(And Even That Might Not Be Enough)
Late last week, Nintendo had a surprise in store for gamers with a new Nintendo Direct Mini. Unfortunately, some of these surprises weren't so great—some of the games that were revealed would require gamers to download 30 gigs (or more!) of content. This (and other reasons) are why we need Nintendo Switch 64GB cartridges sooner rather than later.
Whether or not you know it, not all Nintendo Switch cartridges are made the same. In fact, there are a variety of storage sizes on offer as Eurogamer notes. Publishers can select from 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB models. This is totally sensible—after all, why would you waste a 32GB cartridge on a game that might be only a few hundred megabytes at most?
Nintendo Switch 64GB cartridges are also in the works. Commercial versions have been repeatedly delayed—first pushed back to 2019, and subsequently to some ambiguous point in 2020. As more and more big games come to Nintendo's mainline console, it's becoming increasingly clear that bigger carts are sorely needed.
How Nintendo Switch 64GB Cartridges Could Save You Space Right Now
Recently, we saw some great games announced for the Nintendo Switch: Borderlands, BioShock, and XCOM 2 were all making their way to Nintendo's hybrid handheld platform. Lots of gamers got their wish, but it arrived with a whole lot of baggage.
You see, these games are just too darn big for the cartridge sizes they were using. Here's what a follow-up press release had to say according to Go Nintendo:
The physical game contains [a] 16GB cartridge including the opening acts of BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition. Later game contents and add-ons will need to be downloaded.
The XCOM 2 Collection physical game contains an 8GB cartridge that features two base game missions. A download is required for the rest of the Total download size will not exceed 24GB.
The physical game contains an 8GB cartridge that features Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, with a 6.6GB download required. For Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel a 35GB download is required
These are great game collections, no doubt. These games, however, require a lot of storage space on your console. Even using the largest currently available size wouldn't have helped in all cases—note that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel alone requires a 35GB download. That's just one game out of three in that particular collection.
Nintendo Switch 64GB cartridges could have saved gamers some precious console storage space in scenarios like this, but the publishers have to be willing to pay for it.
A High Price to Pay
When it comes down to it, the core problem is pricing. Nintendo has been famously reluctant to sell their consoles at a loss. While Microsoft and Sony have previously sold consoles at a loss—making up for it through software sales—Nintendo has sometimes eschewed this philosophy. As an example, Nintendo brought in roughly fifty bucks for every Wii console sold.
Naturally, producing cartridges costs money, too—and greater storage sizes cost more money. Those Nintendo Switch 64GB cartridges will cut more into publisher profits, and that's why they may continue using smaller sizes.
Just look at the previous examples: Three Borderlands games on a single 8GB cart? That's pretty darn egregious, especially considering that there are carts available with four times the space.
To publishers, making use of our console storage space is not really their problem. To Nintendo, however, that might mean people are less likely to buy more games simply due to running out of space. That doesn't necessarily matter to individual publishers, but it does matter to Nintendo.
What can be done? Publishers are unlikely to just eat the costs on bigger carts. That impacts their profits, and publishers have to answer to shareholders. The only real solution here is for Nintendo to step up. Until then, you can expect future big releases to require hefty downloads.