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The Nintendo Switch actually does have an activity log

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Why would Nintendo hide this feature?

Nintendo Switch - dock front angle view Austin Pikulski/Vox Studios

Like many products, the Nintendo Switch launched without some common features that players expected, and one of the most notable is the apparent lack of an activity log; both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS tracked the amount of time users spent playing games. But it turns out that the Switch does include an activity log — it just takes a few days to show up.

Players began to realize this yesterday, spurred on by a screenshot tweeted by GameXplain’s Andre Segers. Multiple Polygon staffers checked their own Switch units, and we can confirm the delayed presence of an activity log.

The Switch’s user profile page displays your friend code, and if you’ve been using your console for a few days — it’s not clear exactly how long the waiting period lasts — it will show a list of the games you’ve played. The page doesn’t provide specific numbers on play sessions; instead, it gives you approximate figures like “played for 45 hours or more.” If you booted up a game for the first time, it tells you how long ago you did that. Here’s an example from our guides editor, Dave Tach:

Nintendo Switch activity log from Dave Tach Nintendo via Polygon

In addition to tracking your own play activity, you can check out your friends’ activity logs. Just head to the Switch’s friends list and click on your buddies’ profiles to see what they’ve been up to. Here’s how Dave’s activity log appeared to Chris Grant, our editor-in-chief, when Chris scrolled through his friends list to Dave’s profile:

Nintendo Switch activity log for Dave Tach (via Chris Grant’s friends list)
Wow, Chris, how have you not set Dave as one of your “best friends” yet?
Nintendo via Polygon

It’s strange that the Switch’s activity log doesn’t appear immediately, especially because people have been criticizing the Switch for not having a feature that it actually offers. In fact, Switch users have been employing alternate options to get a sense of their gaming habits, like the activity log in the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls mobile app. However, that log isn’t as granular as the Switch’s built-in activity tracker; it only tells you how much total time you spent playing the system on a particular day, and which games you played.

We’ve reached out to Nintendo for more details on the Switch’s activity log, and will update this article with any information we receive. For more information on the Switch, which launched five days ago, you can read our full review.


Watch: Nintendo Switch Hardware Review