The Nintendo Switch’s hardware specifications arched some eyebrows when it was revealed that, once again, Nintendo was launching a console with a shrimpy 32 GB of flash memory on board. Now we know what it really means to a user. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild requires 13.4 GB of storage space if it is downloaded to the Nintendo Switch. That is a little under half of the internal capacity of Nintendo’s new console.
That's if the user is opting for the digital version of the game, of course. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on a game card, too. And the Switch's storage is expandable by microSDHC and microSDXC cards, which are sold in volumes up to 512 GB. But it's unclear if the Switch dock's USB port can be used to attach an external hard drive for storage.
Realize also that the Switch’s OS and other code will take up some space on the internal storage, but how much isn't known.
Again, with a capacity much smaller than the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, the Switch faces its users with the decision to uninstall and reinstall large digital titles they own, or buy physical media editions of large games and save whatever is onboard for smaller downloadable games, title updates and the like. It also means a hidden cost in the form of a SD card unless the user tightly manages the storage.
The Wii U launched in 2012 with configurations carrying 8 GB and 32 GB of internal storage, posing some of the same challenges as the Switch. The Wii U's capacity is expandable by SD cards and it supports external hard drives of up to 2 TB.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild needs 13 GB of space on the Wii U.
Update: A Nintendo representative told Game Informer that the system can support microSDXC cards up to 2 TB in capacity, except they don’t exist yet. 1 TB cards also aren’t yet on the market; the largest microSD cards available offer 256 GB of storage, but they cost upward of $135.