Right now, there’s no way to backup or transfer your game save data on the Nintendo Switch. That 100-hour campaign you’ve been questing through in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? You can’t back that up in any capacity.
GamesRadar+ Senior Social Editor Anthony John Agnello found out that Nintendo themselves have to wipe saves on the Switch during the repair process. He received his console back from the company with a letter stating as much.
— Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) March 29, 2017
People will break their Nintendo Switches, absolutely
The folks at Polygon make a really sound point in their hit on this story. They note that the portable nature of the Nintendo Switch will inherently put the console in more precarious and potentially dangerous situations than any other homebound system would face. It’s more likely that people will drop and break their Switch than, say, their PS4 or Xbox One. It would make sense, then, that Nintendo would work hard to implement a save data transfer system for damaged units.
Not the case.
The Nintendo Switch is a console that innovates gaming in some pretty interesting ways. It also represents Nintendo’s effort to crawl back towards the trending side of the industry. The company needs to come up with a save backup system that makes sense. It’s imperative in the modern age of cloud backups and online accounts. Tying saves to the machine and then wiping them or losing them when the machine is broken or sold is what console makers did 20 years ago. Not today.
If Nintendo changes their system, we’ll let you know.