This week Nintendo refreshed its account system's landing page, which adds a new feature in preparation for the launch of the Switch, the company's imminent hybrid. As if Nintendo's account system wasn't perplexing enough, there's a new Nintendo User ID to wrap users's heads around with.

Nintendo User ID

To avoid confusion, some things must be cleared up: the User ID is different from the Network ID, which is a similar though separate account used on Wii U, Nintendo's now discontinued home console, and the hyper-successful 3DS.

You can choose your Account ID now. To do this, simply log in to the Nintendo Account website, and you'll find a "User ID" now included in the User Info section. Once there, assigning an ID is fairly no sweat, although unsurprisingly, duplicate IDs aren't accepted. Submit a User ID that's at least six characters long, and that's basically it.

Redownloading Confirmed?

Additionally, the Account System also received changes that'll surely come in handy in time for the Switch's arrival. Users may now navigate to the Account Activity section to view past eShop purchases, which is particularly indicative of a feature users have longed for since the beginning of Nintendo's online purchasing ecosystem.

What this potentially points to is that users might finally be able to redownload titles they have already purchased, instead of shelling out cash for them again, or contacting Nintendo's customer support line, both of which are not only hassles, but also unnecessary inconveniences, especially when other digital stores, such as Apple's App Store or Steam, already ties purchases to user accounts.

Nintendo Account vs. Nintendo Network ID vs. Nintendo User ID

To disambiguate a little, however, let's describe terms Nintendo Account holders will now have to wrestle with, and what their differences are:

First, the Nintendo Account. It's the umbrella term which houses all of Nintendo's online services. It's the one tied to the user's email address, and it serves as the portal through which users can manage their account settings, account nickname, the new User ID, and the like. It can be accessed via the Nintendo Accounts website.

Second, the Nintendo Network ID, which is not the same as the Account User ID. This was used for Wii U and 3DS online services, as previously mentioned, providing users access to Miiverse, the company's own social and gaming media network, and the eShop. The Network ID can be linked to a user's Nintendo Account, which enables a shared wallet between consoles, as per The Verge's report.

Finally, the Nintendo User ID, the thing that has just been introduced. It's not clear what its use will be, although many speculate that it'll benefit users who are getting the Switch. If you want, follow the steps mentioned above to claim your own moniker.

The Nintendo Switch launches March 3, retailing for $299. Before it even hit shelves, however, a leaked unit recently surfaced online, providing an early look at the system's user interface, which already looks better than the Wii U's. The leaked videos also gave a look at what comes packaged inside a Switch box.

The console launches the same day as the long-delayed Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will also be released on the same day for the Wii U, confirmed as the console's last first-party title.

Have you gotten your Nintendo User IDs yet? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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