Nintendo Switch 2 May Use Samsung’s Newly-Revealed 800 MB/s microSD Cards

There’s widespread anticipation for Nintendo to release a successor to the Switch in the first quarter of the upcoming year. A key concern revolves around the storage choice for the new hardware. While the current Switch supports various microSD cards with a minimum transfer speed of 60 MB/s, if Nintendo intends to elevate their game standards, this might prove insufficient. On the other hand, utilizing M.2 NVMe SSDs, as seen in next-gen consoles and the Steam Deck, could pose challenges due to potential heat and power issues, especially if Nintendo aims to maintain the slim Switch form factor.

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A potential solution might lie in Samsung’s recently unveiled SD Express microSD card series. Starting with a 256 GB variant later this year and followed by a 1 TB option, these cards boast impressive 800 MB/s transfer speeds. Notably, Samsung discreetly reveals in their press release that these cards originated from a “successful collaboration with a customer to create a custom product.”

While SD Express technology has existed for some time, its uptake has been sluggish, primarily due to cost and the absence of a compelling product requiring a middle ground between current microSD cards and SSDs. The impetus for its advancement came from a customer seeking a particular solution, fueling speculation that Nintendo, with the anticipated Switch 2, might be the ideal match for these innovative cards.

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Should Samsung’s latest SD Express technology find its place in the Switch 2, the anticipated 800 MB/s transfer speeds would mark a substantial leap, around 10 times faster than the original Switch. This enhancement could potentially lead to nearly instant loading times for backward compatible games. While the 800 MB/s falls short of the PS5’s SSD speed at 5,500 MB/s, if the Switch 2 is targeting power and visual fidelity akin to the PS4, the full SSD speeds may not be essential.

For the first time in the industry, Samsung has introduced a new high-performance microSD card based on the SD Express interface. The development was the result of a successful collaboration with a customer to create a custom product.”