The Nintendo Switch Has a Data Management Problem

The Nintendo Switch hasn’t even been out a full month yet and I can already confidently say that it’s an incredible system that I get so much use out of. From playing on the TV to tablet mode to tabletop mode, I’m almost constantly playing it. My gaming PC still gets plenty of use and when we get a PS4 next month I know we’ll play that a lot as well, but I can say with conviction and confidence that the Nintendo Switch will be my most played system of this year. It’s not without its flaws though. I may be a huge fan of Nintendo and their ideas but they sometimes leave common sense and intuitive console features by the wayside. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve had with it so far is definitely data management, and I’m not talking about the onboard storage. MicroSD cards are extremely cheap and at this point it’s easier and cheaper to upgrade your Switch’s storage than its competition. No, I’m talking about the actual management of the data. I’m really hoping it was just an oversight and that Nintendo patches it later but please allow me to be part of the first wave of people complaining about it in the hopes that Nintendo hears my cries.

There’s no option to select where game downloads,updates,and DLC go by default. If you have a microSD card inserted into the Nintendo Switch, downloads will go on the microSD card. Now this might not seem like that big of a deal but it’s extremely frustrating to me that you can’t pick where things go. One of the biggest issues it causes for me is that I have a special microSD card that I only use for screenshots. The reason I do it this way is because it makes reviewing games much easier. I can get the screenshots I need. I know exactly where they are. It’s also as painless as it could possibly be when I put them on the computer for reviews. Even then it’s still a bit of a process but I can live with that. Over the last few weeks though, game updates were put onto my microSD card without my knowledge since I had in inserted in the system. It would be so simple to just create an option for me to have it go to the console storage, assuming there is available space. There’s an even more troubling issue as well that will undoubtedly add to data management woes.

Managing screenshots on the Nintendo Switch

Managing screenshots on the Nintendo Switch

You can move pictures from console storage to MicroSD cards and vice versa. That’s no problem at all. This will come in handy if I’m ever playing games that are larger in size that I have downloaded on a 256 GB microSD card dedicated to games. It’ll also come in handy as we get more and more games. I’m already up to thirteen games and still have plenty of space but I know this will only last for so long with all the great titles on the way. When that happens I can just pop in my microSD card that’s only for pictures and move pictures off of the console storage for use in reviews. What’s not okay though is that you cannot do this with games, DLC, or updates. Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re wanting to move games off of the console storage or onto different microSD cards then you’re out of luck. You have to delete the content and then completely redownload it. Instead of simply moving it off a microSD card, onto the console storage, and then onto a bigger microSD card (which would be a pain but still tolerable), you’ll have to redownload everything. That means that if you’re ever upgrading your expanded storage, you’re going to have to redownload your entire library.

I can’t believe all the hoops people are inevitably going to have to jump through. With the Nintendo Switch library not being too big at the moment, most people probably don’t have any form of expanded storage. There’s no reason to at this point, unless you’re moving screenshots onto the computer for any reason. This is likely going to cause an increase in calls to Nintendo support because many will be surprised that this isn’t an option. Being able to move data around is such a common sense feature that many will likely just assume they missed it or just don’t know how. That’s exactly what happened to me. I was so confused and assumed I wasn’t looking in the right spot so I called Nintendo. Hopefully this increase in calls to support will cause Nintendo to do an update that adds new data management features. In the meantime, you’ve been warned. When you finally purchase expandable memory, make sure to set aside an hour or more of time aside where you won’t be able to switch and play.

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