New Details About Nintendo Switch Online Cloud Saves and NES Games Revealed

An updated Nintendo FAQ disclosed how NES games will work offline, and that cloud saves will be gone upon cancellation of Nintendo Switch Online.

on September 14, 2018 5:50 PM

After a someone vague outlining of the Nintendo Switch Online service in last night’s Direct, Nintendo updated an online FAQ page for the service to make some clarifications. The revelations that Nintendo fans are honing on focus on cloud saves and the classic NES games.

It turns out that users will lose their cloud saves if they don’t renew their subscription, and while NES games will be available offline, some sort of online check-in every seven days will be required.

Here’s how Nintendo words their policy:

After my Nintendo Switch Online membership expires, will my online save data and my Nintendo Entertainment System™ – Nintendo Switch Online data be erased?

Save data stored via the Save Data Cloud backup is available for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Classic games in the NES – Nintendo Switch Online collection and the save data for those games will not be removed unless the user chooses to do so manually. These items are stored locally on the Nintendo Switch system but cannot be accessed without an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.

In comparison, cloud saves on Xbox One are free, while the PS4 does require a PlayStation Plus subscription but has a six-month grace period to access those saves should users choose to resubscribe within that time. That doesn’t appear to be the case with the Switch unless Nintendo clarifies further in the future.

In regards to the NES games, the FAQ confirms that players will only have offline access to these classic titles for seven days as long as their Nintendo Switch Online subscription is active. The FAQ doesn’t exactly mention any sort of online “check-in,” but check out the tricky wording to make your own interpretation if you’d like.

Can NES – Nintendo Switch Online games be played offline?

Yes, these games can be played offline for up to 7 days as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.

The service will launch on September 18 and is currently available for pre-purchase on retailers like Amazon.


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Chris is a writer based in the Philadelphia area with their eyes set on New York City. They are currently writing for film website Flixist, podcasting for Marvel News Desk, and was an editorial intern for Paste Magazine's gaming section. They graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a creative writing major.