Nintendo Switch Cloud Save "Exceptions" have Frustrated Me

This is just another example of Nintendo being behind the ball on something.

Everybody keeps talking about the upcoming direct, "I want to see what Nintendo Online is all about", but here's the bottom line, we already know 90% of what Nintendo Online is all about. There's nothing else to talk about.

It's going to be, "play online", "cloud save backup" (with exceptions), and a couple "free retro games".

However, let’s talk about the "cloud save backups" for just a second. We have very strong rumors that Splatoon 2 and Pokémon: Let's Go are exempt from the cloud save backups due to fears/risk of cheating/save file modification.

This becomes interesting territory with Pokémon: Let's Go, specifically when considering every other portable Pokémon game to date has saved directly to the cartridge, right? Maybe the read/write functionality isn't available on the Switch's cartridge? But, for a series of games to all of a sudden have NO reliable backup -- not to the cartridge, not to the cloud, not to the SD card, is completely inexcusable.

Splatoon 2 is a whole other issue with it's save not being cloud/server based. What other online multiplayer with a ranking system stores the data exclusively on the console it's being generated from? Don't come at me with some stupid Steam title, but let's consider legitimate big dogs online like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Halo, Counter Strike, Overwatch, League of Legends, DOTA2, etc... They're all account based and no matter where you access your account, your 'profile' is there, hosted in the big database in the sky. How often are these games being jeopardized by wild hackers manipulating rank? I've already heard about Splatoon 2, who's data ISN'T EVEN IN THE CLOUD, having more issues with people manipulating their data than all of the other listed games combined. How much worse could server based saves be?

So, to recap, we cannot use the cloud for certain games because of save data manipulation. We cannot use the SD card slot for fear of someone gaining root access and modding the console. There’s no saving to the cartridge on a series that historically has always done this. How does a company come out with a system with literally NO secure way to back up data that isn't immediately exploitable by low level 'hackers'?

I'm getting real "Dreamcast" vibes here.

Since the launch of the Switch, I've had to think every time I take my Nintendo Switch with me somewhere (my backpack at work, in the parking garage at an event, over to a friends house), "If something happens to this, am I going to be upset that I'm going to lose all of my (insert game here, mostly Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2) save data?" Up until this point, the answer is "well that would really suck, but I'd get over it." In no way, shape, or form do I feel the same way about Pokemon. If I lose Pokemon data, no matter how casual this game is, I will be livid. This has never, ever, been an issue before in the past, so why now? This is an issue generated because of the way the console was created, which is just bad business.

So what am I to do about it?


I just have to deal with it.

There is no option.

Keep my Switch under lock and key, or be prepared to lose everything.

I really, really hope I'm overreacting and this isn't the state of Nintendo Switch Online when we finally do hear the entirety of it, but I'm not holding my breath anymore.

I love the console. I love the games. I love the portability. But for the love of god can we get a little bit of parity with the rest of the industry on some of these thing that have been pretty much standard for the last entire generation of consoles?

We covered this more in depth on the last episode of the GameZilla Podcast, and then feel to keep the conversation going in the Discord, or with any of our Stream Team members. I need to go cool off and wait for the next thing Nintendo is going to disappoint me with, but until next time -- Game On!

- @testanomics