The Surprisingly Easy And Highly Irritating Parts Of A Lost Nintendo Switch – Forbes
The other day, I lost my Switch. This is not, in itself, positive news, for obvious reasons. But it is something that happens to portable electronics, like it or not, and these are the breaks of living in the world and attempting to enthusiastically show off my Switch. My biggest regret was that I sat next to a sort of sullen-looking teen on the train ride back from my trip and was not able to challenge him to a friendly game of Mario Kart. But this is my job, and I do need another one, especially with Super Mario Odyssey on the way. First, the good news: I was able to just go to Amazon and buy a new one, which I didn’t think would necessarily be possible. And as I’ve kept checking retailers since, I’ve noticed that by and large, it is eminently possible to get one of these things.
This is an excellent development from a console that has been supply-constrained for months now. The console was almost impossible to find in the time immediately after launch, and it remained pretty elusive through a few high-profile launches throughout the summer, echoing supply problems that have dogged Nintendo for years now. A lot of people were able to snag them by moving quickly online or waiting outside of GameStop, but the real question was how long we would reach some sort of stability: the point at which someone can just sort of decide that they want a Switch, waltz into a store and buy one. And while this might change with the release of Super Mario Odyssey, it seems we’ve reached one such moment of equilibrium now. The cynic could read this as the Switch demand not quite keeping pace with expectations, but I think suspect that a more likely situation is that Nintendo’s supply-side work is bearing fruit.
So, I was fully expecting to spend weeks tracking down a new Switch, which was thankfully not the case. But now, of course, for the bad. No, it’s not that I had to pay money for a new Switch — I didn’t exactly expect Nintendo to hunt down my machine for me. The bad is that the Nintendo Switch, for some reason, has no cloud saves, a striking departure from nearly all of its competition. That means that all of my game data is lost along with my Switch, including a hard-fought, near 100% Breath of the Wild save and, even more painfully, a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with all the Karts unlocked. Now, it’s time to start over. Thank God I didn’t have a Stardew Valley farm yet.
Cloud saves are excellent insulation against this circumstance whether one gets there through a lost, bricked or just upgraded console. Which is why both Microsoft and Sony have them, not to mention iOS and Android. And that’s why it’s so disappointing not to see them yet on the Switch, or to have any timeline for when they might arrive: Nintendo has always had a dodgy relationship with connectivity, and that’s on full display here. Lost Switches are bound to happen because that’s just the way things go when you have a portable device. Portability should, theoretically, be even more of an impetus to introduce some sort of cloud saving capabilities, but unfortunately, Nintendo lags here. Let’s hope that the company gets at least this one section of its online strategy soon.