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Report: Higher-capacity Nintendo Switch game cards delayed until 2019

Developers may have to stick with 32 GB for awhile

Nintendo Switch with neon Joy-Cons attached with game card sticking out Samit Sarkar/Polygon

Nintendo has reportedly postponed the release of higher capacity Nintendo Switch cartridges, according to the Wall Street Journal. While the company originally planned to give developers much larger 64 GB game cards to work with in the near future, the Wall Street Journal says that Nintendo has delayed them until at least 2019.

Technical issues with formatting the cartridges led Nintendo to shift the planned release from mid-to-late 2018 to the following year, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Instead, developers will have to keep working with the largest sized cart currently available, 32 GB. That’s a significant difference from what Blu-ray discs, used by both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, top out at: Blu-rays can hold as much as 50 GB of data. (For context: Doom is a 25 GB download file; L.A. Noire requires almost 30 GB of space.)

We’ve reached out to Nintendo for confirmation and will update when we hear back.

There’s been speculation that the higher cost of producing the specialized cartridges that Nintendo Switch games are sold on contributes to what owners call “Switch tax,” which leads to physical, third-party games costing as much as $10 more on Switch than other platforms. We’ve seen this happen to games like L.A. Noire and Rime, the developers of which attributed its higher price to extra, Switch-specific development needs.

With 32 GB cards already rumored to cost more for developers to sell games on than those that max out at 8 GB or 16 GB, we can already imagine that 64 GB cards could lead to even higher sale prices for consumers. But we likely won’t know anything until 2019 at the earliest, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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