News Article

Rumour: Wii Successor Won't Have a Traditional Hard Drive

Posted by Trevor Chan

SD cards might be sticking around

With E3 2011 just weeks away, there's still plenty of time for rumours and claims from anonymous sources to surface about Nintendo's next home console.

Kotaku's sources have revealed that the console will supposedly have 8 gigabytes of on-board flash memory instead of a more traditional hard drive, a significant jump from the 512 megabytes that's inside the Wii. The console will also support saving to SD cards, making it much easier to patch games and provide additional content such as extra maps for first-person shooters.

Various reports have claimed that the new console will be able to output HD graphics, and whether it's 1080i or 1080p, either resolution will be more impressive than the 480p that the Wii is capable of. The disc format will supposedly be able to contain 25 gigabytes of data, roughly three times the amount of a dual-layer DVD and equal to that of a single-layer Blu-ray disc.

If the console does indeed have 8 gigabytes of flash memory, let's hope there will be a way to upgrade it to a more substantial number. With streaming services like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer already on the Wii, with the former coming to the 3DS too, Nintendo might be happy to just provide users the ability to stream media as opposed to a high-capacity hard drive to store any downloaded content.

We'll see how much of these rumours are true when E3 kicks off early June.


From the web

User Comments (99)



bboy2970 said:

I wouldn't mind if they didn't have a hard drive. Those things are irritating anyway. Why have this big thing when you can just have flash memory which takes up far less space. I definitely prefer a high capacity SD card to a stupid hard drive. Although 8GB does sound a bit small. Oh well, if its expandable with SD cards then I'm not complaining.



King_Boo said:

I hope there's more, that would only let me have 3 gamecube games and save data. I've still got my fingers crossed for gamecube support in the shop



Guybrush20X6 said:

What's the real diffrence between flash memory and hard drives besides storage space. I doubt any but the most frantic gamers have maxxed out the hard drives on thier Xbox or playstation.



DarkLloyd said:

well i was going to say not cool but if anything from that article is to go by then this is going to be awsome console, my only wish is that it has an internet port thing instead of the usb



zezhyrule said:

Wii Successor Won't Have a Purchase From Zez should be the title. Or maybe 'Wii Successor Continues to Fall Behind Compared to Even the Past Generation'.



NintyMan said:

I don't know most of my technological numbers, so this sounds like gibberish to me. I do understand HD, and that's all I want for the next home console tech-wise. For those of you that are disappointed, this is a rumor and shouldn't be seen as a fact. They can always be disproven.



Token_Girl said:

Guess we're going to be buying lots of SD cards if Ninty is offering the sort of DLC that other consoles have along with GCN games on the shop. It'd be crazy if they don't offer the hardware PS360 have offered for the past 6 years though.



citizenerased said:

They've already got 64 Gb SD's, if they can get a card reader fast enough I don't see the problem. The sizes of SD cards basically double every year.



Ristar42 said:

I just hope it tells you how many 'bits' it has in embossed gold writing on the front. That never goes out of style.

I figure Nintendo will have a proper memory solution, the Wii was pretty criticised in that respect so must be a priority?



zezhyrule said:

Oh I know it's a rumor. That's why it says rumor in the title after all. But it's a fail rumor, why post it NL?

/me no cares about or likes rumors



MeloMan said:

"With E3 2012 just weeks away"

Great Scott, NL!! We fell into a time warp!! o.0

Other than that, keep the good news coming... anything is better than what NIntendo's BEEN doing.

EDIT: Ah, you guys corrected it before I posted, lol!



nefisto said:

This rumor is causing an uproar and anger on the Internet if nintendo are seeing this dissatisfaction has to think to do this E3 as it is very likely to be false but if true will have to think how to solve this, because the consumer does not you think this little strategy of 8GB but remember it's just rumor until we know the whole truth E3.



DrDaisy said:

There should at least be an option to connect a hard drive to "Cafe" ... and have it work, of course. I can easily connect a portable hard drive to my Wii, but it won't do anything ... I think. I've never actually tried it.



citizenerased said:

8 Gb means they could at least five-fold the limits for Caf-eShop and that's not taking external SD's into account. Don't see the big deal. Am not a fan of DLC either.



Mandoble said:

I can only guess that rumour will be wrong. In fact this is too absurd even for Nintendo. Everybody else with hundreds of Gibabytes of very fast access rate, and Wii replacement with only 8 Gigabytes of "flash", which means pretty slow access rate, ridiculous.



zezhyrule said:

Well I don't know, with my PS3's 160gb HDD, it's half filled with only 61gb free atm. I dont' see 8gb holding much of anything.



RYBlast said:

The easter bunny is on the coffee in the picture.

I knew that bastard was evil!



Meta-Rift said:

I don't see why this is a big deal. I was expecting all the next-gen consoles to use flash memory anyway. At this point, I'd be very surprised if Nintendo used a traditional HDD.



WolfRamHeart said:

God, I hope that this rumor isn't true. This would be a colossal mistake on Nintendo's part. I easily maxed out my PS3's 60 GB hard drive so I had to upgrade it and my Xbox 360's 120 GB hard drive is nearly out of space too. In this day and age, a hard drive is very much essential to console gaming.



Monsti said:

If this is true, then Nintendo still dosn't understand the whole third party issue. If they want third party games to be succesful they need the "hardcore gamers" (yes, I hate the term too). And they won't come unless the cross platform games come to the Nintendo console. Not some other thing (like Dead Space extraction).
And that just won't be possible without a hard drive.
I'm really afraid it ends up being the same story over again...A few good first party games and loooooots of crap.



Kid_A said:

If Nintendo is really wanting to shake up the competition, they're going to have to at least match Microsoft and Sony's console storage. I'm almost positive this is false.



Meta-Rift said:

@29: Woah, I hadn't thought of that. It would mean the console would be a lot more online-oriented, which would help them catch up with PSN/Xbox Live.



snigel1 said:

I love that the Wii does not have an old school mechanical drive... feel much more comfortable with flash memory... by the time Wii2 are released they will probably be much bigger and more affordable than they are now.



Monsti said:

Or maybe...keep it cheap for the casuals and make the gamers buy external storage to install the third party games.....hmmmmmm



Moco_Loco said:

Hoping this is false. Then again, Nintendo is so used to thinking outside the box that sometimes they miss the good ideas that are actually sitting inside it.



SpicyDuck said:

If they made it to where you could expand your memory via usb, I'd be happy just sticking my 1 terabyte external hardrive in it. Or buying a separate one for it.



Dorkvader said:

The only thing about the memory on the Wii and hoping they don't do again is that I HATE THAT YOU CAN'T COPY WIFI ENABLED GAME SAVES i have a lot of stuff unlocked all the charters and levels unlocked on Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Black Ops Modern Warfare., Conduit 1 and 2, Tatsunoku vs Capcom, and Golden Eye 007 that will be hard to get to where I am



Meta-Rift said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't HD consoles require you to install the contents of discs onto the hard drive? (I'm pretty sure I read that about the PS3) Unless this is true of the Wii's successor, why do we need that much space? Besides, #29 is right. This won't be a problem if they use cloud storage.

@37: If you're talking about when the next console is released, they'll probably have a system transfer feature.



belmont said:

@Rift This depends on the game. In PS3 FF13 does not install while MGS4 does.

8GB is very little, PSPgo has the double!



kevohki said:

Hopefully false. It's 2011, it better have at least a 100GB hard drive or the option to just plug in your own.



astarisborn94 said:

If this rumor is true, there's goes Nintendo's attempt for better third-party support. It'll also make me question whenever or not I'll buy the next console.



sc100 said:

I love the idea of being able to plug in your own hard drive. It makes a lot of sense to me but then again I'm not an expert on this kind of thing.



Stine said:

God, I hope this isn't true. I mean, it would be okay if we still just played disc based games, but what about downloadable games? Are they planning on keeping the 40 MB limit or something? Well, 8 GB is better than 512 MB, I guess... but I seriously hope this is just a rumour.



warioswoods said:

Personally, I'm fine with SD cards if properly implemented, as on the 3DS. Ie, launching games etc directly from the card without the somewhat circuitous instant-copy fix they implemented on the Wii.

A big hard drive does feel rather dated, far more than built-in flash or solid state memory. The iPad, for instance, does not have a traditional hard drive, yet it offers up to 64GB of storage via solid state — which is already more than needed.



dangermouseuk78 said:

i personally like it to go back to memory for game saves only try and get rid of the horrible game patch culture in gaming.



Chris720 said:

If this is true then I will eat my hair and marry my shoe.

I really don't see the point in having a million SD cards for storage. A hard drive is the best way forward, probably not like what you get on the Xbox 360, but something more streamlined rather than a big hefty thingt sitting on top of your console. If Nintendo can do it right, I think "Project Cafe" could go really far.

But I'm not giving up my Wii though... its been my baby since '06. It may be inferior to all the other consoles, but you can't mistake how much fun it is to play with. :3



thanos316 said:

So no big harddrive. This is why hacking on the wii is so rampant, nintendo just don't wanna give you everything in a console. Nintendo has a lot of money in the bank and need to spend it correctly. Stop holding back and give us a killer system with great 3rd party support, im all for everyone playing games, and im not saying i want a million and one shooters but i wanna play quality games and not hear developers whine about lack of power and all their other bull crap. But if u don't wanna add a big hard drive to keep costs down then thats all on you, im sure someone will find a way to use external harddrives on the new system, cause i have one that i use for my wii..



RonF said:

No HD means no patches. No patches means no unfinished games being released. I guess third party support will not get better in the new machine.



ToastyYogurt said:

I wouldn't be surprised if this rumor was true. Instead of giving the 3DS more than half a GB of flash memory, they put half a GB in there and put a free SD card in it. I hope it has a hard drive in it though.



XCWarrior said:

Would Nintendo really make the same mistake twice? We can only hope not. This would be bad.



WhiteTrashGuy said:

8GB is fine by me to start with. But I would like it if they could include SD Card and USB Hard Drive Support. For the people who want 60 gigs or more it would be the way to go.



yoyogamer said:

Seriously people? Just Buy a 32gb SD card for 30 bucks and, insert it in your system, then never worry about it again. You don't need to swap SD cards every five minutes just to play a game. Or maybe you guys want this system to cost $600?



darklinkinfinite said:

if they'll let us use any random external hard drive then I can't say I care.

After all, that's basically the low-end 360. 4 Gigs of flash memory and you can purchase hard drives separately. I wouldn't mind that arrangement.



Capt_N said:

Any internal storage will eventually be filled, @ least partially w/ code from Nintendo to counter pirates/homebrew. If Nintendo was smart, they'd have in the hardware a very decent internal storage/hd, & simultaneously allow for the usage of ext. hds(both flash, & mechanical). Edit: Because this would be a versatile solution for those who don't mind smaller space, & there would be the option for larger space, for those who want it.

As for Gamecube, they would be further wise to have both hardware/software combination inside their machine to handle Gamecube games. All they really should do here, imo, is not have a base GC hardware inside the machine, but have the hardware updated in the sense of being able to communicate w/ the other pieces of hardware/software inside the machine. This would be useful in terms of online Gamecube games, & making GC mem cards, & the data they can contain, be more versatile.

We'll all have to wait, & see.



triforceofcourage said:

Yeah, I'd rather buy SD cards suited to how much space I need, and pay less for the console than having to pay more for a ton of memory I wouldn't use. I'm happy.



taffy said:

I don't see this as a problem as long as you can run content directy off the SD card rather then the current setup that they have for Wii



1080ike said:

Happiness. Hard drives are annoying, anyways. And, adding insult to injury, flash memory makes the console cheaper, while still giving users what they need without huge amount of unused space. I'm looking at you, 250 gig 360.



Wheels2050 said:

I'm not sure about this rumour, 8GB seems quite small. I guess they'll offer room for expansion again.

For one, Wii had a tiny file limit for WiiWare, but if they offer a similar service I imagine it will require much more storage space - with better graphics horsepower comes larger texture maps, more detailed models etc. which all require storage space. It's not unusual to see games on Steam reaching over 1GB just for the installation files, let alone the final unzipped space. If Nintendo doesn't want people to run out of space, they'll need to address this.

The point of installing games to the HDD is because loading everything off an optical disk is very slow. You can't get open worlds (e.g. GTA) easily without installing some stuff to hard drive, from which it can be loaded quickly when needed (still not as quickly as some other storage methods, but not too badly). So I imagine installing to HDD will be necessary for some games, and again 8GB seems a bit small.

As for people mentioning larger flash storage, it's incredibly expensive for large capacity drives. For a 160GB SSD (solid state drive, a form of flash storage) you're looking at hundreds of dollars for that alone. A HDD costs a fraction of the price.

As Capt N said, it may be that Nintendo is choosing to keep the base price down by only offering the bare minimum to start with, and people can expand from there if desired.



Pj1 said:

Lets wait for the E3 annoucements! if Nintendo keep the BBC i-player I'll be happier, I'm still using my Wii Nintendo catching up with missed programmes. Also I'm interested about the new games and if they will contiune to support VC, we also need to know if the games from the Wii version are transfarable to the new console!



thebluelight1 said:

if there's any truth in this I'm hoping that this is for a "Arcade" model like X360 launched with, I'd like a nice load of storage to be able to use for DLC, CafeWare etc. My PS3 has 120GB which is more than enough and hard drives that size are not expensive so I don't see why that's not a viable option.

If there's any truth in the Rockstar rumours and since they're now keen on helping out third parties I'm sure they especially would ask for a bit of storage to take up. Same with Hideo Kojima since I'm sure they'll have shown this off to him like they did 3DS.

Only 1 month and 3-4 days of all this speculation stuff...I'm going to miss it



motang said:

Well if it's 8 gigs, it's really not too much of a big deal, as VC games and a lot of Wiiware games will fit on that and still have room. Super Meat Boy will definitely be able to be on the system. We shall see for sure what kinda of storage it will have at E3.



skywake said:

This is exactly what I thought they would do but not necessarily what I hoped they would do. Well kinda. I was hoping it would have flash instead of a HDD and I'm fine with 8GB, fast boot. SD card support is obvious, hopefully it gets SDXC support so 2TB cards are possible by the end of it's life.

The 25GB storage disks wasn't what I was hoping but it was what I was expecting. I was hoping for 8GB+ cartridges but oh well. Blu-Ray is a cheaper, bigger option that leaves third parties with no excuses for not supporting their console. Makes sense.



yoyogamer said:

When would you ever need 2 terabytes of storage on your system? That's nearly enough to download every single Wiiware and Virtual console game... Twice! Not that wouldn't be a fun thing to do. Maybe Nintendo should just load it with 10 yottabytes of memory from the start.



moosa said:

You really don't even need the 250GB that current HD consoles offer. Sony and Microsoft just like to show off with their big numbers, and then give you wasteful ways to use it. It's also the reason why early adopters of those consoles have had to upgrade their consoles/hard drives more than once, which is lousy and expensive, while nobody has really needed anything more than a $10 SD card to have all the capacity they need on the Wii even with it's meager storage.



Edwrd said:

Maybe it'll have a USB3 or 2 port for extra storage expansion, just don't force us to buy a Nintendo packaged HDD.



astarisborn94 said:

Why are people criticizing Sony's and Microsoft's decision to actually have a decent-sized hardware? With the Wii, the internal storage is so small that Nintendo had to make a SD Card solution for this, as not many non-retail Wii games can be fit. Sony and Microsoft never had to run into this problem, all they had to do was update the hard drive limit when they wish and it really does help in the long run.

Nintendo needs to give us an actual hard drive, there is no excuse this time around.



PSICOffee said:

If they pull the same crap they did with the Wii then I am absolutely done. I will not keep buying new vidya game consoles for another 20 years. I have PLENTY of great Mario's and Zelda's to last my whole life. I haven't even collected all the games I want for the NES, GB, SNES, N64, GCN, or even the Wii! Not to mention even the large DS library or even some PSP games.

I'm still not sold on buying the 3DS yet either.



MasterGraveheart said:

Data storage in SD cards for the sake of patching games that need patching? Good idea. I can get my own 200+GB card for that then. A disc that can only contain data for a SINGLE-layer Blu-Ray disc? Bad idea. I want at least 3x dual-layer Blu-Ray disc space.



JustanotherGamer said:

Nintendo could have at least offered a 20GB HDD which the Project cafe. Which Microsoft and Sony did at the launch of their current consoles. Even if 20GB does cut it even in 2011. 8GB of flash memory is just 4GB more then the low end Xbox 360 S.

Nintendo could be shooting themselves in the foot at the start of the 8th Generation. The Project Cafe should have a Proper HDD in April 2012. 8GB flash memory is not going to cut it.



Zach said:

When Nintendo relied on cartridges for the N64, they had no load times but forced publishers to spend substantially more for blanks than for blank CDs. When Nintendo resisted online for the Wii, more party games and games that you could enjoy in person were created (arguably) but developers had to cut out the option of accessible online features, which could have sold more games, provided for more dlc (again, hypothetically) and increased sales. Nintendo keeps saying they'll do it different this time - but if they do this with Project Cafe, it will be very disappointing. I'm sure they'll find a way to argue for it making for a better experience, but historically, this will disservice third parties in a way that more than counterbalances the benefit. It would not be surprising, but it would be extremely disappointing.



moosa said:

  • Flash memory is: Faster, smaller, quieter, cooler, more energy efficient, and far more durable than magnetic disc drives.
  • Magnetic disc drives are prone to breakage and random failure, more so than anything else in a console or PC. Perfectly functional drives can fail after a few years.
  • Despite having more capacity, 360/PS3 users have had to upgrade their hard drives as they've run out of space, an issue that's both bothersome and pricey.
  • Nintendo is offering a cheaper, far less wasteful way of doing things. There's little real reason to need much more space.
  • Higher capacity SD cards (like 32GB) are continually becoming more affordable. This will be easily upgradeable in the future.


moosa said:

Also, to make a point clear: just because Microsoft and Sony CAN find a way to fill up those giant HDDs, doesn't make it necessary.

The Wii was able to do a lot, especially when you consider that the consoles hard drive is literally 1/500th the size of the current Xbox 360 hard drive. Nobody can tell me you're getting 500 times the experience on 360. 8gigs is already 16 times what the Wii has.



siavm said:

This better be a rumor. Because 8gb is laughable. If this system is suppose to get the hardcore back a 250gb hdd is the minimum this system needs to do that.



Molotov said:

8GB Is Pretty Low But If The Other Hardware Specs Are True Than It Makes Perfect Sense And Increasingly Fits In The Concept Of Nintendo Retrying The Wii Vs Xbox 360/PS3 Routine....Its Just That Now Its Like The Wii Came Out In 2004 Instead Of Waiting For The Others To Come Out



Molotov said:

That's Not Actually True At All
Considering That Some PS DEMOS (Full Games) Bring You Back A Full 2.5GB Each, The Added Movies And PS3 Full Game Disk Images (That Can Be Over 10GB Each), You Can Understand Why They Add That Capacity Of Hardware To Their Systems
And The Low SD Capacity Came At The Cost Of The Consumer, Since Nintendo Already Thought Out Plans To Make Our Lifes Miserable (Cough WiiWare Etc Cough)



potomas said:

Massive fail,all i need to hear now is you will still need to use crappy friend codes.



JimLad said:

One less thing to go wrong I suppose.
Not sure if this will become an issue for them in the future or not, depends what kind of downloadable content they plan to release.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Just one short note on HDD vs SD-cards. I've just wikipedia'd it and it seems that most of todays harddrives have 5x the speed of your usual SD-card. So a SD-card can't really be seen as a substitute for a HDD when it comes to huge and complex operations that have to be done - and cannot be preloaded as easily or quickly as the 40MB WiiWare games we have right now.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'd rather have 8GB of flash memory than 100 GB of HDD. I like my systems to last, thank you very much.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I agree with most on here, an actual HD is not really necessary.
Would help keep the cost down too.



WolfRamHeart said:

Hard drives aren't really all that expensive anymore. I paid $50 for a good 500 GB hard drive on Amazon to upgrade my PS3. I don't see why Nintendo couldn't include at least a 250 GB HD in their new system and still keep the cost at an affordable price. Then again this is just a rumor so I will just wait for E3 to see what Nintendo really has up their sleeve.



shingi_70 said:


Seeing. All the games and features of the 360 vs wii I could say that.

As much as I want flash storage a hard drive would be way better. Since nnintendo has no account or back up system (even in the 3ds it seems) if your cafe broke like your wii did how would you get your data back. Even with thesd card with all the data those games aren't hooked up to that cafe. If my 360 were ever to break I just buy a new and pop mu old harddrive on top. *

Flash memory may be faster and more efficent but its nore expensive and harder to fix.



TheGreenSpiny said:

Man some much whining about a hard drive. When are we gonna go back to having a system for playing actual games. What the hell ever happened to quality? I've never had to replace a game system ever. I've owned my Wii since near launch and haven't had single problem with it. Storage for patched games? How about people finish their games before releasing them. I don't want to pay $60 for some buggy peice of sh!t game. Nor do I want to pay for half a game at retail, then the other half as DLC. People are getting raped by current game industry practices and they don't even know it. Nor do I want crap games that use online muti as some kind of crutch.

What ever happened to quality? Nintendo still makes the occaisional awesome game, but the rest may as well be shovelware. Man, gamers everywhere are the biggest suckers of all.



Demonic_St33V said:

8 gigs.... I suspect this to be wrong, but if it turns out to be true <shrug> Not a big deal if game developers use it properly. Even less of a big deal if the console supports SDHC (be idiotic if it didn't, even my phone supports SDHC). And by "use it properly", I mean actually THINK for a change. Seriously, there's MMOG's for Android and iOS that weigh in at less than 12 meg.



OldBoy said:

Oh dear.If thats true thats pretty pathetic.As long as they at least give me the option of plugging in my own then that would be ok I suppose.Doubt they will though. 8GB!!??? Thats about 6 demos on the 360 FFS!!......oh yeah I forgot,this is Nintendo, we probably won't get demos either.



Sean_Aaron said:

8GB seems like a lot compared to the Wii and even then I expect it will keep the price relatively sane.

I'm hoping to see a more robust network stack (if is to be believed the Wii is only using 1/10th the capacity of my internet pipe - stability over speed I guess, but seriously?), read-write direct to SD HDMI-out and backwards compatibility. Of course without a compelling library I'll just sit still and play games on my DSi LL more...



deftheman said:

Nintendo will try to make a console that everybody wants to have, so the price should be low. I wont be suprised if it will be 8gb to be honest,.

I would love to pay up to 500 euro for my nintendo (700 dollar +/-)
but i think it will be max 299 euro (425 dollar +/-)

They were very succesfull with the strategy last time and will do that again no doubt. Being first with the next gen console + low price is >> win win win!



Molotov said:

@96: There Are Downloadable Demos For The Wii And DS Already
@98: XBOX 360: Was The First Next Gen Console To Come Out LAST TIME, Before That It Was The Playstation2. Before That, It Wasn't A Nintendo Console Either

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