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Nintendo allays Switch cloud save fears with 180-day recovery period

Platform holder assures that data does not disappear when online subscription expires

Nintendo has confirmed that it will retain Switch users' cloud saves for a period after their subscription to the newly launched online service ends.

Concerns previously arose when a Nintendo UK FAQ said that cloud save data "cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership", implying that data would be permanently lost should users fail to renew in time.

But Nintendo has released a statement to IGN confirming there is some leeway.

"If a Nintendo Switch Online membership expires, users won't be able to access their Save Data Cloud backups," a spokesperson said. "However, Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups."

There has been some contention around Nintendo's stance on cloud saves, with users disappointed that this feature isn't a standard on Switch and is instead locked behind a subscription. This is in part due to the portable nature of the Switch, making it easier to break or lose than the other home consoles.

Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offer cloud storage as standard, and since these are not tied to their paid services, there appears to be no expiry data on accounts and data.

Switch's cloud data system is perhaps most akin to the earliest version of PlayStation Plus on PS3, which granted users the ability to backup their saves online. This also had a six-month recovery window after your subscription expired, although various users reported their saves were restored after much longer periods.

The Nintendo Switch Online service finally launched last week, although it has suffered connection problems in China. In addition to enabling online multiplayer and offering cloud saves, it also gives subscribers access to a library of NES games, which Nintendo plans to expand over time.

Nintendo has warned that some Switch titles will not support cloud saves, including Splatoon 2 and Pokémon Let's Go. The platform holder's spokesperson explained this is because such a 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."

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