A day after the rescheduled Nintendo Direct, we are getting more information regarding the upcoming launch of the Nintendo Switch Online Service.

The biggest reveals are not all that positive, however. Recent information learned from the FAQ posted by Nintendo has shown a few quirks in the service, most notably issues pertaining to cloud saves and the use of the NES library.

According to the FAQ, cloud saves and data backup are only available to players with the online subscription active. Cloud saves are stored for an undisclosed amount of time after your subscription expires, but cannot be accessed unless you resubscribe inside the unknown period they are stored. This is different from both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which store cloud saves for six months and indefinitely, respectively, once your subscription ends.

Classic NES games that are also planned for the Nintendo Switch Online collection will only be playable for those with an active membership as well and will be stored locally on your Nintendo Switch. In addition to this, those NES games can only be played offline for up to seven days, before requiring an online checkup to allow you to keep playing so long as you have an active membership.

It has also been revealed in the lead up to the Nintendo Switch Online program releasing that several major titles will not allow for cloud saves, most notably Splatoon 2 and the Pokemon Lets Go! games. Nintendo responded to the issue by speaking to IGN, who shared the following statement:

The vast majority of Nintendo Switch games will support Save Data Cloud backup. However, in certain games this feature would make it possible to, for example, regain items that had been traded to other players, or revert to a higher online multiplayer ranking that had been lost. To ensure fair play, Save Data Cloud backup may not be enabled for such games.

To ensure that Save Data Cloud backups cannot be used to unfairly affect online multiplayer rankings, the feature will not be enabled in Splatoon 2.

Compatibility will be noted in a game’s Nintendo eShop listing and on its game information page at www.nintendo.com.

The service, which is set to launch next week, will be accompanied by several NES games in tow for the price of $20 for a year subscription. Some games, like Fortnite, won’t need a subscription to play online but most online games will.

Most of the features revealed for the service have been criticized by consumers and journalists. Previous points of contention included tying game and group chat to smartphones, and the now announced NES joy-con controllers being purchasable for $59.99 to only those who get an active subscription to the service.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Leave your comments below. 


Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.