One of the more vexing revelations to emerge concerning Nintendo’s new paid online service prior to its launch on Switch last week was that cloud saves would seemingly be deleted immediately on a user’s subscription lapsing. Nintendo has now clarified that this isn’t the case.
News of Nintendo’s apparently draconian cloud saves policy came via the company’s official UK website, where a FAQ on the new online service stated that, “Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership”.
Understandably, some fans weren’t pleased – not only had Nintendo elected to place the only means of backing up Switch saves behind a paywall, those precious backups would seemingly be automatically deleted on expiration of a Nintendo Online account. By way of comparison, PlayStation Plus cloud saves are stored for six months once a subscription lapses before removal and Xbox One’s subscription-free cloud saves are retained indefinitely.
However, it’s now clear that the wording on Nintendo’s UK site is a little misleading. The company has finally confirmed, in a statement provided to IGN, that (as is the case with PlayStation Plus), “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”.
Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson wasn’t exactly blown away by Nintendo’s first foray into a paid online subscription service when it launched last week. And even factoring in clarity on Nintendo’s cloud saves policy, there’s certainly still room for improvement.