Nintendo Switch game save data stored in the cloud is only available “as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.” If you eventually cancel the $20/year subscription, Nintendo is “unable to guarantee that cloud save data will be retained after an extended period of time from when your membership is ended.”
That wrinkle in Nintendo’s plan was not included in the details of yesterday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, but can be found digging through the FAQs and customer support pages on Nintendo’s web site this morning.
Nintendo differs from its console competitors in how it handles online save data. Cloud saves on PlayStation systems remain accessible for six months after you cancel a paid PlayStation Plus account. Cloud saves are offered for free in perpetuity on Xbox Live.
On the plus side, Nintendo clarified that you will be able to transfer cloud-based saves between Switch systems just by signing in with your Nintendo account on as many consoles as you want. But Nintendo also said it will continue not allowing local backups of save data to an SD card or other outside storage.
“While we have nothing additional to announce on this topic [of local save backups], please be assured that we listen carefully to the feedback from our customers.,” the company writes. “We are constantly working on ways to further enhance the experience of using the system.”
Nintendo notes on its site that cloud saves will work with “the vast majority of Nintendo Switch games.” More details on which specific games are not supported won’t be available until the service launches on Sept. 18, despite early leaks suggesting some unsupported games.
Other notes on Nintendo’s online service gleaned from the web site:
- The library of downloadable NES classics available to Switch Online subscribers will be playable offline “for up to 7 days as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.” Better hope there’s Wi-Fi access if you’re going away for a long vacation.
- Downloaded NES games and local save data for them will remain on your console until you delete them, “but cannot be accessed without an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.”
- A $40/year Switch Online Family Account can be shared between up to eight different Nintendo accounts, regardless of the locations of those accounts or whether they are sharing the same Switch console.
- While some Switch games will not require a Switch Online subscription to play online, a list of those games won’t be available until the service launches on Sept. 18. Nintendo did, however, specifically point out that Fortnite will not require a Switch Online subscription.
- Nintendo Switch Online will initially be available in the following countries:
- Americas: U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru
- Europe/Africa: Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa
- Asia/Oceania: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand
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