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The official Nintendo Switch MicroSD card is pricey and unnecessary

nintendo switch official memory cards  hands on
Jeffrey Van Camp/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

The Nintendo and Hori partnership shows the need for additional Switch storage, but the most common, and cheaper, MicroSD cards will be compatible with Nintendo's new console.

Official Nintendo Switch memory cards will be released in Japan. Nintendo partnered with video game accessory manufacturer Hori to make it happen. There will be both 16GB and 32GB MicroSDHC cards to choose from.

The only difference between these cards and standard MicroSDHC cards is that they have the Nintendo Switch logo on top of a red background along the upper portion of the cards. Yet, as is true for many “official” accessories, the brand name alone is apparently enough to bump the price.

More: Nintendo’s Switch is one console you can take everywhere — here’s what you need to know

First pointed out by Forbes, the initial listings for the cards were approximately three times as much as the average going rate for similar cards of identical capacity. Since then, the prices have dropped on Hori’s storefront, with the 16GB model listed at 1,900 yen (around $16) and the 32GB model at 3,400 yen (around $30). Amazon Japan has both listed at much higher prices, though: 4,480 yen (around $39) for 16GB and 6,250 yen (around $54) for 32GB. Either way, to own an official Switch memory card you will have to pay a premium price.

Currently, the cards are only scheduled for release in Japan, but it seems likely that Nintendo and Hori could bring them to the states. The cards would be a perfect add-on at the register for unsuspecting customers. But there are much cheaper options.

As a comparison to the capacities of the official cards, you can routinely purchase a quality 16 GB MicroSDHC card for roughly $10, and a 32GB one for $15. Considering that the Switch’s 32GB internal hard drive is certainly underwhelming, you may want to opt for something a bit bigger, though. A solid 128 GB MicroSDHC card can be found for $40, and there will be plenty more options to choose from.

Nintendo recently unveiled the Switch’s official specifications. We learned that the console will support MicroSD and MicroSDHC formats at launch, and MicroSDXC compatibility will come with a future update. Since SDHC and SDXC are the two most common MicroSD formats, Switch users will have a wide variety of brands and capacities to choose from.

If you have a MicroSD card tucked away in a drawer, chances are it will work just fine in the Switch. If you’re in the market for one, you should stay away from the official Switch memory cards.