Nintendo Switch Game Saves Can’t Be Copied to SD Card?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

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An article on Polygon details their experience with the brand new Nintendo Switch console, and one of its shortcomings. They report that the SD card support in the Nintendo Switch is more limited than expected. Those who’ve owned Nintendo’s other cartridge-based systems know that game saves are usually stored on the game cartridge. This is not the case with the Nintendo Switch, which stores game save files in the system’s internal memory instead.

There is a “Manage Save Data\Screenshots” option in the console’s system settings. Here you can copy screenshots to your SD card if you wish, but managing game saves is more limited. For some strange reason, the only option available for managing save game files is to delete them. You can’t copy them onto your SD card to back them up if you wanted. This is a very poor and questionable design choice. You can choose to delete a save file for one user or for all user profiles on the system.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 

This is problematic because if your Switch were to get broken or die, your save data is all gone. Perhaps Nintendo could repair the system for you but aside from that you’d have no other options. This is not very well thought out on Nintendo’s part.

Polygon also reported that the Nintendo Switch does give you an option or tell you where exactly it is installing a game. They found that if the SD card is not present, it will install the game in system memory. They installed the game with the card in, and it was installed on the card. So the guys at Polygon took the SD card out and installed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove a second time. This time the system installed it into its internal memory. They put the SD card back in and deleted the save data. This resulted in both installations of the game being deleted, with no option for the user about which ones to delete. This too is very poor and questionable design.

Polygon also got confirmation from a Nintendo representative that it is not possible to put your SD card in a different Switch and play your games there. This is true even if you log into your own account on that other Switch console. You can read Polygon’s full article here.

 

SOURCE

 

About Michael Fontanini

Michael is a veteran gamer in my early 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES and SNES. He loves Nintendo but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks or bike rides, and loves animals.

Michael is also a computer programmer. This started with a toy he got as a kid called PreComputer 1000 that was made by V-Tech. It had a simple programming mode which is what started him down the road of being a programmer! Michael can program in BASIC, Visual Basic, C++, C#, and is familiar with Java and Lua Script.

Putting programming and gaming together, Michael became a hobbyist game developer which may give him some good insights on game development! Most recently, he has been playing with the free version of the Unity engine (a powerful and easy-to-use game engine).

I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.




  • Vanadise

    Nintendo continues to make great games but baffling console design choices? Say it isn’t so.

  • Mr0303

    Hopefully at least there is an option to upload said save data to a hard drive or a cloud service. The Vita’s save data is directly linked to the game install and that’s not ideal, but a bit better than what’s described here.

    • Steam cloud saves has spoiled me.

    • ProfessorFluffy

      Actually, for the Vita you can upload the save data to the PSN+ cloud.

    • Mr0303

      Yeah, I know, but it is still linked to the game data, so you can’t just transfer the save data to a hard drive.

  • Jean-Philippe M├ęthot

    They’re doing this to try to prevent hacking. In the wii days, it was super easy to soft-hack a wii using exploit disguised as save files. Because of that, they don’t want people to move save files around instead of, you know, trying to ensure that arbitrary code execution is not possible at all.

  • The switch continues to be a mistake.

    • Zeonis

      Still buying one. Xenoblade 2 is a system seller for me.

    • Smug

      you must enjoy getting screwed

    • Lord Ackercocke

      U cannot be serious with that comment.

    • I am kid. Have you seen the disaster that is the switch launch?

  • Zeonis

    They are trying to prevent hacking of the system apparently.

  • Brian OLeary

    Probably will get to save to the sd card in a future update.