Nintendo is teaming with HORI to produce branded SD cards for use with the Switch. According to a Japanese Amazon storefront, the Nintendo cards will be significantly pricier than the industry standard.
The 32 GB Nintendo card is listed at a ridiculous 6,250 yen ($54 USD). Popular memory manufacturer Sandisk sells 32GB cards for less than $20 USD.
While Nintendo’s rival consoles offer a minimum 500 GB of HD storage, the Switch will come stock with just 32 GB. It’s an apples to oranges comparison however as the Switch is a portable device compared to the much larger PS4 and XB1 home consoles. The Switch will also run games from a physical card instead of installing to the drive. However, if Nintendo aims to offer AAA cross-platform titles, they could run into issues with large patches and updates. Otherwise, publishers will have to pour more resources into Switch specific SKUs that circumvent the memory limitation.
Nintendo showed a sign of goodwill by not making the memory proprietary. Sony made this mistake with their Vita, greedily selling expensive memory modules that were considered necessary by most Vita owners. The large startup cost contributed to the failure of the once-promising handheld.
The ability to buy a high-capacity card for the Switch could be vital to how core gamers view the hybrid console. A representative from Nintendo told Game Informer the Switch will support SDXC cards up to 2TB. Currently, the largest micro SDXC cards available for mainstream purchase are 256 GB and less than $200 USD.
The Apple model?
The Wii’s branding and UI took heavy inspiration from Apple products, and It seems Nintendo is now mimicking the Mac creator’s pricing strategy. The SDXC cards join the Pro Controller and Joy-Con as essential items priced above the industry standard. To top it off, players will also have to purchase a charging grip to charge the Joy-Con while in docked mode. New customers could easily spend $500 USD for the optimal day 1 Switch experience.