When Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches for the Switch in March, it'll support having up to eight players living on a single island. If you share your Switch with someone and don't want to share the same slice of Nook-owned paradise, though, you're out of luck.
A new post on Nintendo's Australian website confirms that New Horizons will only allow for one island per Switch console. An IGN interview about New Horizons from E3 2019 previously suggested as much, but it was still unclear whether different accounts on a Switch could opt-in to sharing an island or exist separately. The new post is unambiguous: each Switch can only have a single island at a time.
Please note: only one island can exist per Nintendo Switch console, irrespective of the number of user accounts registered to or copies of the game used on one console. One Nintendo Switch and one copy of the game is required for each unique island.
So, if you share your Switch with another Animal Crossing player, you're going to have to get along on the same island. Likewise, if you were hoping that you'd be able to keep multiple islands going at once, that'll only be possible if you have another Switch.
It's definitely bad news for folks who've grown to love customizing their Animal Crossing villages and don't want to toss out (or delete) all their hard work before moving on to another idea. Still, it's also in keeping with the driving idea behind Animal Crossing: this is the spot where your character and others live, so no fiddling around with time or shuffling between islands.
While it seems 2020 won't be the year Animal Crossing embraces multiple save files, at least New Horizons is adding a lot more in the way of character and landscape customization. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will come out on March 20, 2020. If you're not a Switch owner (or... if you want another island), a special edition Animal Crossing-themed Switch is coming out on the same day.