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Nintendo Locks Online Save Backups Behind a Paywall, No Other Way to Backup

An online infrastructure is what fans wanted from Nintendo for a long time and recently, the company shared its plans for Nintendo Switch Online service. Details regarding its features and pricing were announced.

Among the features was the ability to backup save files online. It is a pretty standard feature that was somehow missing from Switch until now. Well, it is still not available until September when the service goes live.

While this feature is great to have for those who have lost hundreds of hours of gameplay due to a faulty Switch or changing their devices, it isn’t something that should be locked behind a paywall. Fans aren’t happy that the only way to backup your game files on Nintendo Switch is to pay $19.99 a year.

This becomes an issue for those who aren’t interested in online services provided by these companies. For example, there are over 75 million PlayStation 4 units sold but as of March 2018, only 34.2 million users subscribed to PlayStation Plus. That means that more than half of PS4 users aren’t interested in online services.

Now, the same applies to Nintendo Switch as not everyone is going to be interested in engaging with online features. This creates an issue for a sizeable portion of Nintendo Switch userbase. Meanwhile, almost everyone has the need to backup game files every now and then.

Those only interested in this one feature alone would have to pay $19.99 a year to keep their save files safe. Xbox One, PC, and PS4 offer multiple ways to save game files unlike Nintendo Switch so the only way to backup files is through Nintendo Switch Online, which is locked behind a paywall.

PS4’s online saves are locked behind a pay as well. However, there are other ways to backup your game files. You can use physical mediums to backup your save files. Xbox, on the other hand, allows players to use online saves for free and so does Steam, EA Origin, and Uplay.

Interestingly, even the Wii U allowed players to backup game files on physical mediums.  Same was the case with Wii so what happened with Nintendo Switch? At the moment, it seems that locking save files backup behind a paywall is just a way to monetize the online infrastructure. It is safe to say that Nintendo’s online service is not as feature rich as PS Plus and Xbox Live so it does need something to entice players.

Do you think it is the right call to lock save files backup behind a paywall? Let us know in the comments below.