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Nintendo Switch System Update Adds Recording, Save Transfers

Nintendo released a system update for its Switch console that introduced the ability to record 30-second gameplay snippets, transfer save data between devices, and more. These updates won't address many of the complaints about the Switch—like its lack of cloud saves, third-party apps, or Virtual Console—but they do signal Nintendo's commitment to expanding the console's functionality and listening to its customers' feedback.

Probably the most important change is the ability to transfer saves between consoles. That's likely to prove useful for households with multiple Switches (Switchs?), but it will be even more important if a console fails. Sending a broken Switch in to Nintendo is like rolling the dice with the countless hours you've put in to a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If the save data's gone, it's gone.

Now it will be easier to ensure save data never disappears. That's not as exciting as cloud saves, which would further streamline the process and bring the Switch to parity with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console families, but it's still a welcome change. We also suspect it won't be long before some enterprising gamer finds a way to use the save transfer functionality to keep backups without having to own multiple consoles.

Speaking of not-quite-parity: The new screen recording feature is a similar half measure to the save data transfers. Other consoles (and, of course, PCs) can stream games in their entirety. But the Switch launched with the ability to take screenshots and a promise that video recording would arrive at a later date. Well, that later date is here, and Nintendo has technically delivered on its promise to enable video recording.

Yet the recordings are limited in scope and availability. Nintendo said you can save 30-second snippets, which makes sense given the Switch's limited storage, but it also said the feature isn't available in all games. Right now you can record gameplay in Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2. Those are all first-party titles; it's not clear if or when support for the feature will expand to third parties.

This system update also adds some new player icons from Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, updates the console's News app, and introduces the ability to update multiple Switch consoles' games to their latest versions by grouping up with other Switch owners. That should make the update process easier for people with limited internet connections, for example, and guarantee people can play games with friends.

Your Switch should automatically install this system update. If it doesn't, you can manually download the update by heading to the System Settings app, going to System, and selecting System Update. You can find detailed patch notes for the update on Nintendo's support website.

  • CarbonK
    Important to note, the Switch saves the LAST 30 seconds. So don't worry about missing a cool moment, if you're quick on the button then it should be saved.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Save transfers, sweet. You might finally be able to edit your BotW save file to give you infinite weapon durability on Switch.
    Reply
  • hgchuong
    About Effing time giving us save transfers!!!
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    Save between 2 switches, not to cloud or SD card. So useless if you own just 1. Nintendo still stuck in the past.
    Reply
  • hgchuong
    20288914 said:
    Save between 2 switches, not to cloud or SD card. So useless if you own just 1. Nintendo still stuck in the past.

    DOH!
    Reply
  • MASOUTH
    "Check it out what i do..."

    We can all already see what you do....post spam to comment sections/ forums. I struggle to imagine what horrible life you were living before if this is a change for the better.


    as far as the story...

    Only save to another Switch? So I suppose they expect people to go buy a second if they only have 1? Sounds more like a bait and switch
    Reply
  • Nolonar
    20289150 said:
    Only save to another Switch? So I suppose they expect people to go buy a second if they only have 1? Sounds more like a bait and switch

    Yes, that's exactly what the feature is for. It also exists in the PS4 and the Xbox One.
    I've used it to transfer from my old PS4 to my PS4 Pro, and MS recently released the "Fall Update" with a new shiny transfer feature for when the Xbox One X gets released.
    I've also used the feature to transfer from my old 3DS to the New 3DS. This feature is probably for the time Nintendo releases a revision for the Switch.

    Another use case is: You bought a Switch and your kids are using it too. You want to play a game but can't, because your kids keep monopolizing your Switch. You decide to buy another Switch and transfer your kids' profiles to it.

    Or maybe a friend or relative wanted to try out your Switch and decided to buy one of their own, and now they need to transfer their profile from your Switch to theirs.


    Out of curiosity, why do you expect a "bait and switch"?
    It's not like they're making you pay for a subscription, then remove important features from it.

    A bait and switch would be more like MS offering "unlimited OneDrive for subscribers of Office 365", then downgrading the offer to 1TB (which they did, by the way).
    Reply
  • MASOUTH
    because I was strictly making a bad play on words that they are trying to bait people into being multiple Switch households ;)
    Reply