I love the Nintendo Switch. There, that’s out of the way. I didn’t think it’d succeed but boy was I wrong (and I’m glad I was).
That said, this isn’t a review as much as it’s just some basic thoughts about the system. It goes without saying that the Switch has been a raging success. Initially driven by Zelda: Breath of the Wild but furthered by Super Mario Odyssey and a host of other games. I’ve personally spent 98% of my time playing Breath of the Wild, BotW from here on out. It’s a beautiful game. It’s hard at times. It’s easy at times. You’ll spend a lot of time playing this kind of game. Why is that important? That’s where my “thoughts” come in.
Nintendo is releasing something called Labo pretty soon and it’s certainly intriguing. It is basically cardboard pieces you assemble into various thing (fishing rod, motorcycle handlebars, etc). It’s cool that the Switch has the sensors to be able to do all of these things. There remains an issue though. It isn’t the cardboard that will inevitably wear out as much as it is the Switch itself.
You see, lets talk about Zelda again. I’ve put in about 120 hours of gameplay. I have 120 shrines completed. I have the fully powered Master Sword (Holy geez what a pain!). So, yeah, lots of time and effort. It’s rewarding and fulfilling to accomplish these things. Do you want to know what would make me lose my mind? Having my switch inside of a cardboard apparatus only to fall out and there goes your Switch and all your save data for every game you’ve ever played. Ever.
Yes. That is right. All save data is locally stored on the device. If anything happens to your switch major or minor, you will lose your save data. I love this system but this is a glaring flaw that must be addressed. I know they wanted to avoid people hacking the system but in trying to avoid hacking, you’ve created a reason for people to hack. Understand, if I found a way to hack the system to save my progress externally, I would do it. Voided warranty be damned. XBox has cloud save. Playstation has it. Maybe? I don’t own one.
The point is that before you launch a product that will have kids flailing their delicate game systems about, some sort of save backup system needs to be implemented. Cloud? Sure. Local on a MicroSD? That works, too. Both? Even better. I can almost guarantee there will be a flux of very pissed consumers once their Switches start flying and smashing into the floor.
All that said they did take a step in the right direction a couple of months ago. Our switch had gotten damaged and the joycons (controllers on the side) wouldn’t slide on unless we really forced them to. So, I got a replacement from Amazon. There is a feature that allows you to transfer your data to another switch. That’s great and saved, well, our saves. The issue is that it moves your data. It does not copy it. So, it’s a nice thing to have but it’s a band-aid for a problem that needs a proper fix/solution.
I’m sure they’ll do something and given the Labo launching, it should be sooner rather than later. If it’s later then, oi, I wouldn’t want to answer the phones for their support to tell people they’re SOL. Just give us backup options, Nintendo. It’ll be A-OK.