Third-Party Nintendo Switch Games Are So Damn Big

By Luke Plunkett on at

Just before the Nintendo Switch launched, we wrote about a game that required more space than the system’s 24GB of usable onboard memory . In March it was an exception, but by the end of the year it’s already becoming the norm for third-party releases on the platform.

Nintendo’s own releases on the Switch keep things slim, with downloads for Super Mario Odyssey, Arms and Splatoon 2 ranging from 2-6GB. That’s perfectly manageable.

But many of the big third-party releases for the platform are coming in much bigger. LA Noire’s digital version is 29GB, but even the physical release will require a 14GB download. Doom’s digital version is 25GB, while its retail release only includes the singleplayer campaign on the cartridge, with the multiplayer stuff requiring a 9GB download.

Even if you buy the physical edition of NBA 2K18, there’s a 6.8GB download once you first start it up, an “additional software update” that’s 16GB and then you’ll also need 5GB of memory per save file. And Resident Evil Revelations is even bigger: Revelations 1 is 13GB and Revelations 2 is 26GB if you get the digital version, and if you buy the cartridge, you only get the first game, with the second having to be downloaded.

Oh, and anyone buying WWE 2K18 on cartridge still has a 24GB download to look forward to.

The reasons for this are pretty clear: Nintendo’s games have been coded from the ground up to run on this hardware, while all these third-party releases are ports from other platforms.

So if you own a Switch and want to play any of these games, you might want to have an SD card (or two) on your Christmas list if you want to actually play them.