The Nintendo Switch has been a hit for Nintendo, one that it sorely needed after disappointing sales of the Wii U console. There are even some hints that Nintendo is coming around to online services. However, it still won’t let you back up your saved games. One industrious console hacker is showing Nintendo how easy it can be. Bernardo Giordano says it took him two weeks to add game backups to the Switch.
Game backups are important on all platforms. After all, once you’ve spent 100 hours exploring an in-game world, losing your progress because of a hardware failure could be heartbreaking. The situation is even more dire with the Switch. This console plugs into TVs, of course, but it’s also portable. If you lose the console, you’ve also lost all your game data forever.
Currently, Nintendo only lets you move profile data from one Switch to another. So, you can get your data from a working but damaged Switch over to a new one. This is not a backup, though. The data is moved from one device to another, so you still only have one copy of your saves. This operation wasn’t even possible when the Switch launched. Nintendo hasn’t indicated when or if backups will happen.
This is where Giordano comes in. He develops a game data tool for the 3DS called Checkpoint, and it took about two weeks to add basic support for the Switch. It can recognize games like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, allowing it to copy and restore the files. It backs up to an SD card, which you can then keep in a safe place or move the files somewhere else.
As for when you’ll be able to use a Switch version of Checkpoint, it might be this year or it might be never. The only people with access to Checkpoint on the Switch right now are those who helped with testing.
Giordano says he may release the source code along with an updated Checkpoint for the 3DS later this year. Although, he did delete the original announcement tweet before posting another meant to temper expectations. He suggests Checkpoint might never be truly ready for the Switch, but he hopes Nintendo will release an official save backup solution.
So, for the time being, just be very careful with your Switch. Otherwise, you might have to start from scratch in Breath of the Wild.
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