It’s no secret that Nintendo’s online infrastructure isn’t as robust as Sony or Microsoft’s offerings. Despite launching the Nintendo Switch in early 2017, a cancellation policy for digital preorders was only just introduced in September last year. The policy has garnered tons of criticism for only allowing cancellations up to seven days prior to release, but a recent court case translated by Nintendo Life has decided in the consumer’s favor.
The Federation of German Consumer Organisations, also known as the VZBZ, was able to convince a court ruling in their favor, overturning a prior ruling on Nintendo’s side. The VZBZ argued that Nintendo’s current policy was unfair because users had no way of testing the games themselves. Nintendo attempted to find a legal grey area because of the fact that digital pre-orders offer full pre-downloads of a game’s data, which would be considered as having access to the game, giving people ample opportunity to cancel.
Fortunately for users, the VZBZ was able to convince the court of its unlawfulness because the download in question doesn’t contain an actual playable experience on the user’s end, therefore Nintendo wasn’t fulfilling its obligation to the consumer. They technically own the game but have zero access to it until the unlock date. This is especially important because Nintendo currently does not offer a refund policy for standard purchases, unlike its competitors.
The original court case, which was ruled in Nintendo’s favor, pertained to Norway and Germany. As such, it’s not incredibly likely we’ll see this change in other territories, but we will keep our eyes peeled for further developments.