Storage options for the Nintendo Switch were a topic of conversation long before the launch of the console, but it's likely that talk over external storage may keep going for some time yet. As it turns out, storage cards cannot be transferred between consoles, with any Switch data on a specific card resulting in the card itself being blocked on other Switch consoles.
If a user adds a storage card that has been used in another Switch, the following error message will appear:
The microSD card is being used by another Nintendo Switch console or was used on this console before it was initialized.
Delete the Nintendo Switch data on the microSD card to use it on this console.
Save data, screenshots, and other data not related to Nintendo Switch won’t be deleted. You can remove the microSD card if you don’t want to use it on this console.
This will no doubt be a little disappointing for those who were looking to transfer data across multiple consoles. However, it does help put into context the fact that Nintendo Switch save games are locked to the console, given that save data itself would be inaccessible due to this block on pre-used microSD cards. Interestingly, Nintendo does mention that save data could be exempt from deletion in the error message, so perhaps there are plans for save data to be transferred between consoles in future - although it could simply be to ease concerns that save data in general could be deleted.
Storage options for the Switch have been a bone of contention for some gamers, who were hoping that the console's hard drive would be of a substantial size. However, the console only has 32GB of hard drive space, so users must rely on the use of external microSD cards for data storage.
32GB is not much in the world of video games. In fact, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes up almost half the Switch's storage space, while other games such as Dragon Quest Heroes come in at larger than the available space on the console. All in all, this means that external storage is key to owning a Switch.
Thankfully, there are plenty of Switch storage upgrade options available, so it's not like there are limited choices for users. However, it may be worth bearing in mind that these storage cards will not be able to transfer over to another Switch console.
The Nintendo Switch is out now.