Players who own the Nintendo Switch console found out a surprise when they wanted to play NBA 2K18: Buying the game was not enough, and a separate microSD card was needed in order to play the game. The NBA 2K18 is not the first Switch game that requires a microSD card to work, but it’s the first game that announces this limitation on the box art. The Nintendo Switch may be one of the most popular consoles of recent times, but it has been experiencing memory problems since it was introduced to the market. The built-in memory of the console is not enough to play games. We can even say that it is only used to store the save files. The console is sold for 300 USD and has an internal NAND memory of only 32 GB. A large part of this memory is being used by the operating system. So if you want to play a big-sized game, you also need to buy memory cards known as “microSDXC”. (You can visit Slotozilla to read our comprehensive review of the subject.)
Sample Game Sizes
The size of the first Switch games was small when the console first released, but all of the games developed in the last quarter of 2017 are very large. If we give some examples:
|Name of the Game||Size on Disk|
|Disgaea 5||5.9 GB|
|Breath of Wild||13.4 GB|
|Dragon Quest Heroes||32 GB|
There are games that are bigger than the total memory of the console right now. This was not really a secret, Nintendo officials explained how the system worked before releasing the console to the market. To summarize, if there is no microSD card in the console, all the files and updates of the game will be stored in the internal NAND memory. If there is a card, the NAND memory will only be used for save files, and everything else will be stored on the card. We know what the question in your mind is: Is it possible to cheat by changing the data on these cards? The answer to this question is no because the microSD cards that Switch uses are non-writable. So the data in them cannot be changed. Of course, this also causes various problems. First of all, you cannot buy any microSD card. Your card needs to be Switch compatible. In addition, you cannot easily change the microSD card when it is full. The console needs to be completely closed. If you change it while in sleep mode, the information inside can be damaged.
Sandisk Switch Memory Cards
So, where will you get these special microSD cards? Before the console was offered for sale, Nintendo announced that it had reached an agreement with Western Digital. In other words, this company will manufacture the Switch memory cards. (Sandisk is a trademark owned by Western Digital.) Currently, there are Sandisk cards with a capacity of only 32 GB on the market, but as you can see from our explanations above, this capacity is not enough. Even a single game completely fills the entire card and you have to use a different card for each game. This is an impractical situation and a very costly task, in addition to the price of games, you have to consider microSD card prices too. The only good news is that microSD cards with high capacities are about to hit the market. As a matter of fact, Sandisk will offer 64GB and 128GB capacity microSDXC card models in October 2017. These cards will feature Nintendo Switch and Sandisk logos. The sample product looks pretty nice: The 64GB one has a picture of Zelda on the box and the 128 GB one contains a picture of Mario. So when the Super Mario Odyssey game is released, you won’t have to worry about memory.
Up to 2 TB Capacity
But these capacities are still not enough. For example, you can use a 64 GB card for only 2 games. If you want to play more than one game with a single card, you will need much larger capacities. In this regard, we have good news: Sandisk plans to produce a microSDXC card with a capacity of 400GB in the upcoming months. SD cards reached this limit a while ago, but this is a first for microSD cards. When Microdia produced the first 500GB-capacity microSD card in 2015, the prices were 1,000 USD. The Sandisk asks a price of 250 USD for these new-generation memory units. This card will comply with A1 Storage standards and will offer 100 MB read/write speeds. A1 standards are important because they determine what the random read/write performance of a card will be. If you want a cheaper alternative, you might consider purchasing a 256 GB card: Its price will be $ 150.
If you find these capacities insufficient, we have other good news. MicroSDXC technology supports up to 2TB of capacity. So in the near future, we will have no memory problems. In order to play the Switch games uninterruptedly, we advise you to buy the most appropriate one from these cards. But buy only those with the Sandisk logo: Using non-Switch approved cards can seriously damage your console. As a matter of fact, there are many reports that unapproved cards are “melting” inside the console.