Today is the day — Nintendo has officially rolled out version 6.0.0 of the Switch firmware. This update brings a whole lot of changes to the hybrid console.
Nintendo Switch Online (including cloud save backups):
For starters, it is now primed and ready for the launch of Switch Online, which is also set to launch today. This arrival of the new service will render online multiplayer inaccessible for some titles unless players acquire a Switch Online membership. Doing so will not only once again grant access to multiplayer functionality, but will also unlock new features such as cloud save data backup (compatible with most titles, not all) and a selection of upgraded NES games that include all sorts of enhancements. You can purchase a Switch Online membership via the eShop or Nintendo’s official website. You may also start a 7-day free trial of the Switch Online service after it launches if you’re not ready to purchase a membership.
Digital game sharing:
The 6.0.0 firmware update has also introduced an exciting new feature that was previously unannounced: game sharing. By linking your Nintendo Account to a Switch system, you can designate that specific unit as the “Primary Console”. Once done, linking your Nintendo Account to other Switch systems will register them as a “Non-Primary Console”.
The “Non-Primary Consoles” can access all of the games and content that has been purchased through your Nintendo Account, thus allowing you to share games digitally with friends and family that own their own Switch systems. There’s one catch to this: when playing a “shared” game on a non-primary console, the unit must be connected to the Internet at all times. After being offline for a while (time unspecified), the shared game will pause. Reconnecting will immediately unlock the shared game again. Gameplay on non-primary consoles can also be interrupted if the primary console where the main Nintendo Account is being hosted is used to play a game. So, the game-sharing can only take place with one console playing a game at a time. To be fair, this is how actual real-life sharing works, so it’s not too surprising that Nintendo has implemented this caveat.
Other minor additions and changes:
Some other, smaller details surrounding this update include the ability to upload four screenshots at once to social media via the Album. This was previously limited to one picture at a time. You also now have the ability to change the layout of USB keyboards to match specific languages. The Joy-Con have also received firmware updates of their own; you should be prompted to update them after the Switch itself finishes updating.
For a complete list of all the changes this system update brings to the table, check out Nintendo’s official patch notes.