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Nintendo quietly updates Switch eShop with new policies

Nintendo has quietly changed its Nintendo Switch eShop purchase policies in ways that may actually help its customers.

When customers pre-order a game on the eShop, Nintendo will now charge their accounts no earlier than seven days before the title’s launch, the company said in an eShop FAQ page change on Tuesday, September 1. Previously, Nintendo charged a user’s account as soon as they pre-ordered a game.

Considering games can be delayed or not even launch, some consumers balked at being forced to hand over cash weeks or even months in advance of a possible launch. And since Nintendo took the cash at the time of the pre-order, consumers also had no opportunity to cancel their orders. The new policy now allows eShop buyers to cancel their orders at any time before the funds are taken.

Although Nintendo didn’t say why it made the change in its FAQ page, the company’s policy has been under scrutiny for the past two years.

Both the Norwegian Consumer Agency and Germany’s consumer watchdog sued Nintendo in 2018 to get the company to change its policy and allow consumers to cancel pre-orders whenever they see fit. However, in January, a German court ruled that Nintendo could offer a pre-order policy that took consumer funds right away and didn’t allow for refunds. German authorities quickly appealed the ruling but there haven’t been any new developments in the case since then.

It’s unclear how Nintendo’s small tweak on Tuesday may affect that case or whether German authorities will drop their lawsuit. Nintendo did not immediately respond to a Digital Trends request for comment on the move.

But it wasn’t the only change Nintendo made to its eShop policies.

The company also updated listing pages to show how many days remain on game sales. It’s a small but important tweak. Previously, the eShop’s “Great Deals” and “Current Offers” pages would only state that sales were available, and buyers wouldn’t know if they needed to act immediately to take advantage or if the offers would still be available days later. Now, those pages say exactly when the sales end and players know how much time they have to buy games at reduced prices.

Both new features are available now in Nintendo’s eShop.

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