One thing that Switch gamers have been greatly concerned over is the lack of proper save data management on Nintendo Switch. Save files on Switch are all stored on the system memory, regardless of whether you own a physical or digital copy of the game.
There’s no way to shift the save files to the microSD or back them up, so if anything happens (touch wood), your 100 hours and counting progress in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would disappear in a flash.
Mashable interviewed Nintendo of America head honcho Reggie Fils-Aime, asking for more details on when exactly we could finally backup our saves. You can check out the full transcript below.
I wanted to ask about the Switch. There’s still no file management system. Is that something that’s incoming? Is it a concern over piracy?
Our focus in launching Nintendo Switch was to make it a stellar game-playing device. In driving that focus there were elements that we knew needed to come later. Like Nintendo Switch Online. Like other services — the Netflix and Amazon Primes of the world. With that as background, we are keenly aware of all of the things that consumers are asking for.
For us, it really is about thinking through how to do this in a way that makes good business sense but also is something that the consumer is really going to be excited about. We’re aware of requests around cloud saves or file management, we’re certainly aware of all the requests for legacy content, we’re aware of consumers asking for ways to have multiple devices linked to one particular account, we’re aware of all of those. What we’re trying to do is deliver positive steps on all of these areas but in a way that is prioritized and makes sense for us.
What if my Switch breaks? I lose all my Breath of the Wild progress.
It is well understood. For a person who has 100 shrines, I understand the concern about losing all your data. For us it’s all about, OK, how can we do this in a way that makes sense for the consumer, that makes sense for us, that’s what we’re working for.
Is it a question of how functionally it’s going to work? Whether it’s going to be cloud saves or whether or it’s going to be an SD card?
It’s everything from not only how is it going to work but it’s also how we do this in a way that doesn’t lend itself to piracy or systems or our core software infrastructure that can be modded or hacked. Those are all of the things that we need to think about from a business standpoint.
So it’s a matter of safeguarding around these features?
We need to create them, we need to safeguard them, we need to deliver them to the consumer the way that makes sense.
So what’s on the list of priorities for the Switch? What’s coming next?
One of the big things that’s coming next is Nintendo Switch Online. That’ll come next year. We’ve talked broadly about some of the capabilities, the voice chat capabilities, the ability to invite players into a connected experience. We’ve said that legacy content is going to play a role in this. That’s a big priority for us. And getting it right so the consumer says, “For a $20 annual subscription, this is a no-brainer, this is easy for me to participate, and look at all of the benefits I get.” Delivering that in an effective way is a high priority.
So on this list of priorities that you have, where does save file management fit, and where does virtual console fit?
Certainly the virtual console aspect is going to be part of what we do in terms of making some legacy content available with the Nintendo Switch Online. In terms of the file management, all I can say is stay tuned.