Disappointing Nintendo Switch update still doesn’t let you back up saves

The newest Nintendo Switch update is here and it’s got some neat new features. If you’re an Animal Crossing: New Horizons player who’s hoping to back up save data, however, you’re going to walk away disappointed.

It’s not all bad news, mind. Several new features have been added to the console’s software, one of which the ability to rebind Joy-Con buttons. A much-desired feature to move game data to the SD card — that is, the actual games you download from the Nintendo eShop — has also arrived. This is great, especially for the people who are buying games like Borderlands and BioShock that require large data downloads.

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However, one area where the Switch is lacking is the ability to back up save data. That may well be the most precious part of any console and is irreplaceable to many of us. Why can’t we back it up?

Console Comparison

Nintendo Switch update system settings

How does the competition handle backing up save data? It’s not as clear-cut as you think.

Xbox One doesn’t let you back up save data, although Cloud Saves mitigate some of the potential loss of files. On the other hand, the PS4 lets you copy your save data to an external storage device.

Of course, other consoles aren’t the only competition. PC gamers can do pretty much anything they like with their save data, and Android users can typically back up their files without too much hassle. iPhone gamers have it a bit harder, but it’s still quite possible with a little effort.

Will a future Nintendo Switch update add save backup?

Although today’s Nintendo Switch update didn’t add save data backup, will we ever see it in the future? It doesn’t seem likely.

Yes, Nintendo Switch cloud saves should take away most of the concerns about losing your progress. However, Nintendo has shown that they’re unwilling to protect some games, most recently your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’d happily save these files to an SD card to protect them elsewhere, but I’m not even given the option.

Companies are surely concerned about players tampering with save data. That’s a silly concern. Anyone talented enough to tamper with save data is also talented enough to jailbreak consoles and get the files out anyway.

The lack of save data backup in this newest Nintendo Switch update ultimately doesn’t help the average customer who wants to protect their most precious files and it probably doesn’t stop the gamers who are going to mod their consoles anyway. One hopes that Nintendo will ease up on the restrictions.