Nintendo is not expanding the size of the Switch’s game cartridges as soon as expected. The 64GB cards will not be delivered to third-party developers until 2019, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The report cites several “people familiar with the matter” as sources for this information.
The 64GB game cartridges were due to be made available in late 2018, the WSJ notes, but have been delayed due to technical issues. These larger game cards would enable more data-rich games to release on the Nintendo Switch console, which features 32GB cartridges currently. With the 64GB cards pushed back, some developers will likely wait to release their games on the Switch until the cartridges are available to them.
The Switch’s current game cards can contain up to 32GB of data, compared to the 50GB Blu-ray discs used by the PS4 and Xbox One. Even more expansive first-party games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, weigh in under 16GB, but some third-party titles are much larger. Doom, for example, requires a sizable download even if you purchase a physical copy, because the whole game cannot fit on the 32GB cartridge.
So why don’t developers follow in Doom‘s footsteps and offer their games’ extra data as a download? Because the Switch has limited storage as it is, offering less than 32GB of useable space for game files. The storage can be expanded with a microSD card, but those suckers are expensive. It would be simpler for Nintendo to offer larger game cartridges so the whole game could be in one place. That’s still the plan, but it’s going to be a while before it takes effect.
No specific developers or games were mentioned, so we’re not sure what delays can be expected from this news. We’ll keep you updated on the latest as information is made available.