With the launch of the Switch, Nintendo decided to drop the optical drive completely from its hardware line-up. The GameCube used small optical discs before the Wii and then Wii U went with a more standard optical drives. By using cartridges in the Switch, gamers can benefit from not having to install lots of data and load times are kept to a minimum, but size limitations can remove those advantages and they do make the games cost more.
Right now, Switch games are limited to using 32GB cartridges. That's too small for games such as Doom and Breath of the Wild which also require gigabytes of data be downloaded. What the Switch needs is 64GB cartridges, and they were meant to arrive next year. However, according to The Wall Street Journal as reported by The Verge, Nintendo just delayed them into 2019.
The reason for the delay seems to be technical problems when it comes to manufacturing them. When it's easy to go out and buy memory cards with a capacity of 200GB, it seems ridiculous that Nintendo would be struggling with a 64GB cartridge, but that seems to be the case.
So what does this mean for next year's Switch games? The next generation of Switch games are going to be larger, not smaller, so one of three things could happen. The first is that more games shipped on physical cartridges will require large (10GB+) downloads to play, the second is that more games will opt to launch as digital-only games, and the third is that we'll see games delay their release in order to wait for the 64GB cartridges to arrive. I suspect option one is likely to be what most developers choose to do.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
- Some Copies of Splatoon 2 Don't Include a Cartridge Some Copies of Splatoon 2 Don't Include a Cartridge
It's a shame this has happened as 64GB cartridges are the sweet spot for Nintendo. It allows more data to be stored than other games consoles as they are limited to 50GB Blu-ray discs. It also means less pressure on Switch owners to spend money on buying a larger microSD card, meaning more cash to buy games.
The Switch only has 32GB of internal storage, so 2018 is going to be a pain for managing game data if you don't have a large microSD card.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe