The Nintendo Switch Online service will be launching in a few weeks, with cloud-save functionality in tow. It’s been a highly-anticipated feature considering the importance of save data preservation. But, not every game will be able to make use of this new benefit. It turns out that select titles will not support cloud saves at all. A rumor sprouted a few days ago that developers can choose to opt-in or opt-out of the service; now Nintendo has confirmed that and have provided an explanation as to why some games will not make use of it. The short answer is that this is to prevent cheating:
“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.”
By visiting the Game Store section of the official Nintendo website, you can check if a particular Switch game supports Cloud Saves or not by looking at the small print underneath the game’s info. Those that do not support the feature will say so, such as FIFA 19. Here’s what the notice looks like:
Game cases of unsupported games will also feature a notice.
While Nintendo’s explanation kind of makes sense, it’s still difficult to completely stand by it. Xbox One, PS4 and Steam all support cloud saves across all of their games. Thus, Nintendo’s cloud save system for the Switch seems gimped in comparison. Hopefully, this can be sorted out in the future, but considering Switch Online is already launching about a year after it was originally intended, it could be that this is what we’ll have to deal with for the rest of the system’s lifecycle.
Considering that this is still a feature you have to pay for, it’s rather sad that it doesn’t cover every game. Sure, Switch Online is still a lot cheaper than a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold membership, but Nintendo really needs to make this service look as attractive as possible and news like this is quite the opposite of that.