Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is tiny, and getting inexplicably tinier

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom already has a svelte file size, and it’s strangely been made even more tiny ahead of launch.

As reported by Gamespot, the file size of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has apparently been reduced from 18.2GB to 16.3GB ahead of the game’s launch on 12th May. Nintendo hasn’t commented on the reduction in file size.

Back in February, fans noted that Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was being listed at a file size of 18.2GB, making it by far the biggest first-party Switch game download to date. For comparison, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came in at 14.4GB.

However, the eShop listing now gives the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom download size as 16.3GB. No explanation has been provided for the smaller file size, although presumably Nintendo coders have been able to compress the code more efficiently and optimise it to save a couple of gigabytes. And perhaps the smaller file size means the game can be shipped on a 16GB game card, rather than a more expensive 32GB game card.

Read more: 10 things from Zelda games past that Tears of the Kingdom could revive

Nintendo games typically come on 8GB, 16GB or 32GB cartridges, with 8GB and 16GB game cards being the most common. However, of late, some third-party Switch games have been ballooning in size. One of the biggest is NBA 2K23, which comes in 56.5GB. For context, that’s more than the original Switch’s internal memory of 32GB, and would almost max out the Switch OLED’s 64GB internal memory.

It’s also interesting to compare the size of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which came in at around 155GB on PC and was too big to fit on a single Blu-Ray disc on consoles, meaning users had to download the rest of the game. Of course, the Switch is much less-powerful than the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S: it doesn’t have to generate 4K visuals, for example, which can take up an awful lot of space. But it’s fascinating to think that one of the most-expansive games on the Switch fits in just over 16GB of memory.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is out on 12 May 2023 for Nintendo Switch.

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