While certain Nintendo Switch games will absolutely require external storage if bought digitally, Nintendo has managed to balance the scales somewhat with the recent revelation that at least one physical game doesn’t require an install or day-one patch to play—The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Polygon made the above discovery during their hands-on time with the Nintendo Switch, confirming you can simply pop in the Breath of the Wild cartridge and start playing the game immediately. As you can expect, this is music to the ears of Zelda fans, as they won’t have to sit and wait for a patch to download in order to play the highly coveted Switch launch title.
Some already suspected this to be the case due to the differences in how flash memory cartridges and optical discs (like the kind used for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) work, but it’s still nice to have official confirmation.
It’s unclear whether all physical Switch games will be able to immediately boot up and play, but considering the fact that Breath of the Wild takes up nearly 14 GB of the Switch’s 26 GB digital storage capacity, it’s pretty easy to see which version will be better for users who want to conserve space.