If you were expecting massive open-world games like GTA V on the Nintendo Switch anytime soon, think again. One of the hybrid console’s limiting factors has been storage on its game cartridges. Currently, Nintendo Switch cartridges can only store up to 32GB of data. It makes bigger games like GTA V and The Witcher 3 a problem as their file sizes balloon to excess of 50GB. Nintendo has plans for 64GB cartridges, but their roll out has been delayed to 2019.
“Nintendo had planned to make 64GB cards available to partner developers in the second half of 2018, but recently told them that it would push the date back to 2019 owing to technical issues, according to people with direct knowledge of the discussions,” claims a report from The Wall Street Journal. It further states that US-based game publishers were “disappointed” with the news and that they “may wait for the 64GB card to release those kinds of games for the Switch.”
Right now, few Western publishers support the Nintendo Switch. The likes of LA Noire and Doom have graced the console but not without a 14GB and 9GB download to experience all they have to offer. This is because neither game in its entirety can fit on a single Switch game cartridge. Others, like WWE 2K18 require a colossal 24GB download even if you own it on cartridge.
What’s more is, you can expect games using bigger cartridges to cost more.
“If a publisher wants to put a game on a 32GB cart on Switch it costs 60 percent more for them then it would for a 50GB Blu-Ray on PS4/Xbox One,” tweeted games analyst Daniel Ahmad.
“Full Priced Retail Software Publisher Gross Margin 50GB Blu-Ray = 55 percent 32GB Switch cart = 45 percent That is one reason Switch games cost more,” he added.
It's already happening. In Japan, Square Enix charged JPY 1,000 more for Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2 on the Nintendo Switch over its PS4 version due to it shipping on a 32GB cartridge. At the moment most games use 16GB or 8GB cartridges.
What does this mean for you? If you hoped 2018 brings more PS4 and Xbox One games to the Nintendo Switch, that seems to be far from the case. And with microSD card prices being more expensive than they should be, with 256GB costing Rs. 8,000 upwards, buying and playing games on the Nintendo Switch seems more expensive than Nintendo advertises it to be.