Nintendo finally ditches digital purchase hardware lock

Publish date:

One of the most contentious oddities from Nintendo's online console network is being ditched for the upcoming launch of the Switch.

Until now, digital purchases made Wii U and 3DS were locked to the hardware on which the transaction was carried out. Normally you would expect purchases to be linked to the account of the console's registered user, as is the way with PlayStation and Xbox.

Nintendo's method was a particular pain for those who consoles broke or were stolen. Such owners faced the rigmarole of phoning Nintendo and, if some accounts are to believed, effectively begging for mercy. Even then, the serial numbers of the hardware involved would often be required.

This is all changing with Switch, however, as per documentation unearthed in YouTuber FloKO's Switch unboxing video.

It reads: Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history and current balance. By re-linking your Nintendo Account after initializing the console, it will be possible to redownload any software or DLC purchased using that account. (Software that has been discontinued may not be available to redownload in some cases.)”

The Switch really isn't far off now – it launches on March 3rd.