Those gamers who like to keep track of how many hours they’ve put into their games may have reason to be frustrated with their Nintendo Switch, as recent reports suggest the consoles have begun resetting the playtime figures stored in their memory.
Early adopters of the Nintendo Switch have begun to find that the console appears to be wiping the recorded hours of playtime for their games from its memory, resetting the “hours played” figures back to zero, as of March 2nd, 2018. While it is possible that this is a bug, it could simply be the case that the Switch doesn’t track such data beyond a single year, and resets the playtime figures stored in its Activity Log at the start of each new operational year. To be clear, this doesn’t appear to be causing players to lose progress or access to saves in their games, but rather to lose the record of how much time they had devoted to each of their games.
The Nintendo Switch originally released on March 3, 2017, and a number of users who bought their consoles on that date, or who received them earlier than the public release date, have been reporting their consoles going through this process of resetting their playtime records. It could well be that the issue may become much more widespread very soon as users who bought their consoles just after the launch date have their consoles reach one year of operation.
The Switch’s Activity Log has been the source of user consternation before; after the launch of the console, users quickly discovered that it takes a week for the Switch to update the Activity Log with recent activity. Now, however, users have been left much more frustrated, as their records of dozens or hundreds of hours of playtime have been reduced to notes such as “First played zero days ago,” as the reset has taken effect.
Nintendo suggests that this could be the result of a bug but it is possible the Switch was always designed to do this. If more and more players are affected over the coming weeks as their consoles reach their one-year operational dates, no doubt pressure will mount for the company to act, or at the very least explain why this is occurring to a great many frustrated gamers. It may be poor timing for the company that this comes in the same week that they faced criticism for removing user reviews of the Switch from their own website.