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Nintendo may lose your Switch game saves if it can’t transfer your data

Your Zelda file is at risk, friends

Nintendo Switch handheld with Zelda main menu Austin Pikulski/Vox Studios

The Nintendo Switch locks your data and saved games to a single system. You can’t upload them to the cloud, you can’t access them from the same account on another piece of hardware and you can’t move them to an SD card to keep them safe.

This is very bad news when Nintendo itself isn’t able to move your data to a new system.

Writer Anthony John Agnello sent his system to Nintendo for repair, and not only did he report that the replacement system also had issues, the letter that came with the new system stated that Nintendo wasn’t able to move his saved games nor data to the new system. All that time spend on Breath of the Wild? Gone. Nintendo has confirmed to us that there is no way to move the files from one system to another, but the assumption was that Nintendo itself would be able to do so if you system were damaged.

That assumption turned out to be wrong.

This isn’t always the case, as we’ve also seen reports where returned systems included the player’s original files, but it shouldn’t be happening at all. Every other competing system on the planet, save for Nintendo’s own consoles, have a way to migrate data to keep your saved games and files safe or keeps them stored in the cloud.

There’s no excuse to not have that option for a system that’s meant to be played as a portable as well as a home system. Drop the system or spill a soda on it, and you could lose the progress you put into your games.

“If there was ever a piece of hardware that needed some form of emergency backup, it’s the Nintendo Switch,” Forbes stated. “It is A) a console with a launch game that requires an enormous time investment where it would be devastating if that data was lost B) it’s a piece of hardware with many, many technical issues, so the overall health of the system may be in question and C) it’s designed to be taken out into the world exposing it to far more precarious scenarios than other consoles. It is absolutely ludicrous that with all these factors in play, that Nintendo does not offer the ability to copy save data externally, or have something as routine as cloud uploads.”

Nintendo, fix this.