Nintendo is bringing cloud saves to the Switch as part of its online subscription service, and while the news was initially welcomed by fans, it looks like there’s a pretty big catch.
In an FAQ on the Nintendo website, the company states that cloud saves won’t be stored “outside the duration” of a user’s Switch Online membership, suggesting all data will be erased as soon as players stop shelling out for the online plan.
“Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership. Nintendo Entertainment System — Nintendo Switch Online also uses the Save Data Cloud, so the same applies,” reads the FAQ.
“However, if you keep the Nintendo Entertainment System — Nintendo Switch Online save data saved locally on your Nintendo Switch console, then you can use it again if you purchase another membership.”
While it might seem like a trivial issue, it’s worth remembering that cloud saves will be the only way for Switch owners to transfer data between consoles. That means anyone who wants to bring their data over to a new device or maintain a backup library will have to pay for the privilege.
It’s also a decision that makes Nintendo seem short-sighted compared to its competitors, with Microsoft offering free cloud saves to all Xbox owners, and Sony storing PS4 cloud data for six months after a user’s PlayStation Plus subscription has ended.
You can find out more about Nintendo Switch Online, which will launch on September 18, by digging into the complete FAQ.