The Nintendo Switch’s storage limitations may have caught up with it sooner than expected, as some upcoming games are already requiring micro SD cards to play. This week, NBA 2K18 revealed its Nintendo Switch box art, which explicitly tells gamers that they will need a micro SD card in order to play the game.
While the first game to reveal such a notice is NBA 2K18, the announcement was actually made by Nintendo to both make Switch owners aware and pitch some solutions. The company is launching a new partnership with micro SD manufacturer SanDisk that will include branded cards featuring familiar Nintendo characters. Currently, the plan is to introduce 64GB and 128GB cards, but the Switch can support up to 2TB.
“To enjoy the full game, downloading additional data is required. Depending on the storage requirements for each game, it may be necessary to purchase a microSD card to expand storage space. When purchasing a digital version of the game, it may also be necessary to purchase a microSD card depending on the game’s storage requirements and the storage available on the consumer’s Nintendo Switch console.”
At present it is unclear how the storage requirements will work – whether the micro SD card is necessary when the Switch’s hard drive is full, or if these games require a micro SD card regardless. Nintendo does say that gamers will be able to experience certain portions of games even if they don’t have a micro SD card – like select modes – but to get the full experience a micro SD card is seemingly required.
No doubt this is sure to be a disappointing development for Nintendo Switch owners. Most figured that the console’s storage would become an issue when juggling multiple games, but only for digital purchases.
Of course, this will likely be another situation where Nintendo is criticized for not implementing features that are standard on competing consoles. Both the PS4 and Xbox One offer 500GB of hard drive space on their base models, while the Switch only supports 32GB. It’s true that the Switch is also a handheld, but when the console’s most coveted launch title takes up half of its hard drive space, there are going to be a lot of raised eyebrows.
It also doesn’t help that Nintendo is announcing this limitation as part of a partnership with SanDisk. Like the Splatoon party chat attachment, this is a case where Nintendo will profit from its inability to offer better support for core features. We’ll see just how big of an issue this is when more games require the micro SD card, but for right now it’s hard to see Switch owners getting up in arms about NBA 2K18.