Update #2 [Thu 8th Jul, 2021 02:45 BST]: In an update on social media, Capcom has confirmed the physical version of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will not require a download or installation to start playing and apologises for any confusion.
In saying this, there will be a day one patch, which requires 0.5GB of free space. Here are the full details:
Update #1: It seems this may be another instance of a Capcom game having a box misprint - we all remember Resident Evil Revelaitons - as a North American player has had a copy early and has stated they can play the game without any download required. As you can see from our non-committal approach we don't want to say this is 100% certain at this point, but considering there's no download requirement shown on EU-based retail boxes, this seems like a localised printing error.
We'll keep an eye out for more definitive updates.
Original Article [Sun 4th Jul, 2021]: Here's some news that physical collectors will find quite concerning - the retail version of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin could potentially require a download. And it may be more than just a day-one patch.
According to Nintendo Everything, photos it has received of the North American game's box (from a retail worker) seem to indicate a download will be required in order to play the hard copy of the game. On the front, it says "download required" and on the back, it's mentioned how the game requires a download of at least 15GB. The eShop file size listing is 13.5GB.
While storage requirements aren't necessarily a problem - especially if you own a MicroSD card, there's still the issue of the physical copy not featuring the entire game on it, which some might feel defeats the purpose of purchasing a hard copy in the first place.
Capcom has made no mention of the game requiring a download of this size previously and there's no reference of it elsewhere, so with any luck this is just a misprint. If we hear anything else, we'll update this post.