Technology

Nintendo Switch’s Game Cartridges Delayed Until 2019

Nintendo is delaying the 64GB Nintendo Switch cartridges to the third-party game developers until 2019. Initially, the Japanese game maker had plans to release the 64GB cartridges in the second half of 2018, but it is now pushing back the launch owing to technical issues, says a report from The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Nintendo Switch cartridges
ant2506 / Pixabay

What’s the need for 64GB Nintendo Switch cartridges?

The Nintendo Switch console is growing in popularity, but one of its limiting factors is its cartridges, which can store only up to 32GB of data. Currently, users can play games on the Switch by purchasing physical cartridges, or downloading the games on the Switch. This makes bigger games like GTA V out of the reach of Switch users as the file size for such games goes over 50GB.

Nintendo has already informed the developers about the delay in the 64GB Nintendo Switch cartridges. According to the WSJ, the delay has disappointed the US-based game publishers. Currently, the max size of the Nintendo Switch cartridges is 32GB, compared to the 50GB Blu-ray discs used by the PS4 and Xbox One. The hybrid console has 32GB of internal memory, but it can be expanded via microSD cards.

Along with the wait for bigger cartridges, Switch owners may have to shell out more money for the games using bigger cartridges.

In a tweet, games analyst Daniel Ahmad said, “If a publisher wants to put a game on a 32GB cart on Switch it costs 60 percent more for them then it would for a 50GB Blu-Ray on PS4/Xbox One.”

“Full Priced Retail Software Publisher Gross Margin 50GB Blu-Ray = 55 percent 32GB Switch cart = 45 percent That is one reason Switch games cost more,” he added.

Such a scenario is already visible in Japan, where Square Enix charges more for the Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2 on the Switch than the PS4 because the game ships on a 32GB cartridge instead of the usual 8GB or 16GB, notes Gadgets360.

Rising popularity of Switch

Despite the limited size of the Switch game cartridge, there is no stopping to the rising popularity of the console. A few weeks back, Nintendo revealed that it sold more than 10 million Switch consoles worldwide. In comparison, Nintendo’s last console, the Wii U, sold only 13.5 million units to date. Sony recently announced that it sold 70 million units of the PS4 since its launch in 2013.

Nintendo expects to ship 14 million Switch units during this financial year. Initially, the company expected to sell 10 million units within the console’s first full year, a number that it has clearly beaten. Before the launch of the Switch, IHS estimated that the Japanese firm would sell 4.4 million units by the end of the year, while SuperData expected 5 million units. IHS now expects the company to sell 11.7 million Switch units this year, notes gamesindustry.biz.

The year 2017 has been a successful year for Nintendo. Along with the unmatched success of the Switch, both Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are the best-reviewed games of the year, notes Polygon.