Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is getting a physical release on Nintendo Switch. It’s not, y’know, really a physical release. We’ve technically known this for some time. Though as we creep closer to the final release of the full expansion, it feels worth pointing out the fine print seen on the physical copy of the expansion. While Monster Hunter Rise is available on a cartridge — and will continue to be so in a physical package you can pre-order now — Sunbreak is not included on the cart inside its own package. The expansion is download only.
“Includes a game card Monster Hunter Rise and a download voucher for the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion,” reads said box. You can see for yourself in the image below. Most players probably won’t miss this (and know to expect it at this point), but just on the off chance, we figured it was worth a quick PSA to not throw away any inserts you get with the game. That’s likely your voucher with the expansion code. Which must then be entered into the “Redeem Code” section of the Nintendo eShop.
You might be forgiven for not thinking much of that slip of paper inside the box, though. Physical copies of games suck now: a problem that goes beyond simply needing to download the very same game you bought off a physical store shelf. You don’t really get much of anything at all with your purchase now. Oftentimes, if there’s paper inside at all, it’s a bit of warranty information or disclaimer garbage that instantly goes into the trash.
This is hardly surprising in this day and age. Though it is a bit of a bummer. With Nintendo hardware, in particular, the issue of a download-only expansion feels raw lately. The company is currently shutting down your ability to buy games on the 3DS and Wii U. When the same thing inevitably happens to the Switch one day, that means Sunbreak will be impossible to purchase in this form.
Given how vital expansions (or, traditionally, expanded editions) are to Monster Hunter games, that’s basically saying Monster Hunter Rise won’t be available at all. At least not officially and at least on Nintendo hardware. The game is also available on Steam. Not to mention the Steam Deck — if you’re able to buy one. I can confirm it runs quite beautifully on the hardware, too. Though that storefront will one day also close as the world changes around us.
There is something about Switch cartridges specifically, however, that makes this feel… wrong. I personally keep most of my tiny Switch carts in a carrying case. It creates this self-contained, portable little package that creates the sense of taking the entire ecosystem with me. Maybe it’s because I once “donated” my original Game Boy Color — along with its games and its carrying case — to my girlfriend of the time’s little brother. He loved that thing. It was a self-contained package of joy he could fit in his backpack on the way to grade school.
That’s sentimental of me, I know. Sunbreak is a huge expansion and probably more work than it’s worth to fit on the same cartridge as Monster Hunter Rise itself. On that note: the download will set you back 13GB of free space on your Switch or its MicroSD card. Make sure to clear out some space ahead of time — especially you parents out there at might be giving the gift of monster murder for some upcoming birthday. Nobody likes to wait on downloads or data management.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is currently set to release on Nintendo Switch and PC on June 30, 2022. There is no physical edition for the PC version to speak of so far.