Nintendo Switch Digital Game File Sizes Revealed

Better pick up an SD card.

238 Comments
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Now Playing: How the Switch Works - Nintendo Switch Presentation

Nintendo has revealed file sizes for a number of Switch games that can be downloaded digitally to the hardware's internal storage.

The information can be found on Nintendo's Japanese website, and while the majority of the games will fit comfortably on the Switch's 32 GB internal memory, Dragon Quest Heroes I & II will require a separate SD card.

This is because it weighs in at a hefty 32 GB, and given that some of the Switch's internal memory will be allotted to the operating system, extra space will be needed. Nintendo's website advises "a microSD card of 32GB or more is required separately."

Take a look at list of games and their file sizes below.

As previously announced, you can expand Nintendo Switch's memory with Micro SDXC cards. Nintendo has said the Switch will support cards of up to 2 TB. However, cards of this size aren't currently available.

The largest commonly available SDXC card has a capacity of 512 GB, but these retail for upwards of USD $200 / £200 in their respective territories.

Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, priced at US $300/£280/AU $470. The console's touchscreen was recently shown off for the first time, using Skylanders Imaginators. The toys-to-life game is one of 10 confirmed Switch launch titles.

The other nine games are: 1-2-Switch, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, Just Dance 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I Am Setsuna, Human Resource Machine, Little Inferno, World of Goo, and Super Bomberman R.

For all the games confirmed to be coming to Switch--but not necessarily at launch--take a look at our roundup.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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baral-o

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Edited By baral-o

ok...I hear a comment a lot in various sites: game cards = no loading screens, why are people thing that's true? vita has game cards and guess what, most games still have load screens (mostly hidden as black screens) shorter load times? yes, but not at all? games are way heavier than NES, SNES or even DS games, very few will be load screens free

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nikon133

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@baral-o: It really depends on speed of flash memory in specific card (and in Switch itself). Slow flash is utterly cheap these days, so it makes a lot of sense that many publishers will be selling physical games on as-slow-as-they-can-get cards; especially big ones, like 32GB DQ Heroes.

For digital, at least, it will be in customers' hands to decide - save on cost or save on time.

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lionheartssj1

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Yikes. Looks like one install at a time unless you pony up for a card. Here I thought the PS4 and Xbox One launching with 500GB sucked.

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chano880

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Imagine if it went the Vita-way with the BS proprietary Micro SD cards it had. Man those things were so damn expensive !

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Lorikat

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Wow, this is REALLY bad... I guess they were planning to make more money from memory card sales, rather than games?

Hopefully when they make a "Switch XL" or whatever, it gets a bigger memory.

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BaconTopHat45

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@lorikat: It uses standard SD cards which nintendo doesn't manufacture so they make no money off of them.

It's just the problem with making a console that is both portable and plays more modern AAA games. HDDs don't work portable and flash memory isn't quite big enough yet, all you can do is go with the most accessible and affordable option which is SD cards.

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Lorikat

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@bacontophat45: Well, that sounds a lot better for the consumers, although I guess Nintendo missed a chance to profit from memory cards, a la 90s. lol

That said, going full physical seems to be the best course of action for now. If I had a Switch, I'd rather spend money on games rather than SD cards.

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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1. Shouldn't the headline say Micro SD instead of SD? (Just to make things clear to any clueless gamer that thinks that the Switch will accept a standard SD card)

2. Still waiting for a company to release a 2TB micro SD card.....

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King_Pazuzu

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You can fit every single Switch game in the next few months on a cheap $20 64GB card.

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tisezoda

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@King_Pazuzu: Yeah until real games come out

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hystavito

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@tisezoda: IF :)

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Thanatos2k

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The included storage is simply embarrassing for a console.

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SavageRodent

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@Thanatos2k: Good thing you can buy physical copies and don't install them.

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Thanatos2k

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@savagerodent: There's this thing the other consoles have, called "digital distribution." Nintendo's still in the stone age here.

Did you know there's games that come out for Nintendo's platforms that have no physical copies? The last Phoenix Wright game, for example. Also, the third Fire Emblem game in Fire Emblem Fates.

Nintendo can't avoid digital games even on their own existing platforms, and now they want to pretend like all games are going to be available physically for the Switch?

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SavageRodent

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@Thanatos2k: Well I guess the Switch could have been $350 instead with a bigger storage. Maybe when there is a price drop, they'll have a Switch with bigger storage.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@savagerodent: Sure. But right now the storage is an embarrassment, just like the 8 GB Wii U was. Actually, even more, because that was years ago, and they could only get 4x more storage since then?

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JoshRMeyer

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@savagerodent: For that price they could easily had 128 or more for storage.... maybe even 256 if they manufactured their own internal memory and still allowed micro SD support. I know the games don't need to be installed, but for a portable system, I'd prefer all digital.

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SavageRodent

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@joshrmeyer@Thanatos2k: Or they could have scrapped some ideas for the system that just won't get any use, like a lot of the motion stuff, and then put in a bigger storage. I honestly can't say how much all that stuff costs for the system, not to mention how they're handling the usb-c and having the dock be the only receiver for video output through it. There are a lot of expenses on the Switch that I don't think they could have put a bigger storage on it without going over $300. WiiU was in the same situation by having the tablet, and people complained about that.

People are also complaining about there not being a pro controller to come with the Switch, and that would have been another $50. Stuff is expensive. Oh wait, pro controllers are $70 because it has other features that controllers for other systems don't have. Ya know, more stuff they just shouldn't have included.

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RadPro

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Edited By RadPro

@savagerodent: What does this have to do with what he said?

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SavageRodent

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@RadPro: Seeing how the PS4 and Xbone you have to install the games on your hard drive to play them, regardless if you bought it physically. With the Switch, a physical copy of a game won't take up memory on the system's storage. The size of the Switch's storage really isn't that bad if you buy physical copies of games.

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JamesBR27

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Stay tuned for 4 years of childish censorships on Switch games.

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FLEEBS

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@jamesbr27: Thanks for that incredibly relevant comment.

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Princess_Rectum

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@FLEEBS: skimming through his other posts, he's just a troll with nothing better to do with his time. Sad!

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mikeskullx14

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I really don't see the issue concerning space, were not even getting DQ

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VooDooPC

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Edited By VooDooPC

@mikeskullx14: Maybe some Cold Stone??

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JoshRMeyer

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@VooDooPC: Or marble slab.

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ishsgames

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its good to see that the switch can use cheap jumbo SD cards but sure would of been nice if it came with a bigger card. 64 GB would of been much more welcomed. I mean sure you can pay an additional $30 but that's the problem. The base bundle that you paid $400 for internet, games and tax would need an additional $30 down the line to warrant for more storage if you purchase games digitally.

Consoles are supposed to be cheap, not a $600+ (more games down the line) investment from year 1. Oh well, i am sure its worth it for fans, but for many of us who are mostly geared towards 3ds, PC and/or other consoles will definitely put those factors into consideration. Most of us already have a gaming system in which we invested up to $1000 in. Switch will struggle since its trying to compete in the same price bracket as everything else. Terrible choice.

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ArabrockermanX

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@ishsgames: I agree, it should have been 64GB standard, that's an acceptable amount.

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Redsyrup

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Edited By Redsyrup

How to relay this information to Apple\Mac users... jeesh. I don't envy Nintendo here. I think this is another reason the Wii U's digital shop struggled to take off. Most non-technical adults (parents) don't understand things like this. They expect it to work out of the box with plenty of gas.

With data sizes like these 128 or 256gb won't last long either. They really need that 1tb or 2tb.

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Princess_Rectum

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@Redsyrup: I bought an 80 GB PS3 several years ago. Despite all the games and downloads I have for it, I have yet to use much more than half of it. Maybe not everyone is planning on digitally downloading?

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JoshRMeyer

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@Princess_Rectum: Just the "free" games I get from Plus every month has filled up my 80gig ps3. Guess I shouldn't be downloading every one... oh well.

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Redsyrup

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@Princess_Rectum: It really depends on your own usage and habits. I buy physical and digital (adult gamer here) and I purchased 160GB ps3 and within a year ran out of space. Replaced it with a 500GB hdd and four years later ran out of space again. Now I'm deleting and making sacrifices on what I want kept on long term. Granted mighty N won't see the same lvl off 3rd party support as ps3 it's still too small out of the box. Same as the Wii U.

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nikon133

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@Redsyrup: Same here.

I have "bad" habit to immediately install every game I purchase, even if I'm not planning to play it any time soon - just out of curiosity, sort of to try it (also check that BD is not defective, even if it never happened so far ;).

Of course I can delete it after, and install again when I want to play specific game... but installing from scratch and downloading all the updates, vs. having it installed and letting system DL updates in the background, as they come, so game is always current? Easy choice, if I can.

I've upgraded my PS4 to 2TB day after my warranty has expired ;)

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Terrorantula

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Lol so one of those games you cannot even install on the console, you'll have to install on an external drive. Imagine the outrage if the Xbox one launched with less storage than some games required, making an external drive mandatory... but no it's Nintendo they get a free pass.

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JoshRMeyer

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Edited By JoshRMeyer

@Terrorantula: It'd only be mandatory if you bought it digitally... looks like physical format is the best option on this system.

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Naiko

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@Terrorantula: yeah! lets totally forgot that this is a handled device, and also that you can buy it physically with all the advantages of that (like no loading screens)

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nikon133

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@naiko: But there will be loading screens.

Consider this: new AA game is around NZ$100 here. Some a bit less, some a bit more.

Fast SD card (100MB/s read speed) is NZ$25 - 30. That is quite significant chunk of the game's price (I know everything is cheaper in US, but ratio between media and game cost should be comparable).

Even at 100MB/s, you will have some load time. 1GB of data will take 10 seconds to load, under ideal circumstances. Longer in reality (as it is not just transferring data to RAM, but also all sort of initializing that data - decompressing if compressed, building 3D object, pasting textures to them in system's video memory, whatnot).

I'll bet you that many publishers will opt for slower SD cards, because of customers' expectations, and in case of multiplatform games, because if PS4/X1 version of the same game is $100, it doesn't sound nice for Switch version to be $130. Thus we will be seeing games delivered on SD cards with not much more than 20MB/s read speed. In comparison, average SATA HDD should be giving you 40 - 100MB/s, roughly, depending on how well data is positioned on HDD. In theory it is higher, but I'm doing conservative real-life estimate here.

Switch has 4GB or RAM. In theory, it would take 200 seconds to load that amount of data at 20MB/s. Sure, game can start with only essentials loaded, and load rest in the background, but there will be load times. Even with really fast SD cards.

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inebriantia

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Meh, picked up an offbrand 256gb card on black Friday for $10 at Walmart so I'm ok. Prolly won't need it anyways as I rarely buy digital, plus I can always just delete some games if needed. If I haven't played it in 2 months chances are I don't care about it anymore.

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JoshRMeyer

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@inebriantia: That's hard to believe. Even for an offbrand. Would like to know the brand if you remember it. Just checked amazon and nothing even close to that price for 256gb.

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inebriantia

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@joshrmeyer: It doesn't have a logo on it so I dunno. Just has 256gb and the SD logo on it. Threw away the pack long ago. They only had 20 or so but my brother and best friend manage electronics so we got everything put aside with an extra 35% off. Saved $600 on my tv too, but had to watch an old man in a wheelchair get trampled in a doorway so that haunts me. There are some on Amazon for under $60 though I just checked. If you buy risky ripoffs from China on ebay you can get them 15-20 bucks. You gotta wait like a month or so usually as all the stuff I order from there take forever.

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JoshRMeyer

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Edited By JoshRMeyer

@inebriantia: Well that's awesome. Hope the card is reliable. I normally go for SanDisk because I've never had a problem with them and it's what I use in my dslr camera.

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STrugglingFool

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One of the main things that keep me even from considering to buy the switch is that I have to invest more to play my games. At least with PS4 and X1 it's plug and play with the switch I have to go out get me a pro-controller and more storage space(if I want to download).

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JoshRMeyer

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@STrugglingFool: I feel the same way... the accessories are way too much. I'd more than likely need an SD card right away. And nintendos games take forever to drop in price... not spending $60 on a portable game(or console game). Gotta include another monthly/yearly subscription cost now also.

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SQUIDWARD360

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@STrugglingFool: you must worry about everything if this is the reason you won't buy a switch

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silv3rst0rm

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I got a 64Gb USB flash drive for my Wii U when I got it at launch and never ran short.
It was like 5 years ago.
I paid about 60$ for it back then.

Taking all in consideration, it's pretty much like getting a 128Gb SD card now which is ±60$ as well.
No biggie!

128Gb + the inner 32gb should be more than enough to go through the whole Switch lifespan!

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JoshRMeyer

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@silv3rst0rm: Possibly.... going off zelda size, that's only 10 digital games... and essentially paying $360+ for the system.

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silv3rst0rm

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@joshrmeyer: Well most people probably won't have more than 10 "Big" games at a time on their consoles anyway.

Pretty much like trying to get 20 games GTA V size on a "retail" PS4.

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JoshRMeyer

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Edited By JoshRMeyer

@silv3rst0rm: Basing that theory off my wiiU, I'd say you're right lol. I'll buy it for mario, and who knows what else. Zelda will probably be bought on wiiU.