Nintendo users are finding that their logged playtime data from one year ago, when the console launched, is gone. It appears that the system is resetting the amount of time for which games have been played since on or before March 2, 2017 — suggesting that the Switch only tracks the month and day players first started up a game, not the year.
This is best explained with an illustrative example. Polygon received a pre-release Nintendo Switch review unit on Feb. 24, 2017. We began playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that same day. Although we’ve poured hundreds of hours into the game since then (how else do you think we could have made our guides?), that same Nintendo Switch now says we only started playing Breath of the Wild six days ago. It appears that sometime around when the console turned 1 year old, it erased 365 days’ worth of activity from the Zelda playtime log.
We already know that the Switch takes a week before updating the user profile with the number of hours you’ve played a game for. That’s why our activity log only says when we apparently began playing the game, and not how many hours we’ve played it for since Feb. 24. But it seems unlikely that, when tomorrow rolls around and the Switch presumably begins noting our hourly playtime for Breath of the Wild, the activity log will reflect our true historical play data.
Other early Switch adopters are reporting that their launch-day consoles — the Switch technically launched March 3 worldwide — have also wiped their playtime records. ResetEra members and Reddit users say that their 500-plus hours in Breath of the Wild have now been reduced to a simple, inaccurate note: “First played zero days ago.” Considering how limited the Switch’s activity log is anyway, this is a big issue for anyone who likes to keep track of their playtime.