News Article

Nintendo’s Storage Solution: Better Than HDD, Expected Soon

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has confirmed that the company is looking into the age-old Wii memory storage issue and has even gone as far as to say the solution they’ve come up with is ‘better’ than a hard drive.

What this could mean is anyone’s guess but as we’ve said in the past it’s doubtful that Nintendo will just allow you to plug any old hard drive in via the USB ports – the more likely option is that the company will produce a bespoke peripheral that will store the games and the games only, or something along those lines. Nintendo isn’t a corporation that is keen on letting a money-making opportunity slip through its fingers, after all.

Shigeru Miyamoto was interviewed alongside Reggie and confirmed that an announcement on the storage problem is to be expected soon.

Source: GoNintendo

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User Comments (78)

Airola

#2

Airola said:

I see the announcement happening like this:

Shigeru and Reggie walk up the stage. They are standing in the center of the spotlight. Shigeru opens his mouth and says: "Here's our solution......................... Get a life!"

The audience is silent while both Reggie and Shigeru are laughing their asses off on the stage. Then they leave.

Link79

#3

Link79 said:

I'm wondering what could be better than a harddrive? Sounds like a pretty bold statement. I hope they can back it up.

CorbsAdmin

#4

Corbs said:

I'm still wondering why they don't use the SD card slot. It's right there on the Wii and with encryption technology, it couldn't be too difficult to make the games run from the cards. Heck, why not work out a deal with one of the SD card manufacturers and make a specific Nintendo Wii model with their own proprietary copy protection already on it?

Starwolf_UK

#5

Starwolf_UK said:

NIntendo themselves still need to make more effort with the block sizes. It was cute at GDC to be talking about file compression to game developers (like they've never heared of it) when in fact none of the titles on the virtual console use this...in fact some of them massively bloat the size with redundant files.

Until they announce anything as far as i'm concerned they are bluffing...and when they do announce something it'll be "well lulz maybez next year" (inspite of the problem being older than that).

calculon

#6

calculon said:

Wow, such little faith guys.

Corbie, they won't use the SD card slot (unless they're insane) because it's just too damned slow. It'd be laughable for expect people to wait nearly a minute before most TGFx CD, N64 and Neo Geo games load when most native games take less than 15 seconds to load from disc. Plus the encryption layer can be applied to any media, not just SD.

Maybe they're going to approach the solution using a USB pluggable memory pack for the WiiMote and add extended Mii support and maybe a few preloaded VC titles. Personally, I'm looking forwad to this one more than any other announcement Nintendo have made this year.

@StarWold_UK - the trouble with compression is that:
a) Compression and encryption tend not to go hand in hand.
b) Many of the games already use some form of compression to store data so further compression is of questionable worth in some cases.
c) Whilst I agree with you on the redundant file point, I doubt a HTML file or two will even fill one block (128KB) of storage even if stored raw (hell, my Firefox bookmarks file only just covers 1.5 blocks and that's got 120+ links in it)

My thanks to whoever put the image of Calculon onto my profile for me, by the way!

Chunky_Droid

#7

Chunky_Droid said:

Whatever it is I'll look forward to it, I just want something that can plug into USB and creates a VC + Wiiware channel that accesses the USB device holding the VC and Wiiware games. Then I can show my whole collection of VC games (over 50) instead of looking like I only have 10.

danik

#9

danik said:

Well good to hear thats it not going too be much longer as i ran out of space ages ago! not sure how soon is though in nintendo world we will just hav to see...

Foamyfan231

#12

Foamyfan231 said:

YAYYY!!!!!!Now I can finally keep my games like Strongbad on my wii!!!!! Its about damn time that they resolved this problem

Jonny

#14

Jonny said:

As soon as they release this they then have to increase a firmware update to add more channels to the wii menu though, because we are gonna go crazy. I can't wait to fill all the menu screens up with classic games that i can't now cause of N64 titles and wiiware ones.

As for the solution expect a rip off one. But they need to do it soon for GH:WT

citizen_zane

#15

citizen_zane said:

I'm afraid that my 2GB card is gonna be full soon (13 wiiware, 147 vc games so far). At this point, I'll buy whatever Nintendo throws my way.

Miike

#16

Miike said:

Well - there may be one relatively horrible idea that we are missing here - they may stream the game to you. There are a lot of technologies like this now that stream apps over the network (like VMware ThinApp). Its possible.
I'm wondering if the problem is some kind of freak out over DRM or something.

Ian_Daemon

#19

Ian_Daemon said:

Um, didn't Nintendo file for a patent or something about holographic technology? This is probably it...

fco

#21

fco said:

More than showing all my games in the menu, what I want this solution for is so WiiWare developers may go crazy making bigger and better games.

Saisinkolimonadin

#22

Saisinkolimonadin said:

My guess is that their "better than a hard drive"-geniusmindblast will be a 32-digit code that they send you after you've bought the game, and if you want to actually PLAY the game, you'll only need to write the code (which changes every day, of course), and when you're finished with playing, the game deletes and you'll be given a new code.

Nintendo! Now you're playing with pen and paper!

Starwolf_UK

#23

Starwolf_UK said:

c) Whilst I agree with you on the redundant file point, I doubt a HTML file or two will even fill one block (128KB) of storage even if stored raw (hell, my Firefox bookmarks file only just covers 1.5 blocks and that's got 120+ links in it)
I was refering more to say with DKC2 you have the game ROM...twice. It is unclear the difference between then or why but thats whole megabytes of space that don't need to be blown as such. Hopefully that isn't true for other games but looking at the block size something is up...

The manuals tend to be arround the 4 block region. Not really worth it but I'm sure some would be happy to nuke it anyway.

Edit: Prehaps this should all be taken with a pinch of salt...
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=12732381&postcount=38

deadbattery

#24

deadbattery said:

@ Comment #2, Airola -

The sad truth is, considering how little Nintendo cares about its longtime fans, I think that scenario is completely plausible.

Jogurt_the_Yogurt

#25

Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

They're going to start putting games on carts again. That way save data can be stored right on the game, freeing up 10-20 blocks... total.

CorbsAdmin

#27

Corbs said:

The SD card being slow is a valid argument against it. But lets also remember that Nintendo didn't even put a backlight into their Game Boy system until 2003 despite pleas for it for many years. We'll just have to see how quickly they do something about this problem.

yoshifu94

#28

yoshifu94 said:

but corbie, people like me like 2 have all their VC and wiiware games on their wii not on an SD card. so we all dont have 2 redownload the game next to deleting a different game in the process. so ya

Loooca

#29

Loooca said:

I hope it has nothing to do with an SD card, because such a solution is a short-termed one. Like yoshifu94, I like to see my VC/WiiWare games flashing in front of me.

And I'd have to trust them with this, because I'm sure they're aware that they can't mess with this (or us, for that matter).

Fuun_Saiki

#30

Fuun_Saiki said:

I'm excited. Better than a HDD?

I'm thinking Reggie is a warlock, and Nintendo are going to solve the problem with magic.

Rawk_Hawk

#31

Rawk_Hawk said:

I had to put Super Metriod and Lords of Thunder on an SD card to make more room. This should not be:(

David77

#32

David77 said:

I don't see any problem with the Wii storage. Get a SD card and that's it.
Who cares we can't play from the card. It take a couple of second to load it to the Wii. Just keep the savegames.

CorbsAdmin

#33

Corbs said:

I guess it's not fair to look at it from my perspective as I just don't keep the games on my Wii for very long, if at all, since I own the actual games and systems. But I'll also say that even copying to and from the SD card doesn't really bother me, nor does re-downloading them. In truth, if I didn't have to use my Wii for VC and WiiWare releases for this reviewing gig, I'd probably seldom, if ever, use those services other than the occasional must-have WiiWare title from time to time. :)

AlexSays

#34

AlexSays said:

Congratulations Corbie, you have one of the few jobs where working costs you money. :P

Wiiloveit

#35

Wiiloveit said:

@citizen zane: imagine the thought of your Wii asploding. That would be terrible, I mean: you must've spent about $1000-1500 on all those games. As for the storage: the holographic thing is seeming much more likely by the minute. Whatever it is, Ninty will milk as much money from core gamers as possible. I think it's safe to say I'll be waiting another year for enough money for GHWT.

CorbsAdmin

#36

Corbs said:

@ x.SuperMario.x - Thanks for making me feel better. But think of all the fame it brings me :P

Peznaze

#37

Peznaze said:

"Better than a HDD"... Well, the SD card is better, but still not optimal. I just get this feeling... a sick feeling deep in the pit of my stomach... that it'll be some kind of online storage solution... That's just insane and useless enough to be what they'll come up with...

Mario64DStyle

#38

Mario64DStyle said:

@Corbie - Haha, How many of the games you've been forced to download to review have you actually kept?

Also.. I expect this release sometime in december... of 09

Atlantis1982

#39

Atlantis1982 said:

If we really do need a storage space issue which I find it ridiculously unnecessary; then the first thing that should be addressed is the amount of channel spaces. What is the point if the user is still going to be restricted with only 42 games/channels on the Wii to put on the main menu?

Yeah, I say just stick with the SD card and just deal with the swapping. I don't mind it, and everyone should just use that.

SupermarketZombies

#40

SupermarketZombies said:

I was thinking that they're going to change the wii shop channel to have an area where you launch the games.

Definitely not what I would like to happen but yeah.

CorbsAdmin

#41

Corbs said:

@ Mario64DStyle - Not a lot, but I switch out the games on the Wii sometimes. The N64 games are about the only VC games I keep because my Nintendo 64 console finally bit the dust right after Christmas. Most of the games on my Wii are actually WiiWare titles for the most part. I keep Star Soldier R, Groovin' Blocks, Lost Winds, and FF: Crystal Chronicles on my actual system and the rest are on the SD card. At least I think they are. :)

Ricardo91

#42

Ricardo91 said:

@Corbie. God, I sure hope it doesn't take 14 years to solve this problem. :P

@Calculon. A minute? When I copied Sin and Punishment and Toki Tori to an SD card, it took, like, 15. :P

Couldn't Reggie have at least given us a hint? :(
Here are my theories, and their likeliness:

1. They simply add a firmware update that allows you to play games directly from an SD card (or speeds up the SD card-to-wii copying speed. Unlike you, Corbie, I didn't have the chance to play many of those games in their original form, so I find the slo-mo speed a bit less tolerable. :P), or simply adds more memory. Highly unlikely. After all, why give you a free update when they can make you buy something?

2. They create a new (likely costly) channel that allows you to store Wiiware and VC games and play them at will. Also unlikely.

3. Like Damo said, it's yet another peripheral that you have to buy for $30. I have no idea what it could be, and I'm not making any assumptions there. Highly likely.

4. There is no storage solution, and Reggie is just pulling our leg. We either have to deal with the grueling SD card method or buy another Wii :P. Possible.

I don't really know, these are just my guesses. :|
I have a feeling that "soon" means "Next October". :P

AlexSays

#43

AlexSays said:

See, here's the thing.
Nintendo wants you to buy another Wii for every 10-20 games you download. :P

Tides_of_Chaos

#44

Tides_of_Chaos said:

Corbie said, "The SD card being slow is a valid argument against it. But lets also remember that Nintendo didn't even put a backlight into their Game Boy system until 2003 despite pleas for it for many years. We'll just have to see how quickly they do something about this problem."
You do know that Japan got a Gameboy that had a backlight long before 2003, right? The only problem was....we didn't receive it. The strangest part though, is that after putting light in, they took it out for the GBA.

Ricardo91

#45

Ricardo91 said:

^We didn't get the GB Light because we American folk cared more about color than light. And for some reason, Nintendo focused more on those fancy 32-bit visuals for the GBA, and less on actually being able to see them. Kinda funny, actually. :P

MarkyVigoroth

#46

MarkyVigoroth said:

YAAAAY! A solution!
Thoguh I already got a 2 GB(?) SD card, I hope this works.

By the way, I was thinking about a system about you sending your Wii to Nintendo, and, for a fee, have the memory of your Wii expanded with the games still intact!
Also, for those who are wondering why the Wii has a pitible ammount of memory, I guess it is to cut costs. (Come on; the PS3 got more expensive with it getting more memory, and even its 20GB version was very high! The Wii was already high enough with $250, and Nintendo did not want to make the price worse!)

Ziondood

#47

Ziondood said:

@Airola hahaha ur post made me laugh xDDDD
yea i hope they dont make us buy a special sd card or sumthing
i already have 3 sd cards

PHANTOM93

#48

PHANTOM93 said:

@ Tides of Chaos

The backlight used for the Game Boy Light was basically an over sized watch backlight, not a true LED backlight like the one in the GBA SP. Personally I'd rather buy one of the peripheral lights for the Game Boy Color (which I did do by the way) than buy a Game Boy Light.

Clayfrd

#50

Clayfrd said:

If they're gonna increase the memory, they'd better extend the number of open Wii Menu Channels for us geeks and otaku. Another dreadfully slow firmware download for me...

PHANTOM93

#51

PHANTOM93 said:

@Clayfrd

Instead of adding more channels via a firmware update why don't they just reformat the Wii menu so that every time you run out of channels, another page gets automatically added. It wouldn't be hard to do, seeing as they already did it with the save file screen.

Kawaiipikachu

#52

Kawaiipikachu said:

I wouldn't mind an SD card solution .
While SD cards may be slow but it shouldn't be any slower than the old carts that the NES, SNES, Megadrive, Master System, Neo Geo, Turbografx Ect are on in fact the slowest of todays SD cards should be faster .

Think of the internal flash the Wii have it should be similar speed as an SD card so SD cards should be no problem .

BrainDance

#53

BrainDance said:

No way is it some online streaming solution. If it is, it will make many people very very angry, just because Nintendo's current system for downloading games (just once!) is very flawed.

My last experience redownloading a game (and I've had similar but not as annoying experiences in the past, but then things were still young, and I haven't bought many new games lately) I wanted to play Mario Kart 64 with my fiance. All was good, I assumed I had it on my SD card, but woops! Forgot to copy it over before deleting it. No problem I'll just redownload it.

First attempt, hangs at about 30% (I assume, the mario getting coins system isn't incredibly easy to read, but it is neat)
Second attempt, made it to 50%
Third, didn't even actually start, Mario got 0 coins.
Fine, no problem, reset my router and modem.
....same problem
Check all my settings, should work, on channel 11
Doesn't work again
At this point I start swearing, also remember that each of these attempts are taking several minutes.
Disconnect both computers, there is nothing connected to my router but the Wii, I have an incredibly standard router (WRT54G) doesn't work for quite a few more tries, with varying degrees of success (ie. more downloaded before it hanging and giving me an error)

Eventually, the freaking game downloads. By this time I'm so annoyed I don't want to play Mario Kart, to my SD card it goes (waiting through the annoyingly long encryption time, which I understand, but its still annoying) and to those who say "well gee, I don't mind just copying things back and forth" I do, I just want to turn on my Wii, and play a freaking game. I really like playing videogames but I'm busy, University takes a lot out of me and so does working. I like to just come home, get a beer, and play some old videogames. I shouldn't have to deal with all of that for my $250+ investment.

My point is though, sometimes it works pretty well, sometimes it doesn't. I don't want to deal with that every time I play a game, and if this is what Nintendo does (I pray it isn't!) then screw it.

Super_Sonic

#54

Super_Sonic said:

Hey I got a solution! Why not that Nintendo update their system to add 10,000 blocks to the Wii Hardware? It as easy as that!
Whoever agree with me post here about and send a e-mail to Nintendo of Japan, Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Europe, and Nintendo of PAL about my solution.

Ziondood

#55

Ziondood said:

@Super Sonic you cant just ADD more blocks
theyd have to make a new wii with more memory or make everyne send in theyre wiis to have them add a bigger hard drive

Kawaiipikachu

#56

Kawaiipikachu said:

@ FinalKingdon

there is some memory that is set aside for the message board which can't be used by games & save files which is only 300MB .
tso the meassage board the OS & settings takes up about aprox 215 MB so thats a fair chunk so SuperSonic is halfway right but at the same time wrong .

ttplayer92

#57

ttplayer92 said:

LMFAO.

Does anyone really expect this too happen? It took them almost 3 years too admit they have the problem and now they are going to spend another 2 on "looking into it". They arent. Even if they were, by the time it would be released the next set of consoles would be coming right around the corner. Oh, and better then HDD? I cant wait too see how horribly flawed that statement is going to be.

mailanbr

#59

mailanbr said:

Thanks for this SuperMario. Like I said, I am new to this site, and have not read everything yet. But seeing this, I can see why he might wanna wait for the update. Question is, will this be an update or will we have to buy a Wii that will contain more memory or something?

Super_Sonic

#61

Super_Sonic said:

Don't listen to x. Supermario .x. He just want to get your attention. It's much better to wait for a update for 10,000 added blocks then pay $300 on a Wii just for that.

AlexSays

#62

AlexSays said:

Don't listen to x. Supermario .x. He just want to get your attention.

1.) I never said buy another Wii.
2.) There'll never be an update that allows 10,000 more blocks.

Oh, and I'd suggest paying more attention in English class. ;)

Virus

#63

Virus said:

Better than a hard drive? Hmm...I got it: software! Buy a blank Wii Disc and download 39 of your favorite channels to it. You can even play it straight from the disc! Amazing! Terribly unrealistic, but oh well, I had a stab at it even if I hit myself while doing so.

I'm fine with buying anything extra to solve this problem, but I do fear that Nintendo might release "an updated console" with a larger hard drive packed in with the new Wii Motion-Plus controller and Wii Sports Resort. Thankfully, this idea is just as unrealistic as my first considering I used those two key words, "hard drive."

Ziondood

#64

Ziondood said:

@x.SuperMario.x
ive noticed that when supersonic posts a comment he always has something mean, bad, or wrong information to say.
ive seen his comments on other game pages . . . .and they arnt that nice
i dont really want to start anything but goes out of his way to say bad things

Virus

#65

Virus said:

...or perhaps he's just a kid who is a bit too impulsive for his own good...

BrainDance

#69

BrainDance said:

@Super Sonic
No, I'm pretty sure Nintendo will make us buy something. It's what they do, I've been a fan of the company for a couple decades now and it's what they do.

Of course, they're a company! They're goal is to make profit. That's why we won't just see an update that lets us use an SD Card. Nintendo isn't going to spend that much time and effort on something that really gains them very little (in terms of profit anyway.) If it was just a simple straightforward approach like that it would have been out long ago.

I'm going with the idea that you're just a kid who impulsively posts trying to look cool. Chill out, go outside, do something like that.

Starwolf_UK

#70

Starwolf_UK said:

@Calculon. A minute? When I copied Sin and Punishment and Toki Tori to an SD card, it took, like, 15.
I think the conclusion someone drew to a while back is SD cards are not equal. Some have faster write speeds than others. Though I wouldn't imagine it to have such a dramatic effect...to be honest I noticed it more with gamecube memory cards (which is basically SD...3rd party cards all wrote slower than official...except the EMS USB card which writes faster occasionally making games think they have not saved and so reporting a problem with the card...)

Instead of adding more channels via a firmware update why don't they just reformat the Wii menu so that every time you run out of channels, another page gets automatically added. It wouldn't be hard to do, seeing as they already did it with the save file screen.
Its fine but eventually you'll be waiting for a minute for it to load every time you start or exit a program...why? The seizure screen you get on power on and the grid screne you see are masking the thumbnails for all the channels on the menu loading...

The only solution is multiple menus and folders but I think they went with channels to keep it simple and to avoid phone calls like "help nintendo i've lose all my channl? what I do?" due to accidently loading a folder or menu#2 or whatever...

I've seen it happen with 3rd memory cards for N64 and playstation...you know the ones with a button that swaps between memory banks only you'll eventually lose saves either to poor production quality or just simply the fact the saves were in block#12 and you were looking in block#1 for them...

bboy2970

#71

bboy2970 said:

OMG thank the lord they are finally recognizing memory storage as a BIG problem. Soon i will be able to see all my wiiware and vc titles on the menu at one time, what a novelty!

Rawk_Hawk

#72

Rawk_Hawk said:

Has anyone ever tried to move Gyrostarr back and forth from an SD card? Its brutal! It takes close to 10-15 minutes. Most of the VC games are quick and easy though

Slionr

#74

Slionr said:

Well, as long as they try to do something about it........ but for how long must we wait?????

Super_Sonic

#75

Super_Sonic said:

Okay my idea was a bad idea. But I have another one! The Wii memory (I think.) is not the problem. The problem is the Virtual Console and Wiiware games. They take up too much space. We should reduce them as a update even games you have on the Virtual Console while keeping the same price. Is that any better x. SuperMario .X?

AlexSays

#76

AlexSays said:

You can't magically reduce the size of downloadable games.
It's just not possible.

Clayfrd

#77

Clayfrd said:

@x.SuperMario.x
You could compress it (which is what making a .zip file is in Windows), but I'm not sure how well it would run, if it would at all.

Mario64DStyle

#78

Mario64DStyle said:

@Clayfrd

When you compress a file, it is virtually unplayable.. unless you take the time to uncompress it and restore the information..
Although this COULD work, the load time for games would be extremely long.. This might also require you to be connected to the internet when you want to retrieve the file...
It's almost like redownloading it again every time.. without going on the shop channel

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