Will you buy the digital-only ‘Switch 2’?


Having a digital-only version at launch is a strategy that both Microsoft and Sony have adopted for their consoles this generation. In the case of Xbox, the Series S offers additional specifications compared to the flagship Series X model and Microsoft charges significantly less for the digital-only model (about $280 compared to $499). Sony’s discless PS5 offers exactly the same specs for $100 less than the $500 version with a Blu-ray disc drive.

Digital-only switch 2?
bitter little darling – Image: Damian McFerran/Nintendo Life

The idea with these cheaper digital-only versions is that platform holders and developers make more money on the backend by selling software directly to the customer and eliminating the secondhand market inherent in physical media. Knowing that players are forced to purchase their games through digital stores, a small profit – or even loss – on each hardware unit sold may make sense, thus resulting in cheaper digital-only SKU.

When Sony revealed two launch editions of the PS5, we asked if you thought Nintendo should take the same route with the Switch. Of the approximately five and a half thousand votes cast, 63% answered with a resounding ‘No’, 24% said ‘Yes’, and the remainder answered no.

However, it came back in 2020, and focused on the current Switch, not new hardware. With rumors that Nintendo may essentially mirror the approach of Sony and Microsoft, we thought we’d see if sentiment has changed over the years.

You’ll find a survey at the bottom of the page, but let’s see what Team Nintendo Life thinks first…

Gavin Lane, editor

Digital-only switch 2?
You won’t get very far without one of these… – Image: Nintendo Life

Given the portability of the Switch, I decided to go almost 100% digital early on. I have a handful of the physical games, including Breath of the Wild from launch day, and I’ve got Tears of the Kingdom on a cartridge so I can keep a pair of them on the shelf. Despite all the shortcomings of digital, having my entire library there to go whenever I want is just too convenient to ignore, and I don’t regret it.

However, I wouldn’t want to buy a console where the digital mine was Only Option. True, my cartridge slot was a little more comfortable than BotW for most of the last seven years, but it’s comforting to have the option to play from physical media if I ever need to. I wouldn’t buy a discless PS5 or Series S for the same reason. They are not 1TB micro SD extremely Still cheap enough for me.

So it’s a ‘no’ from me – I would always choose the version with physical media slots, even if the asking price is higher.

Ollie Reynolds, Staff Writer

Digital-only switch 2?
Image: Nintendo Life

Like Gavin, my Switch collection is mostly digital, due to the fact that I’m in a drastically different place now than I was 5 or 10 years ago. I’m married, have a kid, a dog and own my own house; Needless to say, space has become a commodity, and I’m not willing to fill it with plastic bins.

So yes, having a digital library ready and waiting on a large SD card is a feature I’m unlikely to give up when the next console launches. However, even now, I’m not ready to abandon physical media altogether and opt for a digital-only console. That’s because I learned this the hard way when I purchased the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition shortly after launch.

On a day-to-day basis, it is not possible to have a digital-only console Very This is a huge hurdle for me, but there have been a few opportunities over the years that have passed me by due to my inability to play physical PS5 games. I can’t borrow some games from my brother, and I’ve been gifted some games that I simply have to give away because I can’t play them.

I believe that digital games will eventually displace physical media completely, and while I am not personally Contrary to such belief, I think keeping the option to fire cartridges while they are still in regular circulation is the way to go.

Alana Hagues, Deputy Editor

Digital-only switch 2?
Image: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

Make that three-on-three on my Switch library, which is mostly digital these days. Lots of traveling, frequent deals, and – honestly – lack of shelf space means those are the only games I do at all. Sure Have it physically, I will get it physically. We’re talking first-party titles and limited releases of a select few indie games, but now I buy a maximum of two or three physical games a year.

The reality is that we’re a two-Switch family, and if we each got a console, we’d probably get one of each type of this “NG”, so I’ll always have the option to play physically. But I’m also like everyone else here – I don’t think I can completely give up physical sports yet.

I think back to the time I played a PS1 game and I had to get up to change from Disc 1 to Disc 2. I don’t know what it is about that action, but it feels special. Of course, nothing on the Switch can make that claim, but I enjoy the act of replacing an old, beloved game with a brand new, shiny title. Super Mario Bros. Wonder will probably be my next physical movie, but I wouldn’t bother if digital was the only option in the future.

However, can the inevitable digital-only future wait for a few more years?


So that’s what we think, but what about you lovely people? Would you like to see Nintendo offer a cheaper digital-only model of its next console? Tell us below:



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