Switch Online NES games will only function for 'up to seven days' without an internet connection

If you plan on taking advantage of the many NES games coming to the Switch Online service, be prepared to keep an internet connection going on your Switch. While you can get away with not being connected online for up to 7 days, it seems you'll want to make sure you connect at some point before that week ends, as the NES games may cease to function.

Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online can by played for up to seven days without an internet connection. If you are unable to launch Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, then please try connecting to the internet again.

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: eshop, nes, switch


Top Rated Comment
Fri Sep 14 18 01:49pm
Rating: 7

Seven days seems pretty generous to me. Who can't get online somewhere in seven days? Or live without their NES games until they do.

I'm reserving my judgement on cloud saves until we have all the facts and not jump to conclusions.

It's remarkable how bad Nintendo has made this "service."

NES Games won't expire when your subscription runs out, but if you can't get online in time.

You can backup your saves, but if you don't pay, you lose them all (there's also confusion if this means immediately or not)

The NES controllers are nice, but you basically have to pay $80 up front, and $20/year to continue to use them.

Oh, and you have the privilege of using their online app for games, an app that is terrible and no one uses.

Some people say Nintendo doesn't understand online, but I think they understand it all too well, and want to make it as encumbering and different as possible to the detriment of everyone.

Let me just chime in on a couple of things here.

The reason you have to be online every 7 days is because you can remove someone from your family online group at anytime. Meaning that someone could take advantage of the system by removing someone from the group and them staying offline, they'd always have the games regardless if they were paying for the service or not.

We don't know the period in which your cloud saves are lost, but I very much doubt it's immediate. Pokemon Bank has an indeterminate amount of time in which your data is saved. Saving peoples saves for a long period of time after they aren't paying doesn't make sense anyways.

The NES controllers are a bit pricey upfront but we don't actually know if the controllers are limited for use only in the NES Online App. If they are, that seems pretty lame, but we actually don't know yet.

Thanks for contextualizing the NES game check-in in relation to family sharing for me. But I feel like in that the NES games should only be removed after 7 days IN THOSE INSTANCES where a subscription lapses, either by subscription end date OR when an account is removed.

For Cloud Saves, Nintendo isn't communicating this at all. It's a MAJOR problem, even if it isn't an immediate deletion of peoples' save data. They need to say right now if there's immediate deletion or what the grace period is. But here's the other problem. People can't locally back-up their save data. Other systems there exists a mechanism for this. The fact that Nintendo won't allow this only adds to people being upset at what they're doing with this service.

I agree with that, Nintendo has done an absolutely terrible job communicating online, with how much they've been trying to hype it up, I thought we would get a lot more but nope.

The Nintendo Direct just went over things most people already knew, and they really haven't figured out how to make this appealing to a lot of people. The NES Online games make it worth it for me, but I know plenty of other people that aren't interested in them at all.

I also hope for Nintendo's sake they start implementing dedicated servers for games that use them in the future, or this is just going to continue to slide downhill.

I generally try to stay positive, but this is just one of those things where I can't help but shake my head about a lot of things...

Sat Sep 15 18 10:13am
(Updated 1 time)

Another reason for the 7 day limit is people subscribing with a normal subscription, then going offline with their Switch, and then cancel the subscription.

If they keep their Switch offline the Switch knows no better than that the subscription is still active. Since there is no way of knowing whether the subscription is still active when the system is offline for a extended period they need to block certain offline services that only come with the subscription at some point until you get back online.

It's quite understandable really, and in practise for the user there's no issue at all since anyone can get online at some point during the week.. You'd have to try hard to go a week without the possibility of getting to a free WiFi hotspot.. And in those cases I'd say you probably have other things on your mind.

As for Cloud backup, I agree a "grace period" is nice for the consumer. And I still think that there might be a short period of a few days or even a week. However, since the days of a new subscription get added to the remaining days of your previous subscription when you renew, the smart thing to do is resubscribe in the weeks before your subscription ends.

There's also automatic renewal so if you want to be completely sure you should keep that on.

Also, remember it's a backup. Not a main form of storage. You should always keep save data you don't want to lose on your system as well.

Fri Sep 14 18 01:49pm
Rating: 7

Seven days seems pretty generous to me. Who can't get online somewhere in seven days? Or live without their NES games until they do.

I'm reserving my judgement on cloud saves until we have all the facts and not jump to conclusions.

Netflix, which is a similar service, lets you keep downloads for 7 days or 48hrs after you start using it. Steam, which is not a subscription service but you actually buy titles, only allows 5-7 days with no internet connection if you remember to set up offline before the lack of internet. So that's much worse than what Nintendo is offering. I think people are just looking for ways to be upset.

I think people are just looking for ways to be upset.

Many people always seem to look for the negative interpretations of things when it comes to Nintendo. It's the first conclusion they jump to: "this must be bad".

It's also the responsibility of the writers of these articles. Very often they do the same.
Just look at the title of this one. The inclusion of the word "only" is unnecessarily negative.
"Switch Online NES Games Can Be Played Offline For Up To Seven Days" would be much more neutral.
If articles didn't set up the negative spin already I think much of this negativity would be reduced.

Being critical when writing articles also means being critical of your own writing. It's best to take a neutral stance and highlight multiple perspectives.
As it stands now, the nuance and detailed information is often provided in (certain parts of) the comment sections. That's not a good testament to the quality of the articles.

I agree. The headline and article made me think that the games would be deleted from your system after seven days without a connection.

But this

If you are unable to launch Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, then please try connecting to the internet again.

tells me you simply can't use the application after seven days. Get online and it works again. Pretty easy.

Lmao. Paying $20 for old NES games should allow us to play them whenever, wherever. That’s their whole motto, right? Shame we need to connect to WiFi to play some old ROMs.

LMAO. You're paying $20 to play online, which is reasonable for just that service, which means the NES games are free. It's not too much to ask for Nintendo to check once in a while that people's accounts are current.

And since the entire point of the service is the online connection, if you're offline so much, why would you even subscribe in the first place?

Yes because someone being offline playing ROMs on a remote vacation or cruise, etc. is highway robbery to Nintendo. Lmao! They must protect these amazing offerings at all costs! How you justify what costs money and doesn’t isn’t indicative of how others see it. Just FYI.

did you read the article? you can play Nes games offline for seven days, which is better than other services offerings like Steam or Netflix. Jeez.

Yes. I have the info as well. That’s still ridiculous in 2018. This replacement to the Virtual Console is trash. We should be able to own them outright and play them online or offline, whenever we please. What happens when Nintendo moves on from the Switch? You’ll no longer be able to access these games at all because they’ll shut the servers down that you need to connect to every 7 days.

I envy you the life you must be leading. For decades-old games going out of print to seem like such a tragedy to you can only mean that you've never experienced actual tragedy, like loved ones dying, breaking up, losing a job, suffering significant injury, ...

Lmao. What? That’s an extreme conclusion to draw just because I disagree with you. Anyways...

It's a weird tear. Some streaming services that allow downloads and syncing have an expiration date before you have to redownload, so this isnt too different from that. But if you're paying for the game subscription, why not lock you out if you fail to renew your sub?

Ultimately this seems like a level 4 issue (out of 10), but no doubt certain camps will take it up to 11. As is always the case with Nintendo service news...

why not lock you out if you fail to renew your sub?

To prevent people subscribing, then remaining offline before they unsubscribe..

Fri Sep 14 18 02:33pm
(Updated 1 time)

It's funny how the Xbox One was trying to do this at the beginning of the generation (requirement to be online every so often) and got all sorts of flack for it. Now Nintendo is doing the same thing and it's not getting the same outrage. I guess time has changed enough since the launch of the Xbox One that's not an issue now or it's accepted.

Fri Sep 14 18 03:20pm
Rating: 1

Microsoft tried to do it with their entire game library and it didn't matter that you paid $60 for the game, if you don't connect you can't play. Where Nintendo is doing it with just their online subscription NES games that they area giving you for free. That's the biggest difference.

Same with the horse armour fiasco. Now it's just accepted. Loot boxes are the new horse armour, but thankfully there is strong resistance to those.

That was always online, not online once every 7 days to verify subscription status. VERY different.
Also, I don't know about you but I see plenty of outrage here...

Subscription status verification for offline available features of the subscription is understandable. Otherwise people could cancel while remaining offline and keep using the features.

We're still not ready for always online, and certainly not for always online on a portable system.

The more I read about this online service, the more discouraged I get. Really, Nintendo?

The free NES titles are tied to your online subscription, if you can't prove you still have a subscription they expire. Fair's fair. It's not like they are blocking you access to games you actually paid for.

You're right about that. Though I really care squat about the NES games. The thing that worries me the most is the cloud saves disappearing. With xbl, my saves are "saved", even when my subscription expires. And when I get the money to sub again, they become accessible. Same with pokebank, where I let my subscription expire for over a year and the pokemon were fine after I paid again. So, why are Nintendo doing something so archaic?

Could you theoretically just use a smartphone's wifi hotspot to connect the Switch to the internet and reset the timer from there?

Don’t see why not. It’s an internet connection.

Yup. So really, people are making a fuss because they think the need to make a fuss about it. They feel like they're treated unfairly whereas there really isn't a problem at all..

Other websites are reporting that lose the game permanently if you don't log in. That doesn't make sense. This makes much more sense because all they are doing is a lot check and making sure you are still a member.

Yeah and I reckon it’s also a way to get more frequent phone-home calls from the Switch to check for things like custom firmware and piracy.

Fri Sep 14 18 03:29pm
Rating: 1

This isn't a big deal to me, i just need to remember to check in every week is all, no biggie to me.

If only we could purchase and download NES games, then we could just have them on the system and not have to worry about connecting online.

Wouldn't that be a novel idea?

Fri Sep 14 18 04:22pm
Rating: 1

Yeah, I can't believe there isn't some system in place for buying retro games. I had even expected this new online system to better address that (like making a Netflix-like collection game library available) but so far nothing they've told us properly addresses the large backlog of games I'm sure people want to buy and play.

But Netflix's library of movies suck. And when they get something good it's gone within a few months.

You know what I'm talking about. You don't have to take the analogy literally.

Well it's to demonstrate my fears of a streaming service for games. That there is no guarantee that the games you want will be there when you want them. Like Netflix. But if you download and own them, they are there forever.

Streaming services seem pretty terrible. I have to see one that has a consistent library.

This is a nice feature to add Smile

Seems quite reasonable to me. I hadn't even thought about accessing the NES games while offline, but I guess you'd have to when you take your Switch on the go. Seven days does seem pretty generous.

Well that is extremely shitty of Nintendo. What if I go on vacation to somewhere that doesn't have regular internet access?

I literally don't believe anybody who vacations in a place with no internet access will want to take their Switch with them. And if you say "What about the plane ride?", any plane that is taking you to this internet-free zone is Wi-fi-enabled. The Wi-Fi-free planes go to places like Peoria. Which has internet.

Me and my family sometimes go on vacation to a place without internet or phone signal (we have electricity thanks to generators), and yes, we bring our electronic devices. Why not? I'm not saying I couldn't live without NES games in that place, but it's certainly possible to be in a situation where the 7-day limit matters.

Plane wifi is extremely expensive from my experience.
Camping holidays often don’t have Internet or phone reception. Still 7 days isn’t terrible. The average holiday is 1 - 2 weeks, are you really gonna worry about 30 year old games that you’ve played already for those 2 weeks.

Wait..you can't download them?

Its cached when offline probably.

What would be nice is if at some point Nintendo allows us to own such games rather than stream them in a sense.
This could be done in a few ways.

- Nintendo could gauge the popularity of titles played most and make them part of a physical cart compilation.

- Nintendo could allow us to purchase them via eshop or also via Gold coins.

- Nintendo could release games from subscription base after a set amount of subscription based on the subscribers loyalty to the online service.

I'm not a big fan of streaming games or games based on a subscription given that once a service is down or shutdown permanently you essentially have nothing and whilst I understand that this is just a bonus to subscribers it's not what the fans actually want.
Emulation and "Piracy" is still the king of retro gaming. :/

Sun Sep 16 18 10:35am
Rating: 1

Nintendo Online is sounding more and more garbage tier with every announcement.

Classic Nintendo: announce the service and hide all the details in a FAQ that only hardcore fans would bother reading through. No wonder they didn’t divulge any specifics during the Direct. Hahahaha!


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