We knew that the new game wouldn’t be getting cloud saves, and we knew that there would be one island to one Switch (much like previous entries that would accommodate four players in one town). Now, it seems that the New Horizons save is stuck to the hardware it was started on, and there will be no way to transfer progress from one Switch to another Switch. The discovery was made on a scan of the back of the German box for the new game, and it is possible that this information is poorly translated, or out of date. Nevertheless, it’s a strange system to introduce.
Let’s Go to the City would let players take their Wild World persona from the Nintendo DS to the Nintendo Wii, and the DS Download Play would act as a channel so that Wild World characters could visit towns on the Wii. The ‘one world to one game’ feature is well-established for the series, but the ‘one save to one game’ was also integral to the experience of the classic Pokémon games. Pokémon Sword & Shield chucked that in favour of autosaves and multiple profiles able to play Sword or Shield on one console.
As such, the decision to keep progress on one console is a nonstandard one. It isn’t very friendly towards people who share a console, and fans are concerned that if they lose their Switch or have to send it away for repairs, that’s it for their save. If Nintendo reveals a new Switch model, the New Horizons save will be stuck on the outdated Switch, which might hurt the reception of the new version of the console. We aren’t sure whether this is the case, because the description on the back of that German game might be old news. We’ll keep you in the loop once we get confirmation from Nintendo.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch for the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.