UPDATE:Warner Bros has since contacted MCV with the following statement: "Players who purchase LEGO City Undercover on Nintendo Switch at retail do not need to download the game to play.
"The information is listed incorrectly on the packaging of LEGO City Undercover for Nintendo Switch. Players who purchase a physical copy of LEGO City Undercover on Nintendo Switch at retail are getting the complete game, and do not need to download additional content to enjoy the full experience. An internet connection is not required to play the game. The only internet connection suggested is to download the typical content update patch."
ORIGINAL STORY:It has emerged that Switch owners who buy the physical version of LEGO City Undercover will still see a huge chunk of their console's storage swallowed up.
Polygon reports that the Warner Bros title requires a 13GB installation. That's half of the usable 26GB of spare storage space available on the console. PS4 and Xbox One gamers are accustomed to mandatory installations of physical games, but then both of those formats have far more available storage to play with.
Why LEGO City Undercover requires such a big installation is a mystery, although fingers are already being pointed at manufacturing costs. As previously reported, it costs more to make a Switch cartridge than it does a disc, and the higher the storage, the bigger costs. Will publishers look to keep costs down by shipping games on lower capacity cartridges and then asking that users download the rest of the title digitally?
On the plus side, LEGO City Undercover will cost the same on Switch as it does on other formats (although the fact that the original Wii U games costs 20 does make the Switch version's 59.99 a little tough to stomach).
There has already been much consternation about the fact that the Switch versions of Rime, Puyo Puyo Tetris and Minecraft: Story Mode will cost more on Nintendo's new machine than on rival consoles. Again, this is being attributed to the cost of making Switch cartridges.
In Rime's case, developer Tequila Works previously said that its price based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform”. Switch carts varying in size from 1GB to 32GB, with prices rising alongside capacity.
Although manufacturing prices will decline as manufacturing volumes increase, this still theoretically incentivises developers to include less content in a Switch release to reduce the size of cart they need to produce. Or, as we're now seeing, it might encourage publishers only include some of the game data in the box, with the rest having to be downloaded.