Nintendo recently rolled out a new firmware update for the Switch, bringing the system up to version 6.0.0. This new update mainly added in functionality tied to the new Switch Online network service, but it also included the surprise arrival of digital game-sharing. That wasn’t the only unannounced change Nintendo made, though. It turns out that the company has also added a cap to all Switch systems as it relates to upload speeds.
As of the 6.0.0 update, all upload speeds have been artificially capped to 8Mpbs. Now, before you get upset, it must be noted that this doesn’t really have any negative effect on your online gameplay experience. That’s mostly reliant on your Internet’s download speeds, which have been left untouched. So, why did Nintendo specifically put a limit on the upload speeds? It likely has to do with cloud saves.
A clever fellow over on Reddit that claims to be an IT guy explains it rather nicely. According to his explanation, by doing this Nintendo now has “better control over their server loads” and this should even “provide a more consistent P2P online experience”. As it relates to cloud saves, the speed caps will ensure that all Switch systems transmitting data to the cloud are handled efficiently, thus preventing server overloads. As more and more Switch units are purchased and connected to the Switch Online service, this speed limit will become ever more important.
Nintendo has not officially announced yet how many Switch Online subscriptions its collected yet, but Sensory Tower recently reported that the network’s companion app has been downloaded over 5 million times across iOS and Android devices. That doesn’t necessarily equate to there being 5 million active subscriptions (especially since there are folks who have/will skip the app altogether), but at least gives us an idea as to the level of interest in the service.