News Article

File Sizes Revealed For 3DS eShop Retail Downloads

Posted by Orla Madden

Better stock up on those SD cards, this could get ugly

Last week, Nintendo of Japan confirmed during a Nintendo Direct presentation that a list of current 3DS titles would soon be available for download from the Nintendo eShop. It's good to see Nintendo pushing their retail games as digital downloads, but just how much space will they actually take up on your SD card?

As you can see below, Nintendo has revealed the file sizes for each of the games that will be made available to Japanese gamers on November 1st. Some are bigger than you might expect them to be, such as Animal Crossing: Jump Out and Mario Kart 7, which will each take up 8,192 of your precious blocks.

Four of these games are already available for download in Europe, but now that we know the file size, will this have an impact on your decision to go digital?


From the web

User Comments (125)



Kyloctopus said:

Yeah, I thought Animal crossing would take a lot...
but it is strange to see how small NSMB2 is compared to these.



grumblebuzzz said:

If it wasn't confirmed before, it is now: I will be purchasing the PHYSICAL copy of Animal Crossing.



Hokori said:

IDK of my 32 GB is big enough.... They should have a way to watch your SD card space and send you a bigger one in the mail, and also make the SD card limit higher then 32GB



Robo-goose said:

If that's the size of Animal Crossing after being compacted for a virtual release, then I can rest easily knowing that Nintendo didn't leave out a ton of Animal Crossing content for the sake of releasing it as paid DLC later on.
Or maybe they did, and the compact version was supposed to be twice the size! Lol.



grumblebuzzz said:

@Robo-goose The Gamecube version required an entire memory card to play and was packaged with one. AC games have always been pretty big because of all the text and items and holidays.



RedYoshi999 said:

Still going to download Animal Crossing but might have to rethink downloading others... maybe Mario Kart. My 16GB SD Card won't last long at this rate (bearing in mind there's also a lot of eShop games, photos and music on there too.) BTW what happened to the save data transfer tool mentioned in the Japanese Nintendo Direct last week? I won't rebuy Mario Kart unless they release this (and seeing as MK7 is already available in the eShop here, where is it?)



clavier141 said:

if you've bought the physical copy, you should be able to get the digital for free, that's what I think.



Hokori said:

@clavier141 Agreed and the whole "you can resell them" thing, how about make it so you have to have the physical copy for month or two before you can resell it



Hokori said:

@SanderEvers Ok thanks I hope 128 GB is going to be enough, but when they start releaseing KH DDDM, RER, and MGS3D then I'll worry again



Nardar said:

I need a 32SD card and all of these can hold it easily including NSMB2. I just hope they come to US and I can get them free/really cheap.



Tsuchinoko said:

Wow, Pilotwings is tiny. The Bravely Default demo is bigger than that.

What about the size for New Art Academy?



GameLord08 said:

Not sure if it's only me, but these sizes seem pretty optimistic to me. More so than I expected. Heck, if I was set on downloading things digitally for the 3DS, a 32GB SD card dedicated solely to retail downloads would be good enough for me - that's a heck of a lot of retail games on one card.



coolvw93 said:

im probably still gonna get the physical copy of Animal Crossing, but i am tempted to pick up super mario 3d land




Good thing I just ordered my 32gb card from amazon. Will wait til memory prices drop a little more before I upgrade to 128gb. Does anyone know if a class 10 card is faster than USB 2.0? Just trying to prepare for the wii u. Would like to use SD cards instead of having an ugly USB hard drive hooked up.



Fry said:

a 32GB SDHC card goes for $15.. how much will a single game cost ?
So much for the "issue" with the file sizes.



MetalMario said:

I'll buy the game cards, not SD Cards. I have a lot of blocks, but 8,000 for one game is pretty crazy.



BLUlink said:

I bought a 16GB SD card when I heard these would be coming to eshop... Looks like that won't be enough. xD



Zemus-DJ said:

Having a 128GB SDXC.....I'll download everything, I also take a lot of 3D.....ya right now I'm only using about 25GB of it, I'm sure it will last me till the 256/512GB or even the 1-2TB cards come out



6ch6ris6 said:

well i shouldnt have bought my 16gb card. nothing bigger tahn 1gb. thats nothing



GameLord08 said:

@BLUlink: A 16GB SD card'll be able to store all of these titles listed with quite some space left to spare for other media. It should be good enough for you at the moment and for a few to come.

If you're looking long-term though, I'd say to invest in one of those compatible 64/128GB cards @SanderEvers mentioned a few comments ago. That'll last you possibly for years to come, VC, external media and all. But if that's still a little too expensive, a 32GB SD card should still last you for more of a while if you're uncertain.




I'm surprised Pilotwings is so high. Not into retail downlaods at all until they become at least 10 pounds less than retail carts and not actually 10 pounds MORE than carts (ridiculous)



cmk8 said:

The file size wasn't going to bother me, I've put in a 32gb card so it's not a problem. The problem is the silly prices they're charging!!!



RupeeClock said:

All of these figures are rounded to the power of 2, but that would mean they haven't trimmed off the padding they use for retail cartridges.

Does this mean that to download these retail versions, they will need to download all of the junk data too? What a waste!



Discostew said:

Actually, SF643D isn't a power of 2, running at 640MB, but I do find it silly to have junk data attached to the games, unless there is a reason for it, like some security measure that we don't know about.



JustTheTrick said:

The original GameCube Animal Crossing (even with all the included NES games) would fit into the Gamecubes internal flash memory. Once the game was loaded you could in fact open the disc slot and continue playing. @Grumblebuzzz
It was sloppy saves that took up the memory card 59 not the game data it's self.



NFreak007 said:

Lots of them are the same sizes, specifically exactly 512MB/1GB. It looks like they're using the size of the cartridge the game uses rather than the size of the ROM itself. I'm not sure why they'd do that - maybe there's a technical reason for it but it seems like it could cause a lot of wasted space to me.



Hokori said:

How much is Layton, Zero Escape, and Paper Mario in Size? Or Fire Emblem for that matter?



Fudge said:

Remember that these sizes are relative to the size of the cartridge itself, so games will probably be smaller than what is said. Mario 3D will be a little more than 300mbs, Mario Kart 7 will be like 700mbs, the others I'm not sure how much the actual data is.



Hokori said:

@Fudge Actually Yes I remember when I DLed NSMB2 it was actually a little smaller then what NL posted



Weavius said:

I have a 32GB SD card. That will be more than enough memory for quite some time.



bezerker99 said:

My 8GB card is pretty terrified at this point and not feeling so 'high n mighty' anymore. D:



V8_Ninja said:

After doing a bit of math, I have discovered that Nintendo considers a block to be about the same as 128 kilobytes.

I know I'm probably late to the party on that, but I like doing extra work for no reason.



Dodger said:

My 16 GB card has more then enough space. I've fine with most of those games in cartridge form. I want Animal Crossing in downloadable format, and if there is a trade-in program of some sort ever then I might get MK7 as a download instead of a cartridge.



meltendo said:

NintendoLife: Please do a great review of SDcards soon and tips on the best ones to get...I'm so confused about brands/sizes/compatibilities.



shinpichu said:

As far as brands go, SanDisk is the one I've heard is the most compatible/best quality. I also use a lot of Lexar cards, not just for Nintendo stuff, so that's good as well.

As far as size, just get whatever you feel comfortable with. The 3DS is SDXC compatible, so all SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards should work.



SilentHunter382 said:

I have to agree with sandisk. I bought a bog standard one and it gave so much trouble (e.g croup a download if I loaded a webpage for a split sec) but witht he sandisk version no problems so far.



Dyl_73 said:

Nevermind the file sizes. The games on the EU eshop are £39.99 !!! You can get a copy of Starfox or LoZ:Ocarina for about £15 in the shops. Anyone paying nearly £40 for them must be mad.



SkywardLink98 said:

@HarmoKnight Or you have to put it in once a week, or it becomes locked. There are a lot of ways around it, Nintendo just won't do it for some unknown reason.



SirSmugleaf said:

Of gawd, I really need to get rid of my puny 2GB card I got with my 3DS!
I think I might get a 16 or 32GB one...



MeloMan said:

Out of a 32GB SD card, with about 15GB destined for my music, perhaps 5GB more for photos/video, I can't see me owning many games that take 1GB, so for now, it's not really an issue for me. I will say that, there's very few games that are really huge that I would keep my files for, well, "forever", except like Kid Icarus, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, SSB (if/when it comes to 3DS)... y'know, the games that have lots of memory and or stat tracking, etc. Anything else, or anything I'm tired of, I definitely will delete it, simple as that. I don't keep data that I don't use anymore.



iphys said:

Lol, they never should have wasted game cards on Pilotwings, it's so small. Too bad the eShop wasn't ready when the 3DS was released.



Cevan said:

I knew Animal Crossing would be a lot, but this has no play into wether or not I'll get it. I still plan on downloading it rather than getting a physical copy. I have more than enough room on my 3DS for it.



Grodus said:

@clavier141 The problem is, there is no way to actually tell whether or not you own a game. If its based on if you have save data, you can just borrow a copy from a friend, put it in the 3ds, make a file, and give it back. I can't think of any other way, so...

Well, I might actually download OoT 3D considering it's small size. Probably not. Wish a size for Paper Mario could come, but it's probably still working out a few kinks.



Hokori said:

@SkywardLink98 At least put it in once a week for a certain amount of time so you can sell it, but not for a full refund since game prices go down in value after a while



Cipher said:

I think the most viable option would be for each game card to include one digital version of the game. That way, if you decide to sell the physical copy later, it won't come with the digital version. On the one hand, you'll always have the digital version, but on the other hand you'll likely have to sell the physical copy for significantly less than retail since you already used up the digital version.

Also, with Animal Crossing and Mario Kart 7 taking up a combined 2GB, I just invested in a 32GB SDHC card.



Hokori said:

@Cipher I agree with that as well, we'll see come spring, I also hope they do that for original DS games, that's what I'm most concerned about with my 32GB card since I have over 80 DS/3DS games, IDK what the biggest DS game was in comparison to 3DS games, but it still worries me, but in a good way if they do allow DS transfers, and I'd happily DL many RPGs to Digital form



TeeJay said:

Pfah! My 32 GB SD card and i can take on anything!

Except 32 1GB games.



iroxursox said:

excuse me but pilot wings resort is listed as 1,028 blocks but is only 128 mb how is this possibly



Cevan said:

I think I'll purchase a 16 GB card later this year in preparation. I have room on my current card, which is only 2 GB, but I wont have that much after I get Animal Crossing, and I'd like enough room for Crashmo and other games I've been meaning to get.



Firejonie said:

I probably will not buy many digital retail games. I have a 16GB card, while I have a ton of space. It would fill up quickly after around 7 or 8 games, in addition to other games and data as well. I wasn't really planning to buy many digital games anyway.



renaryuugufan92 said:

@clavier141 I agree, or at least we should get them at a discount~ If we buy the Retail for $39.99 then download them at the same price, theres no garuntee we are gonna get a good deal back when we trade in our retail copies~.

For example if I did decide to buy Mario Kart 7 digitally for $39.99, I probably won't get $10-$15 when I trade in my physical copy of the game~ so physical owners who want to go digital should be granted huge discounts from Nintendo if we already own the games.



technotreegrass said:

If I have to spend full price for a retail download, I'll just buy the game cart. If the digital price eventually drops to $20, like many digital games on the 360, then I'll buy.



Boo_Buster said:

Hopefully Pilotwings Resort is $19.99 or thereabout. I'd like to get that game eventually, but I'm not feeling paying too much for it



Zhanglot said:

nbd, I have an 8 gig SD card. Not that I would ever buy digital...

The should be able to lower the price by skipping the middle man and selling direct to customers.



Gridatttack said:

Im pretty sure nintendo is not using trimmed roms...
That could save space. Don't know why they are using the full size with the padding.



Csaw said:

Gamestop should really consider doing a retail for download exhcange. We can trade in our physical copy of the game and be given the download code for free or a reduced price. I'd like to trade in Mario kart and maybe 3d land to have them digital instead.



Kawaiipikachu said:

Still means a lot of people need a cable Internet connection to download any of this games.
A DSL line would not coup & would only provide endless hours of timeout error's



Auracle said:

It's official: I need to get a 32 GB SD card. However, I probably won't download many of these games, since I have the physical copy. It's still a tempting offer.



okamiki said:

@Kawaiipikachu Yeah we all should have free internet, but the retailers wont give up their shares and they should give the digital games we already bought!!!



McGruber said:

I can buy most of those games used for half as much without taking up any space on my SD card, with the option to re-sell them 1 day if I don't want them. I think I'll stick with that



warvad said:


You could not be more wrong. Animal Crossing games have always been incredibly tiny. Animal Crossing for the GameCube only fills up about 1% of the GameCube DVD (16 MB out of 1.4 GB). Wild world was 32 MB, and City Folk about 300 MB (on a 4.7 GB Wii disc).

I am super excited to see that Animal Crossing is 1GB. The amount of content must be insane.



KneehighPark said:

I see this coming up a lot, so I wanted to mention two things:

1) With all DS/3DS cartridges, they use cartridges that have 2^n MB of space. Even if a game is 513 MB, they fill the remaining 511 MB with dummy/junk memory and put the whole thing on a 1 GB cartridge. I can't remember the exact reason for it, but I know hackers have developed tools to delete the dummy memory so they can fit more games on flashcarts.

2) To those complaining about the high prices of digital releases (like Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, etc.) realize that Nintendo is obligated to release these games at high prices? Why?

Well, in short, they aren't allowed to undercut retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Nintendo has to keep a good relationship with these large retailers, and they are obligated to sell these games at the same price as big stores do, so that people don't just skip on buying physical releases for a cheaper digital release. This problem is compounded by the fact that the MSRP on Nintendo games rarely drop. Mario Kart 7 still retails for $39.99, and it will for a long time (except for sales and online prices).



Pastry said:

The smallest Gamecube game becomes the largest 3DS game.
32MB ---> 1GB



rayword45 said:

I love how Star Fox is erratic in size when looking at the rest.

And I have an 8gig, and probably won't buy much.

If I decide to, I'll just get a 32g SD. Are larger sizes (SDXC) supported?



rayword45 said:

Also, they can't charge MSRP for games like Pilotwings and expect them to sell. I can buy at least 4-5 copies with that money.



CerberusAzdin said:

I think it comes down to how long you keep your games. If there are titles that you know and love like OoT 3D then it is worth downloading. That way it is always accessible when turning on the 3DS.

Physical copies of games do have their pros and cons too. They have to be inside the handheld or carried around incase you want to play it. But if you trade your games in (Gamestation, GAME and so on) for credit then its worth having it as a physical copy. I'm thinking of trading in Oot 3D to help me get credit for the Wii U. There is always a chance in the future that I can download the game on my 3DS.

Another question you need to ask yourself is: "how much is this going to cost me?"

The retail price of a 3DS game is £35 +/-. Second hand games can be anything between £20 - £30 average. Downloading these titles from the Nintendo Shop cost £39.99 (£40 really) with the added incentive of an extra 250 star points to use in the Nintendo Club. Long story short, its cheaper to buy them as a physical copy. Also note that SD cards have to be compatible and do not come cheap either.

What you pay for here is commodity. There good thing about the Wii to this day has been the Virtual Console feature as it has helped me condense all my all time favourites into one small, white console. Consider the factors before purchasing anything. Go onto Ebay and find cheap SDXC cards if you're thinking of downloading. ^^



AVahne said:

I have a 32 GB card I bought off Amazon for $30 earlier this year, I'm good. Nowadays you can get them for $20-30 off Amazon; i see several being sold for $21-22 actually.
Wishing Vita cards will drop in price soon. Until the 32 GB one drops to at most $40, I'll stick with the 4 GB that's bundled with the AC3:L bundle...

EDIT: For the price of a 32 GB Vita card I could buy a class 10 32 GB SDHC AND a class 10 64 GB SDXC?



TheRegginator said:

I think I'll continue to save my SD card space for other applications and just save money by getting the physical versions of retail games.



nothankyou said:

If I'm not able to download a game I already own the retail version of, I don't really care.
It's nice people have the option though.



Capt_N said:

D/ls for me are limited to eShop games. If I can get it retail(read/meaning: physical copy I can keep, or ebay later), I will. My NLifers friends: I give you this advice of always keeping everything about your games(box/manual/etc.) always in great condition for selling/trading later, if you so choose. For me, it's an internal debate to sell, or keep as a collector, my games.



scrubbyscum999 said:

I will buy the physical copy whenever possible. This is good the choice is there, but these file sizes don't affect me.



CrimsonLoftwing said:

It's quite amazing how large Animal Crossing 3DS's file size is. I mean, I expected it to be on the larger end because of the deep amount of content included in the title, but still...



grumblegrumble said:

I KNEW IT And you guys called me crazy a few months ago... lol Until Nintendo increases the capacity of inner memory as well as gets its file sizes under control, buying a store cartridge is the best way to go.



Candy811 said:

Welp, I think I will stick to buying physical copies of least until I manage to get my hands on a bigger SD card.



WolfRamHeart said:

When there is an option I always choose retail over digital but I do still buy quite a few games digitally. That is why I upgraded the SD card in my 3DS to 32GB. I think that will hold me over for a good while.



Morpheel said:

I can't help but notice that Japan is getting Animal Crossing very soon. And that makes me sad



XCWarrior said:

Besides the fact they are selling digital copies for $40, physical copies are the way to go to save space.



Hokori said:

It's funny how people wanted DS games for DL on DSi, but they don't want 3DS titles for DL...until the 3DSi Comes out, but I'll already have them and these people will have to rebuy them (I'm not saying all because I know some will want to stick to retail even after said system is released, but still)



AVahne said:

I'm pretty sure these posted sizes aren't the true sizes of these games, like what some people have said about NSMB2, so you can check "gets its file sizes under control" off your strange list. Also, 3DS presumably comes with 2 GB internal memory, 1.5 GB is usable by the consumer for saves and other smaller things, which you won't be really using for 3DS games anyway. That's enough internal for a traditional handheld console. The 3DS also comes with 2 GB SD (with the LL/XL model packing a 4 GB card), and let's people expand to 32 and perhaps beyond 32 GB. SD memory is getting cheaper and cheaper, so memory can no longer be used as an argument against digital.
Besides, look at the Sony fans and generally Vita owners who are used to digital purchases. They bought a handheld console with absolutely no useable internal memory whatsoever, does not come with external memory unless a bundle was purchased (in which case you just get 4 GB like the 3DS LL/XL), and has unreasonably expensive external memory cards especially when compared to SD memory. Vita games are also comparable in size to 3DS games as both have similarly sized cartridges in terms of memory. Yet strangely I see many of them wanting to see digital sales and also talking about ways to make the most out of their free or expensive 4 GB memory cards. My guess is that it's blind devotion toward Sony, or it's their gamer's survival instincts kicking in...or both.
One point I'm trying to make, is that 3DS owners have it so easy when it comes to memory for digital games. Think of how much Vita owners have to suffer.
...then again 3DS owners have to pay MSRP for digital games, while Vita owners get AT LEAST a $5 discount off digital purchases versus physical....



Aerona said:

1 gig isn't anything I'm not used to on my PSP... but on the other hand I'm probably not going digital anyways.



PinkSpider said:

I would download the digital versions in a second if they weren't so dam expensive the file size is nothing to me as I would only download the games that u know u will go back to i.e Mario Kart 7, animal crossing, etc
32gb is plenty of room I'm sure the 3ds supports 64gb but maybe I'm wrong

Edit: and if it doesn't support it I'm sure they could fix it with a system update



PinkSpider said:

Ok just read on wiki that the 3ds supports up to 2 terabyte via sd / sdhc / and sdxc memory cards
I didn't even know u could get a terabyte memory

Edit : why are so many people concerned with animals crossings file size surely u should be happy that the bigger the file size the more content the game is going to have, I bet if the file size was 128mb more people would be moaning
A gb in this day and age is nothing at all, can't wait to download it



Jono97 said:

I expected Animal crossing to be more than 1GB.. after all,it's a small world. Totally getting the cartridge version of animal crossing



aaronsullivan said:

Animal crossing is made for quick visits, so physical copy would be a mistake, IMO. Mario Kart leans that way too for me at least. It's certainly a personal preference thing but I love that the options are there.



nagareboshi said:

I would download Animal Crossing but for me 44.99€ (I suppose it's going to be sold for that price) is just too expensive. So I'm gonna stick with a physical copy and save 5 to 10€.



Shiromikio said:

The file sizes won't affect my choice, it depends more on the title. Usually games I'm not likely to re-visit after finishing the main story, or will replay only occasionally, are bought in retail. The ones I'd like to keep on the 3DS menu tend to be ones with a lot of replay value, or quick play games. Then there are many released solely as one or the other, no choice if you want to play the game.

I picked up New Art Academy in retail so that I could use it between 2 devices in the future (probably going to get the XL), but having once forgotten to bring the cartridge along on the go, I'm actually considering getting a 2nd downloadable copy after all. If they'd offered an account-based setup as many have suggested (so they're not locked to only 1 device, and I was surprised they haven't, as other online stores like Steam already have this), I wouldn't mind getting more retail titles as downloads.



Hokori said:

@Shiromikio I agree on the whole "if it's the right title" because some seem so obvious to be Digital rather DL, but the more I think about it, the more I want games like RER, MGS3, and KH DDD as digital...



ArcanaXVI said:

Doesn't bother me a bit. The only big digital purchase I'm planning on is Animal Crossing, and I bought a 16 gigabyte card months ago, just to be sure.



grumblebuzzz said:

I love how everybody here just blew me out for making a simple observation. I was always under the impression that these games were big since the original included a seperate memory card. One simple "you're incorrect" would have sufficed. Ugh. I so wish there were another nicer Nintendo forum to populate.



Zeldalover said:

Hey everyone!
I'm from Europe and I downloaded Mario Kart 7 two weeks ago, but the file size of the game folder on the SD card says 638 megabytes (I am using an SD card reader on my PC).
Doesn't that sound too low? Just wanted to know if everything is normal with my game download.
Btw, I bought a 16 gigabyte SDHC card (Class 10) which should be just fine considering that the games don't take up too much space at all.



Chrom456 said:

uhhhhhhhhh.......... hlaf of these file sizes are wrong. Mario kart is only 4000 blocks or something

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