There are thousands of Nintendo Switch games available today and a lot of them can be purchased in the Nintendo eShop or brick-and-mortar game stores.
But out of the two options, there is a lingering question, should you buy digital or physical games on the Nintendo Switch? What are the advantages of the two? Let’s find out.
Should You Buy Digital Or Physical Games On Nintendo Switch
There are advantages when buying physical Nintendo Switch games. The same can be said with digital titles. So there is no clear answer to this question. It all ends with your decision.
If the answer lies in you, then it would make this article pointless, right? But we are here to help you decide which way to go. We will go over the advantages of both options and see if digital is better than physical games or vice-versa.
Advantages of Digital Nintendo Switch Games
The clear advantage of buying digital Nintendo Switch games is the amount of physical space you save. You do not have to worry about buying a storage shelf or finding a space for your game cartridges.
Nintendo Switch game cartridges are tiny too. It is as small as an SD Card and it can get lost easily. The cartridges are also hard to find because they are black in color.
If you have kids or pets, then you do not have to worry about them finding the cartridges and then playing with them too. Worst case, your pet would chew it like your homework.
Moreover, buying digital games means that your games are always with you. It is installed in your Switch and you do not have to worry that you forgot your cartridge somewhere.
Another advantage of digital copies is that it is linked to your Nintendo Account which means, you can always access them whenever you change your Switch console. This is worth considering especially now that there are multiple versions of Switch available. The rumored Nintendo Switch might also arrive soon and you can carry over your games if you would upgrade.
If you are looking into buying a game in advance then sometimes the digital version is the way to go. Pre-ordered digital Switch games can be pre-loaded and once the game is out, you can immediately play it. This is important if a game comes out at exactly 12 midnight and all the other physical game stores are still closed.
Sales regularly happen on the Nintendo eShop too. If you are being thrifty then hop on to the eShop and browse the titles on sale.
There are Nintendo Game Vouchers too. It is a system where you purchase a voucher worth two games and these include AAA titles.
Game vouchers are available for around $85 and you may use them within 365 days. For instance, Splatoon 3 is coming out soon and if you bought a voucher yesterday, it will still be valid once Splatoon 3 comes out.
Lastly, the world is our playground. With the rising number of climate problems such as the heat wave in Europe, multiple storms in Asia, and other problems, we think it is time to reduce our carbon footprint.
Digital games reduce the number of plastic cartridges being made. The packaging that comes with it is also plastic. By purchasing digital titles, you are effectively reducing plastic consumption.
Disadvantages of Digital Nintendo Switch Games
Buying digital Nintendo Switch games is not all about glory. There are downsides to it as well.
First, you need a huge SD card if you have multiple titles in your game library. Nintendo Switch games can go as high as 40GB and if you have tons of AAA titles then you would easily fill up a 128GB card.
If you lose your SD card, then you would lose all your games as well. Of course, you can redownload your games since it is tied to your Nintendo account but it would be a hassle if you have a large library.
The beauty of consoles is that you can share games with your friends or family. However, this is not the case if you have digital games since there is no physical cartridge to share.
You also miss out on exclusive freebies from physical games. Pokemon Legends Arceus gave away pre-order freebies back then, but digital users have no access to those.
Advantages of Buying Physical Nintendo Switch Games
The main advantage of buying physical Nintendo Switch games is game sharing. as mentioned earlier, you cannot share digital games. But with a physical copy, you may easily share it with others.
This is an advantage if you have multiple Switch users in a household. You may share a game between you and your family or friends. Your save data will stay in your Switch so you can flip from one game to another without a problem.
You may also purchase a smaller microSD card if you are going for physical games. The cartridges hold the majority of the game data so you are not taking up too much storage space.
If you can finish a game in one sitting or over the weekend, you may swap your physical game for another one. Better yet, you can even sell it again at a little loss since Nintendo Switch games do not depreciate in value quickly unlike titles from other consoles.
For collectors, there are physical copies of Nintendo Switch games that go up in price. This is due to a limited release or if the game is in-demand yet the supply is scarce because people love it.
For example, Celeste regularly goes on sale on the Nintendo eShop. However, the Celeste Collector’s Edition is now fetching a price tag of $200 or higher. This is because the game only has 2,000 copies available. It includes a poster, a keychain, and other exclusive items.
There are unique box designs for some designs as well which look good on a shelf if you have one.
Disadvantages of Buying Physical Nintendo Switch Games
Now let’s talk about the cons of buying physical games on the Nintendo Switch.
The common problem with physical cartridges it can be lost. They are small, lightweight, and can be blown by a huge fan or a gust of wind (if you play outside). It is small that multiple games can fit inside a pocket.
If you have multiple physical games, then you need to purchase a cartridge holder. That is an added cost though it is relatively cheap.
This also means that you need to carry games wherever you go if you want to bring your whole library. It is an inconvenience if you do not have a cartridge holder yet.
Game cases take up space at home. This is not a problem if you have a dedicated gaming area. However, if you have a small space, these game cases can easily fill up a shelf.
Physical games can be more expensive than digital titles as well. I remember buying a game that costs $10 in a game store. When I checked the Nintendo eShop the next day, it went on sale for $2.
Lastly, there are games that are unavailable physically. Cuphead, Don’t Starve Together, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Unpacking, and Among Us are just some of the games that do not have a physical copy at the moment.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of buying either a physical copy or a digital copy of a Nintendo Switch game. In the end, the decision is up to you. You need to factor in your priorities such as storage space, portability, tradeability, and even price. Hopefully, this article can help you with your purchase decision.
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