Nintendo has done a great job keeping its games sizes small on the Nintendo Switch, making the need for storage expansion less pressing despite the console only having around 32GB out of the box. But third party games are much more packed in terms of high resolution assets and other storage-intensive nuts and bolts under the hood. The latest example of this is the upcoming L.A. Noire port from Rockstar Games.
The nasty headline here is that L.A. Noire for Switch cannot fit on the console. If you buy it digital, L.A. Noire requires 29 GB of space. While the Switch ships with 32 GB, the operating system takes up around 6 GB, meaning a fresh unit still can’t house the game alone. In addition to this, purchasing L.A. Noire retail will still require a 14 GB install, meaning Rockstar is using the default Switch cart size in order to save costs (carts are expensive).
Frankly, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Current gen games frequently come with 40 or more GB on install, even when bought physically. This is a last-gen game sure, but one with current-gen assets. As more third party games show up on the Switch, the stories of huge download sizes will continue.
That said, Micro SD cards are cheap compared to the external drives the other consoles need, so there’s a bit of pros/cons going on. Storage is also an issue on that side, with games ballooning more and more (some pushing 100GB), making even a TB hard drive out of the box not feel big enough.