[Update Sept. 25: Nintendo has now confirmed to IGN that it will retain players’ cloud saves for six months after they cancel their subscription. “Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups,” the statement reads, in part.
This seems to be a reversal of Nintendo’s previous plans, especially since a Nintendo UK FAQ still says, “Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Nintendo Switch game save data stored in the cloud is only available “as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.” If you eventually cancel the $20/year subscription, Nintendo is “unable to guarantee that cloud save data will be retained after an extended period of time from when your membership is ended.”
That wrinkle in Nintendo’s plan was not included in the details of yesterday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, but it can be found digging through the FAQs and customer support pages on Nintendo’s website this morning.
Nintendo differs from its console competitors in how it handles online save data. Cloud saves on PlayStation systems remain accessible for six months after you cancel a paid PlayStation Plus account. Cloud saves are offered for free in perpetuity on Xbox Live.
On the plus side, Nintendo clarified that you will be able to transfer cloud-based saves between Switch systems just by signing in with your Nintendo account on as many consoles as you want. But Nintendo also said it will continue not allowing local backups of save data to an SD card or other outside storage.
“While we have nothing additional to announce on this topic [of local save backups], please be assured that we listen carefully to the feedback from our customers.,” the company writes. “We are constantly working on ways to further enhance the experience of using the system.”
Nintendo notes on its site that cloud saves will work with “the vast majority of Nintendo Switch games.” More details on which specific games are not supported won’t be available until the service launches on Sept. 18, despite early leaks suggesting some unsupported games.
Other notes on Nintendo’s online service gleaned from the website: