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Nintendo Switch Data Cannot Be Saved If The Console Bricks

31 March 2017, 6:37 am EDT By Anu Passary Tech Times
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Gamers using Nintendo Switch run the risk of losing all their data if the console bricks. The Nintendo Switch reportedly does not provide the option for external game data backup.  ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )

Nintendo Switch, although a feature-rich console, does not allow owners to save hours of game data externally.

According to a new report, if the console bricks, this missing functionality could lead to gamers losing all data.

Anthony John Agnello, a gamer and writer at GamesRadar, shared that hours of in-game progress were lost because of a faulty launch system, which bricked his Nintendo Switch console.

Nintendo Switch Bricks Overnight

Agnello found his Nintendo Switch showing an error screen suddenly. The error screen did not ring alarm bells as the Switch was fairly new, and he had played games on it just the night before.

However, things took a turn for worse when Agnello saw the same nondescript message surface even after a soft reboot. Agnello followed the instructions on the error message and held the console's power button to switch off the device, only to reboot it after a few minutes. However, the error message returned once the device was switched on.

Nintendo's Repsonse

Unable to reach a solution, Agnello wasted no time and contacted customer service to report the issue. After some basic questions, the customer care executive could not offer any solution, and asked Agnello to send his console to Nintendo for further inspection.

Agnello sent off the Nintendo Switch to the company as advised. Two days later, the three-week-old console was returned to Agnello. Nintendo shared that it had inspected the console and discovered that the error resulted in some data on the device becoming unreadable. The team revealed that because of the faulty launch system, the settings, saved data, as well as any links "with any Nintendo Accounts on your system were unable to be preserved." A visibly disappointed Agnello shared his grievance on Twitter.


Agnello lost 55 hours of progress in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and another half a dozen hours in various games such as Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Super Bomberman R, and Blaster Master Zero.

As a result, for no fault of his, Agnello has to start each game from scratch.

Nintendo Switch: External Backup Required?

Nintendo Switch is possibly the only console from the company where loss of data, because of a hardware issue, cannot be avoided.

Unlike the Switch, other Nintendo consoles like Wii and Wii U enable gamers to transfer saved game data to storage options like an SD card or an external hard drive. The Nintendo 3DS even has a "Save Data Backup" feature for this purpose.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Switch saves data on the console itself. A minor hardware glitch, or even theft, can result in losing all previous data. Interestingly, Nintendo allows Switch users to duplicate captured screenshots via a microSD card slot for distribution and external backup.

Nintendo should come up with a solution quickly for the problem so that gamers do not get put off by the Switch.

"I won't be playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild again. In the grand scale of the world's problems, a malfunctioning game console is so low on the pile it doesn't even count as a problem. This is annoyance, not a crisis. This experience, meanwhile, has soured me on not just the Switch's early days but Nintendo itself," said Agnello.

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