News Article

eShop Game Size Limit is 2GB

Posted by James Newton

Dwarfing WiiWare

Update: Team Meat has now denied it said the limit is 2GB.

Original story: We know that eShop downloads are far larger than the meagre 40MB allowed on WiiWare or DSiWare's paltry 16MB limit, but Team Meat's Tommy Refenes has told Nintendo Gamer (via Nintendo Everything) the 3DS's digital download limit is a very healthy 2GB.

Looking back at the restrictive file size limit that prevented Super Meat Boy from making it to WiiWare, Refenes said:

[WiiWare's] 40MB is horrible, but [3DS's] 2GB is reasonable. Super Meat Boy would have been on WiiWare if we could have had just a few more megabytes of space – you can only compress stuff so much before you have to start cutting out huge parts of your game. Unfortunately, at that point, it just isn’t worth the time.

Of course 3DS comes with a 2GB SD card right out of the box whereas Wii and DSi both have comparatively little built-in memory, but it's not necessarily in developers' interest to fill that 2GB all in one go.

Recently Nintendo revealed it was considering full retail downloads on 3DS and Wii U.


From the web

User Comments (80)



6ch6ris6 said:

2gb is more than enough for downloadable handheld games!!

awesome. cant wait to see what games we will get in the future



Karakato said:

Nice, So now I hope Team meat decides to port one of their games to the service, Controversial or not.
So it is true on what Iwata said on retail games on the eShop... Well, I guess I could now hope for a Steel Diver rerelease on the service... Its getting rarer by the minute at my place.



Undead_terror said:

i want to see some ds retails(if possible) and more non shovel ware for the 3ds in the future,because 2gb is a big advantage for many ideas to come true



19Robb92 said:

Nice. They should be able to adjust that limit though since they've said that the 3DS is able to handle full retail downloads even though they haven't started with that yet.



Einherjar said:

Considering that most of the larger PSN/XBLA Games are about 2Gig and the fact, that they need huge amounts for their HD graphic files, we can hope for some huge 3DS Download games



retro_player_22 said:

Awesome now there's no reason games like Sonic CD and Secret of Mana can't be on the eShop nor any Sega Genesis, Super NES, and N64 titles.



alLabouTandroiD said:

A shame that a retail release seems to be out of question. Ultra Rare Edition would have been amazing i guess.

Bring it as an eShop or maybe WiiU game and i'll be all over it.



NESguy94 said:

Super Meat Boy and Limbo please. This is great, now we can finally have more than 5 brand new downloadable games that don't suck.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I have mixed feelings about this whopping 2GB limit. On the one hand, bigger, and possibly nicer, games. On the other hand, even the largest SD card, 32GB, could only hold 15 games that size (save some space for save data and etc.). For someone like me who likes to keep all or most of their digital games downloaded, this could be a nightmare. I still love the "meagre" and "paltry" size limits of the Wii and DSi. They kept me from ever needing more than an 8GB card. Now, in order to keep everything downloaded I may need multiple 32GB cards by the end of the generation. I was expecting the limit to go up, especially on the Wii U, which supposedly will support external hard drives, but for a single game to not fit on the pack-in 2GB SD card is a little extreme. That said, I doubt too many games ever reach that size, so hopefully it won't be that bad.

Before anybody replies with something like "the former size limit kept great titles form coming to Nintendo's platforms" realize how few multi-platform digital games were that great, and then remember how many excellent games were released under that "old, restrictive limit".

As for Team Meat, I'm still annoyed that they announced Meat Boy for Wii, developed it for Xbox and PC, and then tried to put it on Wiiware, only to realize they couldn't because they made a game for Hard drive-based HD systems. They then told the fans it was the fault of Nintendo's small size limit, despite that size limit being in place long before they ever started developing the game. There wouldn't have been a problem if they had never said it was coming to the Wii.

BTW, does anyone know how big Dillon's Rolling Western is?



AbuJaffer said:

@TrueWiiMaster Is it really that hard to not buy eShop games? Are you obliged to buy stuff you don't like? Your complaints are completely unnecessary; the limit could be 32GB and you shouldn't have an issue with it. Just. Ignore. Its. Existance. It takes literally no work to do and requires you to do absolutely nothing.

I'm really happy with the limit; while a 4GB limit would have made retail downloads a much bigger possibility, this is much more practical. If you're going to buy a 4GB game you might as well buy it as a retail game.




TrueWiiMaster said:

Is it really that hard to not attack someone else's post? Are you obliged to call someone else's comments unnecessary? Just. Ignore. Its. Existence.

That said, it makes no sense for me to ignore any good game that's released. I payed for a 3DS and I should get full use of it. This size limit will make that more difficult because some games might be out of reach until I get a bigger SD card, and even then I might need to delete some games to fit everything. It wouldn't be as big a deal if you could copy and manage your data on a computer, but when you copy it over, everything's just anonymous files. You couldn't easily move one game off the SD card and save it on your computer to be copied back later. You have to copy the whole card. As I mentioned before, this affects those who like to keep copies of their game more than those satisfied with internet storage. A huge limit wouldn't be a problem if the storage is also huge, but on the 3DS that's not the case.



SkywardLink98 said:

The only problem there is if everything was 2GB we'd need a new SD card every time we wanted a new game.



AbuJaffer said:

@TrueWiiMaster You know why no one uses that comeback for posts? Because it's practically the definition of a contradictory statement.

And the bigger size for games isn't going to be filled up with random I/O lines, it's going to be filled with more game content. I don't understand where you're coming from; bigger game file = better developed game. The PS3 has a 50GB limit; the games that have utilized the full extent of that limit were absolutely amazing. Every other developer ignored it. People who don't like large game files (for whatever reason, like HDD limits) just didn't buy the game. Game developers can still develop games smaller than 40 MB by the way... in case that's your beef with the system.

A 200MB game is going to be (technically) vastly inferior to a 2GB game. It's the difference between a DS game and a 3DS game. How is that a problem?



AVahne said:

For downloadable handheld games, not even retail games, 2 GB is a LOT. I wonder when there will be developers who will try to use even 1 GB. So far we haven't even had over 300 MB yet have we? It's a really good thing I bought myself a $30 32 GB SD card from Amazon.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'd say it makes as much sense as the post that inspired it. Take that as you will.

Here's the problem with your logic: technical superiority does not equal true superiority. If it did every generation would make the previous one's games obsolete, but people still play and enjoy those old technically inferior games. In fact some people would say that modern games pale next to their creativity and design. Also, the 50GB limit is referring to Disc games on the PS3. We're talking downloads here. I don't care how big a game is if it comes in its own storage. The biggest downloadable game on PSN is under 30GB, and is a retail game with DLC included. Again, not what we're talking about here. This article is about specifically digital games, mostly 3DSware since nothing else could come near to 2GB on the 3DS until retail releases are available, if they ever are. Most digital games cannot be fairly compared to full priced retail releases.

Obviously game developers won't be required to make their games 2GB. That's not my concern. I like to have all my downloadable games downloaded and accessible, lest there be some problem with the internet or eshop itself. In other words, I like to possess my property. With 2GB games, it's possible for games to come out that are 1/16th of the maximum storage for the 3DS. The biggest pack-in hard drive for PS3 is 320GB, but its biggest possible hard drive is much larger, 750GB (I heard some people have used 1TB but it usually requires modifications). 1/16th of a 750GB hard drive would be almost 50GB, which is currently unheard of for console downloads; even that almost 30GB download contained additional content to the game. 1/16th is just too big if you want to realistically have everything you bought downloaded.

P.S.- Most of the best/most heralded PS3 games are under 50GB.



FonistofCruxis said:

I'm glad that the size limit is so much bigger now. Hopefully, we'll see some PSN/XBLA titles on the service like Super meat boy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the world and Limbo.



Capt_N said:

@TrueWiiMaster I think I kinda get what you're trying to say: It's the fact that now devs have access to more space, & some/all could potentially from now on attempt to utilize that space, even in a wasteful manner, & that this could create an issue where you can not hold all your d/ls on 1 card, at 1 time, which has the potential to subsequently cause you to lose some of your d/ls, either through possibly corrupt data, or via just plain losing it in your back-up data files somewhere.

Is that what you're saying? I'm not trying to pick on you here, so please understand my tone is not sarcasm. Is that what you're really saying?

I can't say this for certain, but I have a feeling that most of devs that do/release digital d/ls are not going to put forth enough effort to utilize all of 2gb. Perhaps some of the better devs, but I doubt anything like that from most current eShop devs. Then again, I may be completely wrong.

You do have a point though, if I understand you correctly? The (Original/Monochrome) GameBoy ~ It's games had to be cleverly written for it, judging by it's meager capabilities(, which of course, at the time were hight tech).

At a glance, my vote goes to say that the pros, outweigh the cons. Also, I'm like you in regards to wanting/having all my Wii VC/WW games on one card.

Finally, I don't know from your tone, but if I were you, I would still backup the entirety of my Wii/3DS sd cards. I do, & I keep multiple backups(at least 3), in case one, two, or the card itself becomes corrupted.



RR529 said:

This sounds great! Hope for even bigger and better games on eShop.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Yeah, that's basically the gist of what I was saying. My first post said I looked forward to the games that can be made with more space. I'm just against the idea of games being too big to actually keep. I'd be fine with every game being 2GB if there was sufficient space. And it's not just wasteful developers I'm worried about. Excellent developers might make excellent games that are 2GB, but could have easily, and without sacrificing anything, been compressed or made smaller in some way. Why take extra effort to make something take up less space when there's an abundance of space to work with. Unfortunately, that abundance of space only exists as they make the game. When downloaded it will take up some serious real estate.

In one way I disagree with your post, however, and that's the idea that it takes particularly much effort to make a game take up 2GB. I'd say it takes as much or more effort to make a great game with less space than to make a game of that same quality with room to spare.

Also, how do you back up your data? I tried copying it to my computer only to find dozens of files named with random numbers and letters. In order to back it up, I'd have to copy the whole card over, and then in the future copy the whole card back, even if I just wanted one game. Is there a better way?



ShadowSniper7 said:

@TrueWiiMaster: "Before anybody replies with something like "the former size limit kept great titles form coming to Nintendo's platforms" realize how few multi-platform digital games were that great"

Dungeon Defenders
Super Meat Boy
Gatling Gears
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
Castle Crashers
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Bionic Commando Rearmed
Hard Corps: Uprising
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light



vherub said:

Does this indicate that Wii U will also have a 2GB cap? That wouldn't be so reasonable.



hYdeks said:

all i know is that so far the nintendo eshop has become a instant hit with me! I LOVE IT! Keep going, Nintendo!!



MagicEmperor said:

I had a hunch the limit was somewhere around 2GB. It's a good thing Nintendo upped the limit, because 40MB was beyond limiting.



TrueWiiMaster said:

After looking those up on IGN, only 5 received above 8.5 on both platforms, with several receiving lower. According to Gamespot, only 4 received above an 8.5, and most of the others received well under that. So in the end the size limit cost us about 4-5 great games. Huh. More than I expected, but still not that many. Like I said, only a "few multi-platform digital games were that great".



The_Fox said:

There were quite a few more including:
Pacman CE
Pacman CE DX
Joe Danger
Costume Quest
Pinball FX
Etc., etc, etc. The size limit no doubt played kept dozens of good or even great titles from seeing a Wii release.



stipey said:

Tommy's just said on the Team Meat twitter that they were misquoted:

-Original Quote on size restrictions: "...or if they do they are reasonable restrictions (40MB is horrible....2GB is reasonable)."



The_Ink_Pit_Ox said:

The only games I have planned for download in the future are Game Gear, Game Boy Color, and maybe a few others here and there. No major titles except for maybe Kid Icarus.



LztheQuack said:

After reading the quote again, I realized something. They never said that the limit was 2 GB



XCWarrior said:

2 GB is more than enough for any downloadable title. Good for them for basically giving no max limit.



SkywardLink98 said:

Well considering a standard 3DS game card holds up to 2GB of memory that ought to get rid of the problem of releasing very little game in each download.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

That is AWESOME for the 3DS but I don't understand something. If Nintendo knows that the size of the WiiWare games and DSiWare games are too small (as evident with the 3DS having a 2GB limit) why don't they just increase the size limit on the Wii and DS? Microsoft did it with Xbox live or is this limit built into the actual hardware?



Capt_N said:

@TrueWiiMaster Unfortunately, Sorry no, I do not know of a better backup method. I just pop my sd card in my pc, & copy everything on the card. It'd be nice though to archive individual games from the eShop. But I guess the way the files are named, is part of Nintendo's way of detaining pirates(Please understand I am not calling you a pirate. ); forcing them to learn how the files are named for what they represent. I'm w/ you ~ I don't like it myself, as I have to archive the whole card. That's why I try to keep my complete/whole card archives down to less than 10, actually 3, but I'm rather a bit of a procrastinator.



Lalivero said:

I know this probably won't happen, but it could with the release of the Nintendo Network and the Wii U(since it will have personal accounts, maybe they can update 3DS to work with it as well). Since GCN games only take like 1.5ishgb or so(I think), maybe they could port all of them to the 3DS(kind of like how PSN has older console titles available to download on the Vita and PSP). I would even pay $20+ for such games if this were made possible(Just think, they will be getting the profits for older titles rather than upset about secondhand stores getting all of it). Without that, I think N64 games and below are a 100% possibility. (Made to work with CPP? This would work for the yellow analog on GCN games and the yellow buttons of the N64), until a hardware revision at least. I think someone said Wii U might have GCN VC, I just hope they combine the two systems on one account(Wii U and 3DS). I would melt in joy.

Omg, I wish we had more news of the NN, this is exciting to think about the possibilities!!



Buob said:

Lordlz is right. Team Meat never said the limit was 2GB. Quote: "Never said that 2GB was the size restriction on eShop. I do not know what it is."

(Thanks to Swiket for the link)



Knuckles said:

Hear that SEGA? You now have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON NOT to release Sonic 4 Episode 1 and 2 on 3DSware now. Dont you want my money?



Bankai said:

That's still embarrasingly low.

I just downloaded a PlayStation Vita game that by itself nearly hits 2GB. At launch.



AVahne said:

So the 2 GB size limit was just a "misquote". Sounds like journalism to me.
Now that I think of it, and from looking at current eShop games, even a 500 MB limit would be more than enough for a downloadable handheld game. The games released so far have plenty of content and barely any of them are more than 50 MB. If I'm not mistaken, more memory would just equate to higher quality sounds, videos, and maybe in game graphical effects.
Also, keep eShop games and downloadable retail games separate, eShop size limits aren't going to affect whether or not Nintendo decides to take advantage of the already implemented infrastructure for downloadable retail games.



komicturtle said:

Either we go by Miyamoto saying "We're not imposing limits in eShop", or we go by journalists misquoting developers. Pick one :3



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

I hope developers don't go overboard and make the size of the files extremely big...I don't want to constantly switch between memory cards like I have to do with my PSP. On another note Super Meat Boy can make an appearance in the 3DS shop. hints to Team Meat



retro_player_22 said:

@SkywardLink98 I'm sure Nintendo would update the 3DS so we could use a 32GB SDHC Card with it in the future too. They did for Wii so they might do the same for 3DS too since Wii was originally just SD Card compatible.



ImDiggerDan said:

So, back to what I said in comment 32 - Team Meat got it wrong.

And some Vita download games are already 2GB? Yeah? I feel bad for Vita owners, then. At least on 3DS you aren't as likely to need to buy a new memory card quite so soon and if you do need to, at least you won't need to take out a mortgage to afford it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I've played some fantastic games with hours of gameplay that take up less memory than my animated avatar icon. Yeah, more capacity does increase the potential for more levels, better audio and a video, but you don't need that much more than the Wii's 40MB limit to add more levels. I can live without fantastic audio and FMV cutscenes, particulalry in download games.



Bankai said:

oh yeah. Some good games can be made for less than 1MB, which means no game needs to be bigger than that. Completely watertight argument, there.

I'll go back to my 1.5GB Dynasty Warriors Next. I guess I should enjoy it, after all I took out another mortgage to pay for it!

I mean, I could have just downloaded the eShop Warriors game. Oh wait.

To cut through the sarcasm: The beauty of the Vita is that it allows people to buy, download and play games of any size, and it allows developers freedom to meet their vision. Not work to some limits that might be, depending on their vision, too restrictive. They get to make the game they want.

Nintendo insists that its download shops should be for bite sized gaming only. Because no one would like to download a full retail game, after all. Oh, sarcasm again. All the more amusing since Nintendo seems to like calling out the iOS for providing nothing more than bite sized gaming.



TrueWiiMaster said:

How's that memory card treating you? If the Vita already has downloadable games around 2 GB, that means in the future it might only be able to hold about a dozen games at a time, maybe less, with a memory card that currently goes for about $100, bringing the price of your "portable home console" to a minimum of $350.

Have you looked at the eshop? Sakura Samurai and Dillon's Rolling Western both look great, and both offer more than "bite-sized gaming". Likewise for Mutant Mudds. From what I've heard the best game on the Vita at the moment is Stardust, a game that, though excellent, revolves around simply circling a planet/sphere and shooting everything in sight. I'd call that something like "bite-sized gaming". That's not to say its bad. I like some "bite-sized gaming" for those bite-sized moments when I can play for just a minute.

And as far as freedom for developers to do whatever they like, the 3DS has some of that. Or can a developer render glasses-free 3D environments on the Vita? Use two screens? How about a resistive touch screen? No? All of those creative elements are absent on the Vita. They have to stick with what they could make on the PS3 mixed with an iphone's touch screen, which, btw, is best for "bite-sized gaming".



Bankai said:

@TrueWiiMaster - I'm not sure where you got that $100 figure from, but never let facts get in the way of a fanboy opinion, right? My memory card on my Vita is a 4GB one, and it cost me $30. That's Australian $30, and we pay more in raw $$$s than almost anyone.

Now you're thinking to yourself "4GB, that's not much if they're 2GB games a piece!" You'd be right... except the Vita copies stuff back and forward to the PC so very easily. USB cord and done. I only need one or two games to play at a time, so this set up suits me just fine - I have a Vita Retail game in there, three games on the memory card, and then a few backed up to my 1TB PC hard drive.

Sakura Samurai and Dillon's have a tiny fraction of the content of Dynasty Warriors Next. That's an objective fact. Meanwhile, throwing this "From what I've heard the best Vita game is...." stuff is just childish. Play the bloody console before making an opinion. Stardust is bite-sized gaming. Just like Dillon's and Sakura are. It's a good game - they all are. But Dynasty Warriors Next (and Uncharted, let's not forget that game), is way, way bigger.

Your last paragraph is just childish. I was talking about developers having the freedom to make massive, 4 GB downloadable games if they wanted to. You bring completely unrelated features of the 3DS as if that proves what I said wrong.

The eShop is more limited than the PSN. I was only talking about that, and that is fact.



AVahne said:

The 3DS already supports the 32 GB cards; have been since the very beginning. In fact, I'm using one right now.



AVahne said:

You seem to forget that the 3DS eShop CAN support DOWNLOADABLE RETAIL GAMES, which is what you are comparing eShop games to. It's very possible in the future that Nintendo, after settling things with retailers and wholesalers and figuring out what to do with general consumers and limited SD memory, will make use of the feature that they themselves already intentionally implemented into the system. They just need to go through a few hurdles first.
4 GB for $30 on Vita huh? Not TOO terrible, except I got myself a 32 GB for that same amount.



Bankai said:

@Koto. It can? Awesome! I'm going to go and download Tekken. Really wanted to try that game.


You, sir, lied.



komicturtle said:

Don't argue with him. You're providing him free entertainment he rightfully doesn't deserver.

He does know that Nintendo had already set up the infrastructure to support full retail games. Either he's in denial, or he's just trying to start an argument for no legitimate reason other than to make him feel on top.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Yes. Exactly. You can totally fit about a dozen 2GB games on your $30 4GB memory card. Obviously I was referring to the 32GB card, and the price came from Amazon. Maybe you've heard of them?

Though I envy the ability to easily manage downloaded games on the PC, I still prefer to keep as many as I can on the card. Just a personal preference, I guess, but not an invalid one.

As far as the "from what I've heard..." statement being childish, my source was IGN. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who finds out about games he's never played from the professional reviewers there. But hey, if you think listening to critics is childish, suit yourself. Those same reviewers gave Sakura Samurai 1 point higher than Dynasty Warriors, which got an 8, and Dillon's Rolling Western matched it with an 8. And don't forget, even if you don't think the two 3DSware games are up to par with Samurai Warriors, the two together are less than half its cost. You easily get your money's worth on the eshop. Also, Uncharted on Vita is possibly the worst in the series. The whole adventure is a smaller scope, and it doesn't come near holding up to the high standards set by the console games. On top of that, they crammed in particularly annoying touch and balance controls.

I'm sorry, is it childish to point out that some creative elements are exclusive to each system? Developers can make big games on the Vita, and they can look like you're carrying a small HD TV in your pocket, but there are other things they can only do on the 3DS. I'd say if anything the 3DS has the advantage when it comes to creative freedom. Supposedly a 3DS cart can hold 2-4GB (I'm not sure if they go up to 4GB at the moment) and it sounds like Vita cartridges hold about the same amount. If that's true, Vita only has the space advantage for downloadable games, and even then, there's the restrictive pricing of memory cards. After the whole "developers can take up as much space as they need" point doesn't work, the only thing the Vita has going for it is the HD, and there's nothing creative about that.

The eshop is indeed more limited at the moment than PSN in that it doesn't sell retail games. That said, it still has more download-only exclusives, and you don't have to drop $100 to get 32GB of storage.

If your going to continue comparing Dynasty Warriors or other almost-full-price retail games for download after this, please compare them to something in the same price category.

BTW, according to IGN Dynasty Warriors has "shorter, portable-friendly battles". Doesn't that sound like "bite-sized gaming" made for portables?



ShadowSniper7 said:

@truewiimaster: So a game isn't great unless IGN gives it an 8.5 or higher???

IGN gave bit.trip runner a 7.5. All the games I listed are good and that is by no means all of them.



TrueWiiMaster said:

That's not what I meant. I have no way to know which games are great or not if I haven't played them, so I look to critics for insight. I don't always agree with their ratings, but I've found IGN to be more reliable than some sites (though I think Bit Trip Runner deserved a 9), so I used them. I also checked Gamespot and they agreed with every great score except one, and everything else they gave the same or lower. If it makes a difference, Metacritic matched pretty well too. I'd also tend to think at least some of those games could have been ported to WiiWare with some changes and compression. They just didn't think it was worth it. I've actually played Castle Crashers, for instance, and I find it hard to believe that that game, reduced to SD and compressed a little, wouldn't fit. Anyway, I'm not trying to bash your games. I'm just trying to get a grasp on how many are widely considered excellent.

There's also the point that almost all of those games are still accessible to a significant number of Wii owners through their PC. Even though they couldn't come to Wii, they are so multi-platform that they still weren't entirely lost.

What makes missing these games fine with me is the fact I only needed a 2GB SD card to hold everything until last year, and the significant number of excellent exclusive WiiWare titles. That exclusivity is almost unique to the Wii, with the competition's good exclusives paling in number, and often in quality. My Wii was $250 when I bough it at launch. I never had to spend more than $15 on storage throughout its whole life. People who bought the PS3 and/or 360 may not have spent additional money on storage (though the launch models had so little that would be surprising) but they paid plenty for it up front.



ShadowSniper7 said:

Ya I'm sure some of those games didn't make it because of the Wii's limited power. But I can't help but think we would have got some of those if the limit wasn't a mere 40mb (that is very small)

Anyways, it is a simple solution. Nintendo needs to raise the cap much larger AND Nintendo needs to include larger storage in its consoles/handhelds. Memory is getting cheaper and cheaper. Why Nintendo didn't include 8-16 gigs of flash memory in every 3DS console is beyond me. 8 gig flash drives are like 10 bucks...

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