The Nintendo Switch turns a year old on March 3, and while Nintendo has no plans for a Switch 2.0 hardware upgrade anytime soon, it does have a nasty surprise for owners.
It turns out the console wipes out play time logs after a year, deleting users' hard-earned hours of playing.
Don't worry, it doesn't actually delete important stuff such as user data or save files, only the number of hours players have logged into a game that's over a year old. The discovery started via a thread on gaming forum site Resetera, with a Switch owner saying their data had been wiped out for some reason.
Nintendo Switch Erases Play Time Logs
When they turned on the console, the playtime logged in games such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — a day one Switch release — showed "First played 0 days ago," erasing what's probably hundreds of hours players have spent playing the game. Again, the game itself is unaffected, but many people care deeply about their play time logs and treat it as a way to monitor how long they've played a game since the time they'd purchased it.
What's behind the bizarre wipe out phenomenon remains undetermined, but as Reddit user VOOK64 guesses, the Switch might perhaps be coded in such a way that it only cares about the month and the day a user last played the game, disregarding the year. That would certainly explain why the play count resets, because the switch only knows the player started on March 3, not March 3, 2017.
Will It Be Fixed?
Nintendo has yet to comment on the play time issue, but it appears this might not be a persistent problem after all. Some users are reporting that after an allotted amount of time has passed, the play time log shows the correct play time again.
While the minor mishap is annoying a lot of Switch players, it's not enough to take away from what's perhaps this generation's most exciting console to date. In the United States it has already become the fastest-selling console, surpassing its predecessor's lifetime sales in just under a year. Nintendo recently posted its best Q3 earnings results in eight years, and has said it expects to sell 20 million more Switch units in the next fiscal year starting April. With Metroid Prime 4 and Pokémon on the horizon, that doesn't seem too steep a goal.