When Nintendo announced the Switch, the company made it clear that the device wouldn’t require specific, proprietary SD cards. That’s in contrast to companies like Sony, which have previously required that their handheld devices use proprietary SD cards with correspondingly inflated prices.
It’s a bit of a surprise, therefore, to see Nintendo partnering with manufacturer HORI in Japan to release two official flavors of SD cards — a 16GB and a 32GB. Forbes reports that at least the 32GB microSD card is notably more expensive than it would be under other circumstances, writing: “The 32 GB card is ¥7,900, or about $70 USD. But on Amazon, the “high end” 32 GB SD card from SanDisk is ¥2,690, or about $23 USD. Past that, if you want a cheaper version with the same amount of storage (but with slower read/write speed perhaps), you can find one for as little as ¥1,180/$10.”
It’s not yet clear how far the Switch’s 32GB of internal storage will need to stretch. Physical games will be distributed on NAND flash, which should offer high performance, with the 32GB of internal space relegated to save games and downloaded titles. If 32GB was strictly dedicated to save games, that might be enough space, but it won’t take much in the way of downloadables to fill that storage pool. But if Nintendo isn’t requiring proprietary cards, why brand official cards at such high prices?