Topic: 3DSware Size limit

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One of the things I've been wondering about the 3DS is the filesize limit on the 3DSware. there will definitely be one but it's unclear how large. Some key factors are still unclear such as the size of the internal storage(or whether it has any at all!) and also how Nintendo plan to position the download service. They are clearly planning on making it a bigger part of the experience than DSiware or Wiiware but most people are concerned with them competing with Apple.

The current size limit of ios games is 2GB(same as Xbox Live and most games are well below that limit) but the highest launch 3DS gamecard is 2GB so it's doubtful that will be the 3DSware's limit. The other factor is the storage that we do know about, Nintendo is going to include a 2GB SD Card but how many games will they expect us to store at once?

A good indication can possibly be found by comparing it to the Wii. The Wii has 512MB of flash memory(although not all of that is available) and the Wiiware size limit is 42MB(IIRC) which means you could theoretically store 12 Wiiware games on the internal storage: apply that to the 3DS and you have an upper limit of around 170MB. However the DSi provides something of a counterpoint, it has 256MB of flash memory and the DSiware limit is said to be around 16mb which means you could theoretically store 16 games: apply that to the 3DS and you have an upper limit of 128MB.

I therefore think we've got a good range in which to estimate the 3DSware size limit.I think that 128MB is a good candidate as it's exactly 1Gb and is the size of the average DS gamecard. I also believe it is the size limit on the PS Minis. I do think they could go higher due to pressure from third party publishers but I can't see them going any higher than 256MB and even that would be a major push.

We've also got to consider what developers will be able to achieve with the space, it's already a much more generous limit than Wiiware but even if the limit was 42MB much more would be possible on the 3DS due to the difference in resolution. As a quick example: in PNG format a 640x480(Wii resolution) black rectangle takes up 2.3KB of space but a 400x240(3DS top resolution) rectangle only takes up 1.4KB, at 320x240(3DS bottom resolution) a black rectangle uses 1.3KB of space. Potentially a lot could be done with the 128MB of space but developers(and publishers) may want more space.

So, finally, my question is.... what size limit do you expect there to be on the 3DSware? Will it be lower than 128MB? Higher than 170MB? Higher even than 256MB?

NOTE: This isn't a topic for complaining or trolling so keep any snide remarks to yourself. I just want to discuss what the filesize could be and the reasons why.
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At least 50 MB, hopefully 100. It is launching with SD card support,which Wii or DSi didn't have.


Xkhaoz wrote:

At least 50 MB, hopefully 100. It is launching with SD card support,which Wii or DSi didn't have.

That is an important distinction. It's also already been confirmed that software will launch directly from the SD card as opposed to the Wii's method of caching the data.

Also the original XBLA size limit was 50mb but did get an increase(obviously).

Edited on by Oregano
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Xkhaoz wrote:

At least 50 MB, hopefully 100. It is launching with SD card support,which Wii or DSi didn't have.

wii does have it but not dsi

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salty1264 wrote:

Xkhaoz wrote:

At least 50 MB, hopefully 100. It is launching with SD card support,which Wii or DSi didn't have.

wii does have it but not dsi

Yes, I know that, but what I'm saying is that neither of them launched with SD support.


Wow. I see you did a lot of typing.

Anyway...... I think that the space will have 128mb, possibly moar.

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salty1264 wrote:

wii does have it but not dsi

The 3DS works differently though. The Wii temporarily copies the data from SD card to the Wii whilst the 3DS will directly load off the SD card.
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over 9000 terabits

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Otaku wrote:

over 9000 terabits

If you really want to download over 9 petabyte make sure you are not doing it over a tethered cell phone. The data cost alone would make you a runner up against the national debt.



I really don't see what apple has to do with the size limit of 3DSware.
3DS = used by 7-16 year kids ( 7 because of eye injury thingy ) probably as main public
while apple iphone = overall used by 16+ people. Which are not having the internet limitations overall ( or they got a choice there ). Therefor 1 big issue where Nintendo is struggling with are not going to apply on apple. And therefor they can get away with a limitation of 2GB ( will go further on this later on )

You are thinking wrong ( my opinion)
you are basically saying that Nintendo is throwing in limits, based on the SD card they include. Thats not why they limit it at the first place. ( 2 reasons for the 3DSware file size limit )

( first limit reason )
They limit it, because the wii and ds and 3DS probably are not able to multi task effective with ( background down-loaders kind of apps ) its not a ios device. Its a dedicated gaming device. Therefor the 3DS simple isn't able to download and game at the same time.
Besides this, the 3DS is used by all kinds of people, and therefor it should be working perfectly well even for people that simple got download limits ( isp ) or slow connections.

Downloading a 1gb file on a 500 mb capped for the month ISP with 20kb per second download speed is going to be a hellish experience, if not impossible. They wanna avoid that.

(reason limit 2)
Besides this, your way of thinking does apply on the wii actually, but not on the 3DS.
The wii gets limited by a controller on it, which only supports to a max of 2gb ( which cant be altered on software level ).
You will have too replace the controller on the main board and this will result in a complete new version of a wii.

Therefor they decided to throw the limit of the WIIware to a even lesser amount of space, in order to not fill your SDcard completely with 1-2 games. Or els you are basically buying a 2gb SD card ( which where expensive at that time ) for 1 wiiware title, which is going to be expensive.

Therefor they hitted the 42 mb ( thats it ).

Now with the 3DS, its a complete new story really.
The controller ( from the data that got released / leaked ) which the 3DS got, was discussed to dead on a site. They came to the conclusion that 600gb is what it supports.

This means the 3DS can support 600gb sd cards in the future. And removes the controller limit.
1 Problem solved.

If we wouldn't take the connection problem into account then this is what basically can easily happen in the future:

6 years from now, 512gb = new standard volume, they can limit a 3DSware to about 45gb for a single game. At this moment they gonna hit the controller limit.
While 600gb sounds extreme at this time ( we are used to 2-64gb cards ). There are already 256GB SD cards on the market, and the 512mb is coming soon ( or maybe its already out yet ). The 256gb costs still about 500+ euro. But it can easily be the standard in 6 years,

Now lets take for example, 512 gb module which will be the max ( 600gb limitation ). then you can end up if you want to compare it towards the wii, on a 40-45gb limit on 1 game. Higher then that is going to be a problem again. Because you will hit the controller limit just like the wii is doing atm.

Of course the connection is going to be a huge problem at this point, and therefor the change wont be this extreem even if the memory will allow it.

At this date of time, nintendo should consider what the internet limits are from providers. And need to take into account. That overall the 'kids" that are 7-16, are simple not able to get a better connection without bothering there parents.
This doesn't mean, that they should keep behind. but statistics will show what to do on this.

To get towards what i think that the 3DS is going to offer at its release, is a limit of 128-256mb.
Then when the 3th party developers are gonna complain, and the sd cards are getting bigger. they probably will increase it.
When the 4gb/8gb is like 10 dollar ( thats what 2gb is now ) they probably are going to increase the 128-256mb towards 386/512mb and maybe even toward the 7xx mb. ( but it really depends on what developers actually need )

The same thing they are actually doing with there gamecards for developers. They are starting off with 2gb, but it can simple be increased towards 4gb / 8gb cards, when developers are actually in need of it. To plain throw in huge memory cards on gamecard level or SD level, is going to cost extra money for the end user and or for nintendo ( or both ) while the developers themself are not even using for lets say 50% of it.

Therefor a start off with 128-256mb this year, and 2gb is going to be great. With the option to upgrade it when needed, towards 4gb/8gb gamecard, and for example 386/512mb 3DSware limits.

Why do i think 128-256mb and not 1gb? if mediums don't matter? well i really don't think that developers are going to need at the first year more then 256mb. but probably already will get short on it, at the next.

Anyway my 3000 cents on the topic

Edited on by gatygun



They could increase it later on yes but I definitely don't think they'll even consider the fact SD cards can go up to a crazy high amount because it's just not worth assuming that they will be available to most people. The safest assumption is that most people will stick to the included card.

The first limit might not apply though, one of the major selling points of the 3DS which was shown in its feature trailer is the fact that it can multitask and they've also advertised the fact that it can download passively. The second limit doesn't apply to the DSi but it still has a limit(one smaller than the Wii even).

The iphone is an important comparison because it's a competitor for the download sevice and also a source of games. For one Gameloft will want to port all of their games to the 3DS so ideally you'd want a limit that is big enough to accommodate all those games. The easier it is to fit games in=more games=more money. Nintendo will be considering that.
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gatygun wrote:

3DS = used by 7-16 year kids ( 7 because of eye injury thingy )
while apple iphone = overall used by 16+ people

lol what. I'd like to see where you found out that ownership of the 3DS is restricted to people aged 16 and under. I guess I won't be able to buy one then. I'm above the age limit.

Just FYI most of your post is ignorant of the technology and business behind the 3DS, as are everyone else's - mine included. Too many details about the system are unconfirmed. We don't know if the 3DS will be able to download in the background. It probably will, seeing how Nintendo is pushing multitasking-reliant technology like the new Home menu and StreetPass. But this all just speculation.

I'm pretty sure Nintendo will have learned from their past mistakes. They've seen the potential of digital game stores through the success of Apple's store, XBLA, PSN and Steam. The 3DSWare service should either have no size limit or a limit high enough that it doesn't matter.

Talking specific size numbers like 256MB or whatever is arbitrary and fruitless.

Edited on by HolyMackerel

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@gatygun But not all people who buy a 3DS have slow internet.

Most people have access to free Wi-Fi points, and the 3DS has already been announced to have multitasking anyways. D:

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Rob_mc_1 wrote:

Otaku wrote:

over 9000 terabits

If you really want to download over 9 petabyte make sure you are not doing it over a tethered cell phone. The data cost alone would make you a runner up against the national debt.

Imagine how long it would take to download, too!


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There's a rumor floating around that the 3DS will have 1.5 GB of internal memory as well as the 2GB SD card included. Keep that in mind. I'm working off some assumptions/estimates here, but I feel they are safe enough that there won't be any big changes (unless they remove the direct SD card loading feature that was promised).

In reality, you're looking at a logical memory max of around 33.5 GB total at any one time (more games could be stored on other cards). The DSi and Wii both support SDHD cards up to 32 GB, so the 3DS no doubt will as well. However, do people really need that for Tetris? No matter how synced the online features are, I'm betting you'll get a lot of people who only download Tetris and the Mario Land games. Most DS games don't use the maximum available cart space already. I'd imagine the file size limit will be upped to a 200-500 MB (though I can't see the next Tetris being more than 40 MB). Anything bigger than that, and it would make more sense to go retail anyways. Games will be able to get around this by being episodic, like they do now, of course. Casual gamers will be more than fine with a 2 GB SD card (many probably won't even use the 1.5 GB rumored internal memory), and the most hard of core can upgrade really cheaply. The SD card memory solution could finally have the potential to be the "better than a hard drive" storage solution Reggie promised us years ago (at least for a portable).

Bigger file sizes could certainly work though. Spotpass shows that the 3DS is capable of downloading in the background while gaming at the same time. There's no reason this wouldn't work with a full game. Also, since the DS requires a wireless broadband connection to work at all, the 3DS most likely will as well. Yes there will be people who won't be able to download games, but if you're still using dial up in this day and age, you're probably not the type to wait in line for the newest electronic device and you'll be satisfied with your DS Lite/Phat a little longer.

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@Holymac: Well no only Nintendo know for sure right now but it's all a bit of fun plus if it does end up as a specific number we can claim credit.

I think there will definitely be a limit, it would obviously have to fit on the internal storage or SD card but I think the biggest challenge we have is deciding what a relative good limit is because as I pointed out 3DS assets will be smaller than the other systems so the limit could(and most likely will) be smaller than the other systems.

It also does depend on the strategy as you said though, and we know very little of that. I personally don't think they're going to make full titles available and after a certain threshold they'll want the game to be a retail release. If they do make full titles available though that throws my whole assessment out of the window as the limit would be a lot, lot bigger. I said though, just a bit of fun!

EDIT:@Token Girl: Excellent post. I think 500MB might be a bit too high because that would mean the default could only store 4 games on the SD(and 3 on the internal storage if that's correct). I think the 200-300 range(most likely 256MB) is certainly possible depending on what feedback developers give Nintendo.

The download service is something Nintendo has shown very little of and I'm interesting in hearing about the nitty gritty of it all.

Edited on by Oregano
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I made the guess up to 500 MB for two reasons:

1) Most games wouldn't need up to that limit. Hopefully devs wouldn't be lazy on compressing so Tetris Party 3DS takes all that space, but I would imagine most games would still be under 40 MB.

2) I figured I'd guess a really large range, to up the odds I'd be right. I agree that 200-300MB would be more likely.

Edited on by Token_Girl

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Seeing as the 3DS is rumored to have three times the internal memory of the Wii (max download size: 40mb), I'd estimate the max download size of the 3DS to be 120-200mb.

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Yes, it might be a good idea to give a generous limit for those rare occasions, especially if they want to court Id because Rage's megatextures take a very large amount of space.

Also to show how much can be done with comparatively little space New Super Mario Bros Wii is only 300MB and those assets are in 640x480. I think the Galaxy games are only around a gig each IIRC.
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There shouldn't be a limit, but if there must.

I think before we pick a limit, we should look at the sizes of our current DS software. DS retail games come in 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256MB cartridges. The games can actually be smaller than the size, because the cartridges need to be filled up exactly, so the rest is garbage data. Numbers aren't exact. These aren't all of my games, I just picked a few.

Dragon Quest IV- 128MB
Dragon Quest IX- 256MB
WarioWare D.I.Y.- 128MB
Game & Watch Collection- 8MB
Kirby Squeak Squad- 64MB
Kirby Super Star Ultra- 128MB
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story- 128MB
Pokemon Dash- 16MB
The Legendary Starfy- 64MB
Starfox Command- 32MB
Zelda: Phantom Hourglass- 64MB

Angry Birds- 34.9MB
Angry Birds Seasons- 11.3MB
Chaos Rings- 273.7MB
Cut the Rope- 21.2MB
Doodle Jump- 21.4MB
Fieldrunners- 12.1MB
Flight Control- 15.1MB
Fruit Ninja- 61.7MB
Game Dev Story- 8MB
Infinity Blade- 318MB
Myst- 533MB
Need for Speed Shift- 193.6MB
Plants vs. Zombies- 47MB
Pocket Legends- 40.3MB
Slice It!- 16.2MB
Super Monkey Ball 2- 93.2MB
Toki Tori- 15.5MB
Zenonia- 13MB
Zenonia 2- 13.2MB

Obviously, you can do a lot in little space. Nintendo will probably want to keep the biggest and best games on physical cartridges, so it shouldn't be much larger than 256MB. I'm going to go with 100-200MB.

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