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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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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.