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Switch digital file sizes highlight need for external storage

New information puts biggest single release at 32GB, more than all available internal storage

The file sizes associated with software for Nintendo's Switch console have been published, effectively confirming that external storage will be a necessity for consumers wishing to buy digital versions of games.

The Switch has 32GB of internal storage, with an unspecified portion of that required for the system's OS - leaked information that surfaced last week put the requirement at around 6GB, per VG247. With the publication of game file sizes on the official Nintendo website, though, it's clear that Switch users will struggle to fit many digital purchases into that remaining space.

According to IGN, which spotted the information on the company's Japanese storefront, file sizes will run from 1.6GB for a game like Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together, to 7GB for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and 13.4GB for Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

But the real standout is Dragon Quest Heroes, which, with a file size of 32GB, is actually larger than all of the available storage on the system. The Nintendo site includes a note that a separate SD card will be required to install the title.

Nintendo Switch games will be available on individual cartridges, so this issue will only apply to owners who wish to make digital purchases. However, given the prevailing trend in the games industry as a whole that is likely to be a more significant proportion of the audience than on previous consoles. For those people, a separate SD card will likely be a necessary purchase, in addition to the $300 cost of the Switch itself.

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Latest comments (9)

James Wells Gaming Contributor - digboston.com 3 months ago
The fact Switch is including less memory that the Xbox 360 did at its launch 12 YEARS AGO is like a tasteless joke. There's no reason that, with the cost of storage space being so low, they couldn't have included at least 256 gb, if not 500gb or 1tb HDD options...
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Chris Nash QA Engineer 3 months ago
Why on earth are Nintendo so committed to repeating all of the Wii U's mistakes with the Switch?
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 months ago
Hopefully a system update will address this issue and allow users to plug any portable drive into a USB port and expand storage. High-end SD cards cost more than some external drives (the pricing on those Hori Switch cards is a joke), so this is a no-brainer fix.

Another crazy thing is a while back they got rid of Club Nintendo points for all retail physical purchases, but added them for digital-only buys, an unforgivably dumb move. Many still buy Wii U and 3DS games (and will buy Switch games) as physical media and get nothing in the way of a loyalty bonus. That just makes no sense if one buys the bulk of their new games on disc and card.

Hell, Nintendo should have partnered with a decent drive maker and had branded drives produced just for the loyalists who want everything stamped with the brand. Yeah, those would cost more, of course. But better to have more options than less, I say.
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Show all comments (9)
Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 months ago
I agree with James, it wouldn't have cost Nintendo much to add a larger storage drive, especially since they chose not to pack in a game. Nintendo seems destined to repeat their old mistakes until they run their business into the ground. I guess buyers will have to wait for the second or third revision of Switch systems before they get larger internal storage space.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 months ago
@Chris Nash: because Nintendo has repeated the same mistakes others have made years ago as a matter of policy for a decade plus, why not look inward? :)

"We didn't realize how much longer it took to make HD games"-Shigeru Miyamoto, 8 years after everyone else figured out how much longer it took to make HD games ;)

I'm relatively sure I know why

1- save PCB space
2- save power
3- save a few bucks per unit on the chips
4- other devices have proven repeatedly people will pay exponentially more for storage they can get far cheaper. Look at iPhone and the console HD size premiums.
5- the console has to sell at a profit, since no one will be buying third party games two years from now (assuming the likely event the last twenty years continues to hold)

Allegedly Nintendo actually removed or didn't finish external hard drive support as someone felt that the idea of having a hard drive tethered to it hurt the idea of portability.

@Greg I'd worry a lot more about a drive maker wanting to partner with them and risk getting stuck clearancing a lot of hard drives with Mario.

Switch will blow out its initial shipments. The real proof will start a year from now when all the faithful put off by a high price and no games may be broken by Christmas bundles. Once the 6-8 million acolytes have theirs, will there be converts not cannabalized from the DS?
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 months ago
@James Wells: I can see the argument for more storage and this is a problem considering the idea of putting HD AAA games on a mobile form factor device has a number of technical drawbacks, but you can't compare the cost and practicality of large flash storage to the spinning hard-drive you get in most computers and consoles. Devices that do have large flash memory are expensive.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 22nd February 2017 3:34pm

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John McCaul Web Developer, DevPhase.Net3 months ago
@James - The Nintendo Switch is not a conventional home console so comparisons with even the xbox 360 which launched 12 years ago are pointless.

What portable device on the market today has a 1TB Hard Disk Drive soldered onto the PCB?

@Greg - What loyalty perks do Sony & MS offer customers who buy physical disc copies of their games? I agree removing rewards for physical game purchases sucks but should we hold Nintendo to a different standard to what PlayStation & Xbox offer.

One look at the form factor of Nintendo Switch will tell you the system defies convention and lets not forget people game installs are MANDATORY for Xbox 1 & PS4 games this is not the case for Switch. Sure the PS4 & Xbox 1 can ship with a 1TB drive but for those systems this is a requirement not a optional perk.

@Jeff the support is already much stronger than what the WiiU had. It's been reported dev kits cost around $500 for Switch, much cheaper than WiiU and its clear Nintendo are taking an alternative approach to this launch compared to WiiU. Capcom have confirmed it took very little time to get a virtual environment of Switch emulated on PC to port MT Framework games to the system. They're seriously considering AAA development for Switch.
https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/02/nintendo_switch_dev_kits_are_nice_and_affordable_according_to_reports_from_game_creators_conference

Square Enix have already shown considerable support by confirming Dragon Quest Heroes 1&2 will land this year, Octopath Travelers from the Bravely Default team & Dragon Quest X & XI.
If you want evidence of western support look at what Switch is made of, an Nvidia mobile chip which can run Unity and Unreal Engine 4 (latest update adds a beta Switch dev environment). Also I think Skyrim on the go will have more appeal than you give the system credit for.

I find it interesting that people don't realize the dedicated games industry has been in decline since the Wii's heydays. Adding another system which plays the same games & similar features as 2 established competitors is not the answer to grow the market again and return Nintendo back to profitability. Rob Fahey is spot on, risks must be taken.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 months ago
"What loyalty perks do Sony & MS offer customers who buy physical disc copies of their games?"

@John McCaul--Microsoft gives out 15,000 rewards credits(equal to $15) to Xbox Live Rewards Members(free to join) for each new release game they pre-order and purchase from their website or through the Microsoft store as long as your Xbox Live and Microsoft accounts are linked. This applies to both physical and digital pre-orders. Then they email you a code which you can use to redeem your gift card and use it on Xbox Live or the Windows store.
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John McCaul Web Developer, DevPhase.Net3 months ago
@Paul Thanks for letting me know, I was genuinely asking and I appreciate your reply.
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