Are Publishers Using Lower Capacity Switch Cartridges?

Not all publishers are ready to pay for cartridges that will hold complete versions of their games, even when such options exist.

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When Nintendo announced Switch would use cartridges instead of discs, some expressed concerns over how the format would store larger AAA games, such as the latest entries in the Call of Duty or Destiny franchises that typically fill most of a Blu-ray disc. So far, the answer has been that a lot of those games simply won’t come to the platform, perhaps for unrelated reasons. Now it looks like even multi-platform heavyweights that do reach Switch could be limited by the more expensive storage medium.

In a press release, Nintendo announced a partnership with Western Digital to create licensed Nintendo Switch SanDisk memory cards. That announcement included a note that “a microSD card will be needed for certain Nintendo Switch games that contain an especially large amount of content and require additional storage for players to enjoy the full experience.”

Nintendo Switch game cartridges are available in capacities as great as 32GB, according to Eurogamer, which is room enough for a lot of content. That space comes at a price, however, and some publishers are opting to release games on smaller cartridges and let consumers to download the rest to their microSD cards if they want the full experience.

“A PR representative told us that NBA 2K18 is 25GB on the Nintendo Switch,” notes Tweaktown. “That means it will consume more than the Switch’s available built-in 25GB of free memory… So instead of using the 32GB capacity that would hold the full 25GB game, it appears 2K Games has selected the 16GB GameCard, thus forcing users to download up to 9GB of data to their microSD cards.”

We reached out to 2K Sports to see if they could confirm the above information, and to ask if there were plans for additional game updates that might require still more space on a microSD card, but hadn’t heard back by publish time. We will keep you notified if something changes, but in the meantime, it sounds like you should start saving up for one of those fancy new SanDisk memory cards if you want to enjoy some of the biggest games scheduled to hit the Switch hardware.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 12, 2017 1:52 PM

    Jason Venter posted a new article, Are Publishers Using Lower Capacity Switch Cartridges?

    • reply
      September 12, 2017 2:43 PM

      i guess if they are upfront about it i don't have a huge problem with it. I haven't gotten a SD card for my switch though, so i might just not get those games

      • reply
        September 13, 2017 12:06 PM

        I suggest you get an SD card, even if you don't get the games that don't come complete on the cartridge. There are a lot of really interesting downloadable titles for the system, with more on the way, so you'll miss out on a lot of great stuff if you don't have room to download and enjoy.

    • reply
      September 12, 2017 4:38 PM

      "“A PR representative told us that NBA 2K18 is 25GB on the Nintendo Switch,” notes Tweaktown. “That means it will consume more than the Switch’s available built-in 25GB of free memory… So instead of using the 32GB capacity that would hold the full 25GB game, it appears 2K Games has selected the 16GB GameCard, thus forcing users to download up to 9GB of data to their microSD cards.”"

      Classy.

      • reply
        September 12, 2017 4:51 PM

        That's fucked up. I guess it's another way to try and push the customer towards digital.

        "Well, I'm going to have to download half the game anyway, might as well buy it on the eShop"

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          September 12, 2017 8:23 PM

          It's a great way to artificially limit your prospective audience too :/

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        September 12, 2017 8:22 PM

        Yeah, it's some bullshit right there.

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        September 12, 2017 10:40 PM

        Yeah that's not ok at all if it's true.

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          September 12, 2017 10:46 PM

          I'm not sure what the switch's internal memory has to do with anything in the equation though. Shouldn't the game reside on the cartridge and only use a minimal amount of storage on the switch for saves and post launch updates?

          The wording in the article is pretty unclear.

          If what they're saying is they're going to give you 16GB of game data on the cartridge and then you have to go download 9GB of extra content from the Internet in order to play the full game - that's not even remotely ok. If you buy a game cart it should contain everything you need to play the full game as advertised without ever connecting to the Internet at all.

          Hopefully I'm misunderstanding something

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            September 12, 2017 10:51 PM

            Nope. That's right. You'll be able to play some version of the game when just the cartridge but you need to download the extra data for the full game.

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              September 18, 2017 12:05 PM

              I just read a similar story about the new Forza, so I guess it's not limited to the Switch. Just a different scale of data

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          September 18, 2017 1:20 PM

          I'm not surprised in the slightest. Kind of why I wish they did more with the dock. Let the dock hold a 3.5 or even 2.5 HDD/SDD. Download, and store games onto that.

          As it is the thing is damn near a $100 pass through cable. Hell they could probably have tossed in a 1tb western blue in bulk, and still pull a profit @ $100.