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MGS physical version for Switch will require hefty extra download

Konami won't be shelling out for more expensive cartridges

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 was announced for the Nintendo Switch in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct presentation, but it seems like Konami has been a little stingy bringing the collection to Nintendo’s hybrid console.

The MGS collection comes with Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and the original two Metal Gear games. It also contains a host of bonus content including a digital soundtrack, two graphic novels, bonus videos, and a bunch more — a pretty solid package overall.

As you’d expect, however, all that content comes at a hefty cost to storage space. The Switch version comes in at 24.1GB all up… if you don’t count the bonus videos. Those will add a further 30GB into the mix, bringing the whole package up to 54GB, much bigger than the base Switch’s 32GB internal storage. The OLED model has 64GB of storage out of the box, so it fares a little better, but that’s still dedicating basically the entire storage space to one collection of games.

But hey, there’s a way around that, right? You can just buy physical, which probably won’t have all of it, but saves you having to clog up your console with glorious Metal Gear action. Except it won’t, because it looks like Konami has gone with the cheapest possible cartridge.

According to the official website for the Master Collection, 2.4GB of the collection is “front loaded onto cartridge”, while the rest will have to be downloaded. With this in mind, we can probably safely assume that Konami’s gone with a 4GB cart, rather than shelling out for a bigger cart.

Notably, that means there probably won’t be any whole Metal Gear Solid game on the cart — Konami’s breakdown shows that the only content that could fit in its entirety would be Metal Gear 1 and 2, at 1.4GB. The page also says the non-video bonus content is 1.0GB, so if we had to guess, we’d say Metal Gear 1, 2, and the non-video bonus content is probably what you’ll get. Everything else you’ll have to download.

It’s hard to entirely blame Konami for this one though. Shipping a game on Switch physically is much more expensive than the other consoles — flash storage on a cartridge costs much more than a plastic disc with holes lasered into it. Carts up to 64GB are technically available, but they’re rarely used due to the cost, leading to many large games requiring hefty downloads.

Konami probably could have and perhaps should have shelled out for larger cartridges, but Nintendo chose to make the Switch use these cartridges, and as far as anyone knows, doesn’t subsidize their cost. Still, going up to the much more common 16GB cartridge would have allowed Konami to fit Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2, including the Metal Gear games and bonus content, on the cart, leaving just Metal Gear Solid 3 and the video content as an additional download.

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 also got a release date during the Direct. It’ll launch on Switch – and PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam – on October 24, 2023. As if we needed more games to play in October.