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Nintendo Switch Online will lock users to Nintendo Accounts next week

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Nintendo advises making sure users are properly linked, or unlinked, before then

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A Nintendo Switch system update on Sept. 18, coinciding with the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, will lock Switch user profiles’ to their linked Nintendo Accounts, the company said in an email to owners this morning.

That means users should, in the next five days, make sure that all Switch profiles in their home (theirs and any kids’, for example) are assigned to the appropriate Nintendo Account. It will be impossible to unlink these Switch user profiles from that Nintendo Account later.

The change is so that users can manage their cloud game saves, purchased digital content and Nintendo Switch Online membership once that service launches on Tuesday. By linking these exclusively to Nintendo Accounts, users should be able to easily recover their saves and purchase history if their Switch is lost or damaged.

But it also means that a Nintendo Account would have to be deactivated on its Switch before its user could log in on another console. This is probably to keep multiple users from sharing game saves or purchases.

Nintendo has provided instructions for how to confirm Switch users are linked to the appropriate Nintendo Account. Unlinking user accounts from Nintendo Accounts will only be possible until 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 18. Instructions for unlinking that account are also available.

Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription service through which numerous online features are offered, including multiplayer. Users will also be able to save some (but not all) of their game data to the cloud, and they will get access to a library of 20 Nintendo Entertainment System titles, with more coming later. Nintendo Switch Online will cost $19.99 per year, $7.99 per three months, $3.99 for one month, or you can buy a “family account” supporting eight different users for $34.99 a year.

A Nintendo Direct today at 6 p.m. ET will discuss Nintendo Switch Online’s features in greater detail.