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How to Expand the Storage of Your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch was recently released, with many fans clamouring to get the latest console and play the extremely well received new Zelda game. Nintendo are known for their quirky design decisions and the Switch is no different – essentially a tablet with two detachable controllers on the side. The Japanese firm will undoubtedly be hoping that the Switch nears the heady success of the original Wii after the limited success of the Wii U.

Surprisingly, the console only comes with 32GB of internal storage. Well, it perhaps isn’t that surprising. Unlike competitors Microsoft and Sony with their Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively, Nintendo have never been one to embrace the digital age – and that’s the primary use for on-board storage. With many consumers now getting their games from online stores, including Nintendo’s own eShop, they need to be able to have enough room to install their games.

The 32GB that comes with a console can be filled up by a single game alone. Unless you’re going to be buying physical cartridge copies of all your Switch games, you’re going to need to expand that storage. So, what are the options?

Happily, the Switch has a microSD card slot, located behind the console’s kickstand, which can be used for storage expansion. The Switch can accept microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC and there’s no confirmed limit on the speed or capacity of the card.

However, even though you could theoretically put a 1TB SD card into the console, you’ve got to consider that it isn’t financially sensible to do so. That’s going to cost you more than the console and it’s unlikely you’ll need that amount of space any time soon.

Instead, you should opt for something like a 64GB or 128GB microSD card which you can pick up online from somewhere like Amazon. These are very cost effective and will likely cost you less than a Switch game, depending on your region.

You should note the card speed when buying, but don’t get too concerned by it. The numbered circle on the card designates the card class. For example, a 10 means 10MB/second minimum sustained write speed.

You’ll usually see an “I” on the bottom of a card, which represents UHS-1 and means ultra-high speed. UHS-II is more expensive, and a lot faster, but it needs the device to support it and it’s unlikely you’ll see benefit from it on the switch. The same goes for UHS-III, which is wholly unnecessary here. Stick with UHS-1 and keep your costs down.

As with all storage purchases, only get these from reputable suppliers and brands. If you think you’ve found an awesome bargain, just be wary – it might be a scam, claiming to have high capacity when it’s a smaller card in disguise.

It’s probable that Nintendo will release an updated version of the Switch down the line, as they do with all their consoles – one that has different processing powers, perhaps, but also one that comes with greater internal storage. But it’s a shame that Nintendo couldn’t include greater capacity for the Switch on launch.


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