Nintendo has updated the Switch’s Japanese website to reveal the file sizes for a number of launch games.
The Switch comes with a tiny 32GB of internal memory, of which it’s theorised that 5-6GB will be used by the OS. The Switch’s memory can be increased with SD cards, up to a maximum of 2TB, but these won’t be cheap.
Launch Games File Sizes
The full list of titles and their respective file sizes are as follows;
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 13.4 GB
- Dragon Quest Heroes I+II – 32 GB
- Mario Kart 8 – 7+ GB
- Puyo Puyo Tetris – 1.09 GB
- Disgaea 5 – 5.9 GB
- I Am Setsuna – 1.4 GB
- Nobunaga’s Ambition – 5 GB
- Snipperclips – 1.6 GB
These file sizes all relate to the Japanese releases of these titles, so expect some fluctuation when it comes to their Western counterparts.
It’s interesting to note that Dragon Quest Heroes I+II requires 32GB. Unless you also buy an SD card (or have a spare one lying around) you won’t be able to download and install it. You can buy the cartridge of course, but if you prefer digital, you’ll need to expand your Switch’s storage.
This very situation occurred when the Wii U was released. Many of the system’s launch titles were unable to fit onto the standard edition’s pitiful 8GB of internal memory. You’d think that Nintendo would have learned, especially given its aggressive digital strategy, but apparently not.
Without an SD card, at launch, you’ll be able to download and install most titles listed above. When Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches in Australia in April, you’ll either need to delete older games to make room or cough up for more memory.
Hobbling Switch’s Best Feature
Zelda and Mario Kart are, as of now, the two killer apps for Switch. If you were to purchase both digitally, your Switch will only have about 6-7GB free. Portability is the Switch’s point of different and it makes sense to buy games digitally. The lack of storage space is becoming a real issue, even before launch.
Switch titles are available physically, on game carts, but this console generation, more than any other, has conditioned players to digital gaming. In reality, it’s not a real problem to carry cartridges and swap them in and out, but it’s definitely going to be enough to turn some players off.
The only solution to the Switch’s lack of internal memory is to use expensive SD cards, although if the sizes of the titles as shown on the website is the average, one 2TB SD card will be more than enough.
If the file size for games in the future increases — and it likely will — then Switch owners are looking at the potential of having multiple SD cards. One of Switch’s most anticipated titles, Skyrim, requires 23GB of space on Xbox One. The Switch version is likely to be a little smaller, but not much. Certainly not enough to fit both Zelda and Skyrim on the same console.
What about Virtual Console?
The Switch is meant to be a console you can play on the go, but without expanded storage space its most appealing feature loses a lot of its shine. Not to mention Nintendo’s failure to inform fans about the future of the Virtual Console and what happens to existing VC collections.
If Virtual Console purchases carry over from Wii U and 3DS, the Switch’s already minuscule storage gets even smaller. That’s only speculation at this point though. What we do know is that Nintendo’s top tier AAA titles, the ones you buy a Switch for, will take up most of the consoles internal memory. Without an SD card, you’ll be stuck with cartridges or constantly deleting and downloading titles.
Switch will be available on March 3, 2017.