For as glorious as Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks, Nintendo has seemingly found a way to aggravate its fan base. As spotted on Resetera, a German download card for the upcoming sequel reveals that the title won’t feature support for cloud saves or save data transfers. So much for paying for Nintendo’s online service.
The thing to note with save transfers is that it isn’t referring to a full system transfer. That method will take all data from your Switch and transfer it to another system, including the New Horizons data. What this specific instance is talking about is if a user has two Switch consoles with the same profile. Nintendo allows you to transfer saves between consoles if you’re on the same profile so you can continue playing. New Horizons won’t allow that.
The lack of cloud saving was actually touched on at E3 2019. Nintendo spoke about how it didn’t want users to manipulate time and unlock/duplicate items for their islands. Seeing as how the passage of time is a core feature in Animal Crossing, this does make a little bit of sense. It’s still a seriously outdated concept, not to mention Animal Crossing is a mostly offline game. There’s no cheating to be had here.
The main reason for a lack of local system transfer seems to be down to New Horizons’ stipulation on save data. Players are only allowed to make one island per console. Since this will affect every user profile on your system, it seems local transfer can’t work because of how Nintendo implemented the feature.
For the games that do support it, a local save transfer allows one user profile to move their data to another console and continue playing. This would be impossible to do with New Horizons, which forces every user on a console to play on the same island. Nintendo could lift the restriction and stop living in 2002, but that’s being too hopeful.
Cloud saves are also a big head-scratcher. It’s hard to understand why Nintendo would care so much about users jumping time to unlock certain events or items. I suppose the company wants to cut down on hacking, which is still a possibility on older Switch consoles. Still, it brings up the question of why users can’t simply back up their save data locally.
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