Nintendo’s different digital-gaming stores for the various regions around the world are all linked together, and buying a game in one will count as purchasing it in the other.
Blaster Master Zero hit the Nintendo Switch eShop in the United States today, and I don’t have to buy that game because I already own it. The neat, throwback platformer from developer Inti Creates debuted on the Japan’s eShop last week, so I created a Japanese Nintendo Account and bought the game through that store. Blaster Master Zero featured English text, so I wasn’t worried about getting that version when it launched in the States — but it turns out I don’t even have that option. The eShop sees that I bought the game already from the Japanese store, and it is showing it as “Purchased” even in the U.S. version.
GamesBeat asked Nintendo about this earlier today, and we’re still waiting for a response.
This is convenient, but it is also indicative of a problem. The issue here is that I bought Blaster Master from my Japanese Nintendo Account, but it is still showing up as purchased when I log in with my separate American account. This means that the games you buy are tied to the system and not exclusively to your account. So if I tried to log into a different Switch, I wouldn’t have access to my eShop games — at least not without going through Nintendo’s arcane process where you deactivate your account first.
That’s a hassle, but — for now — it’s nice that I can just download the American version of a game even after purchasing it from the Japanese eShop.