The Nintendo Switch is a great piece of hardware, but it has one glaring flaw carried over from the older Wii U: A tiny amount of built-in storage space. To fix this, players have to purchase a MicroSDXC memory card with their system, and Nintendo has announced a new line of licensed cards for the most dedicated fans.
Produced by Western Digital, the SanDisk MicroSDXC cards come in 64GB and 128GB sizes, and feature the Nintendo Switch logo on the front. Nintendo aims to have them near Switch systems on retailers’ shelves to encourage customers to buy them at the same time. They’ll be available in store this October.
“Nintendo Switch has generated tremendous momentum, and we are thrilled to partner with Nintendo to offer consumers a trusted card for their system,” said Western Digital vice president Sven Rathjen in the official announcement.
So, what benefit does the Nintendo Switch get when using one of these licensed cards? Absolutely nothing. The 100MB/s transfer speed is also available on the newest SanDisk cards, so there is no reason to go out of your way to purchase the licensed version. It’s going in your Switch anyway, so you’re never going to look at it again.
You will certainly need a MicroSDXC card if you plan on owning any digital Switch games, and there are quite a few games to play at the moment. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle are all fantastic, and the highly awaited Super Mario Odyssey releases at the end of October.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an electronics company brand a storage device as if it were only compatible with one system. Seagate released a special “Game Drive for Xbox,” advertising that it worked “flawlessly for Xbox One and Xbox 360.” It costs about $20 more than the standard Seagate 2TB external drive, and it’s internally identical. Don’t be fooled by the pretty design and branding — you’re just throwing away your money. Instead, spend the extra cash on a game to store on the external drive, or invest in a subscription to Xbox Live Gold.