First Look at Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has always focused on bringing the family together. While there have certainly been games for older gamers, there have released many game that gamers of all ages can play. That is one of the reasons Nintendo has been a mainstay in the homes of young families.

With more and more technology, parents are often left wondering how to manage screen-time for their young children and teenagers, and looking to resources like this guide over on Internet Advisor to help them figure out the steps they need to take to help their little ones stay safe online. It looks like Nintendo has recognized that, and they have created some tools to help. The Nintendo Switch will have even more parental controls than any console before it, and it puts the control right in the parents’ hands.

Check out this quick video that explains just how parental controls will work on Nintendo Switch.

As you can see, parents will have the ability to download an app on their mobile phones that directly interacts with the Switch console. The app will allow for the following controls:

  • Put a daily limit on gameplay, which alerts children when time is up.
  • See when the children are still playing, even after the time limit is up.
  • Turn off the console when children do not follow the time limit.
  • Set time limits based on the day.
  • Set a bed-time alarm when it is time for children to stop playing and go to bed.
  • Get a report with the amount of time children play each game.
  • Set restrictions based on ESRB rating, online play, etc. per game or overall.
  • Allow or restrict sharing screenshots (and eventually video) to social media.
  • Set limits and restrictions for multiple Switch consoles.

One thing to note is that time limits are set to the individual console and not the user. So, if you are playing on the same console as your children, you could end up running out their time limit. It seems like the better solution would be that the time limits be set for each user. Users would then need to password protect their own account to prevent the children from just switching to another user when time is up, but that doesn’t seem difficult to implement. Perhaps they expect everyone to have their own Switch instead.

While some (like me) have disliked Nintendo’s move to push aspects like game-chat to a mobile app, parental controls make sense to have on an app for easy access. I, for one, think this is a good move for Nintendo to appeal to parents of both young children and teenagers.

The app will be available for free on both iOS and Android once the Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017.

What do you think of the parental control plan for Nintendo Switch? If you’re a parent, do you think this will help in your home?