchased for each console, and there is a lack of security for the games you buy. The purchases you make are tied to your console account, rather than an external account, meaning that if your device is stolen, it can be difficult to reclaim those games that you’ve purchased, though it is certainly possible. For the common consumer however, or parents who don’t know much about the systems, the information was not easily available to find out how to claim back those games.
With the end of the Wii U, it’s a bit late to go back and change what has come before, but moving forward Nintendo may be answering these calls for a better more secure game service, and starting that process on the Switch with this new User ID.
To claim your User ID, simply log in to your Nintendo Account and in your profile, under email address will be a new category called User ID, with an icon saying that it’s not been set. From there just claim your ID.
Peace and High Scores!