Nintendo announced this week it’d offer a grace period for its Switch Online subscribers to recover their cloud saves, revising earlier statements that implied they’d expire the moment your subscription did. This fixes one of the major problems with the Nintendo Switch — but far from the most pressing one.
The original supposition that Switch Online subs would lose their saves came from an FAQ posting that said, “Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership.” Nintendo has now clarified that, while Online users would lose access to the cloud saves if they allowed their sub to lapse, they had 180 days, or 6 months, to resubscribe and recover them. The Nintendo US FAQ now reads:
If a Nintendo Switch Online membership expires, users won’t be able to access their Save Data Cloud backups. However, Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups.
That’s somewhat comforting — times are tough, and not all of us can make our payments on time, so it’s nice to know we won’t automatically lose all our progress in Fire Emblem Warriors just because of that. But that still doesn’t alleviate all of my concerns.
Let’s face it: Aside from a pair of sweet controllers and a raft of decent retro games to go with them, the Switch Online service isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Yes, cloud saves are a good thing, and knowing they aren’t being held at figurative gunpoint is reassuring.
But still, the fact Nintendo insists on keeping voice chat locked off to a mobile app when we know it works within the console itself is a downside, as is the fact that Nintendo asks that you log in every week lest the service you pay for lapse. Another downside is the fact that not every game will have its saves stored in the cloud. The list of those that don’t includes Splatoon 2, Dark Souls Remastered, and the new Pokemon games.
It’s just a messy service all around. While it’s encouraging to see Nintendo offer some breathing room with regards to the expiration of the cloud saves, it’s far from the only obvious fix they could offer to make it Switch Online more appealing.