Nintendo Switch Online Makes You Check In Once A Week to Play NES Games

Nintendo Switch's premium online service includes some unfriendly consumer policies.

If you want to keep your Nintendo Switch Online NES games and cloud saves, you’ll need to “check-in” to the service at least once a week. 

This information comes from Eurogamer who state that Nintendo is reviving one of the most despised online gaming concepts from a few years ago. Apparently, the collection of NES games that Nintendo is offering alongside the Switch’s premium online service will only be available to those Switch owners who connect their consoles to the internet at least once every seven days. 

It’s not entirely clear how this process works, but we imagine that there is some kind of process in place that allows you to reconnect to the Switch’s online service after the initial check-in fail so that you are able to play the service’s collection of classic NES games once again. If you are unable to connect to the internet, you will have a seven day grace period to access the available NES games before you must connect to the internet again. 

Here’s where things get worse. If your Nintendo Switch Online service expires, you will automatically lose all of your cloud saves. 

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These policies represent a drastic departure from how Microsoft and Sony approach similar services. If you download a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Games With Gold title to your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you get to continue playing them for as long as the games are downloaded (regardless of whether you are online). Similarly, Xbox One users are able to access cloud saves free of charge and PS4 users are allowed to keep cloud saves for up to six months after they have ended their online subscription. 

Realistically, many people are going to be able to connect their Switch to some kind of internet connection at least once a week. However, it’s not hard to envision the scenario in which someone is not able to do that (especially since the Switch is a portable console). As for cloud saves…well, it’s bad enough that Nintendo makes you pay for them, but the idea that they would remove them the moment you cancel your Nintendo Switch Online subscription borders on being oddly malicious. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014