News Article

Talking Point: The Realities of Wii U System Memory Have Become Clear

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The fridge will fill up quickly

Today's unexpected Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcast gave us various details to frantically decipher and translate, ranging from confirmation that the Wii U GamePad won't have backward compatibility with WiiWare or Wii Virtual Console games, to some less intriguing information about parental controls. Another section of interest was undoubtedly that focused on external hard drive usage, as many gamers want to know the practicalities and choices for adding some extra memory to their Wii U. This part of the presentation, with its visual demonstrations involving glass jars, also brought home a simple truth — Wii U isn't giving us much space to work with.

A common complaint with Wii was the stingy amount of on board memory, often forcing us to resort to storing Wii Shop games on SD cards and — until a system update allowed them to be loaded from these cards — complete a process some called "cleaning out the fridge". We were dealing with small file sizes due to the WiiWare 40MB limit and the similarly small Virtual Console games, but nevertheless it was rather difficult — probably impossible — to actually fill all of the windows offered up by the Wii interface before space ran out. Before long buying a new game from the Wii Shop had an all-important first-step: look at the games on the system memory, choose your least favourite and relegate it to the SD card, and then buy the new game.

As we mentioned, an update eventually allowed us to load games directly from the SD card, as long as some space was left clear on the system memory for the game to temporarily dwell. Fridge cleaning was reduced, we were happy and it was a practical way to work things, but it was inescapable that the memory provided with the system was paltry, and buying an SD card became mandatory for almost all gamers with a taste for downloads. So we come to Wii U, and it appears as if the situation will be almost exactly the same, but we're dealing in GB, not MB, and working with external hard drives as opposed to SD cards.

Although we're yet to hear it definitively said, in English, it looks as if it'll be possible to play games directly from a hard drive, especially as Satoru Iwata today explained how games on both the internal and external memory are shown on the home screen. It seems highly unlikely that Nintendo would neglect to include this feature, as it would undermine any strategy to sell retail downloads before the system even gets into stores. Once a hard drive, up to 2TB in size, is connected and formatted, memory problems can be swept away and gamers can download plenty of games for their collection. And yet, there's a realisation that many gamers — including many readers of this site, we imagine — will need to expand their memory sooner rather than later.

It's not a problem, as such, but does call into question whether the difference between the Basic and Premium/Deluxe model, 8GB to 32GB, is actually significant enough to matter. The larger model will have undoubted early advantages, with Satoru Iwata and his anonymous assistant showing that even adding relatively small retail downloads, such as New Super Mario Bros. U (2GB) and Nintendo Land (3.2GB) would either nearly fill or be too big for the Basic model, due to system files hogging some space. Of course, eShop-exclusive downloads should be smaller and more accommodating of the 8GB system, but even so we'd expect a title such as Trine 2: Director's Cut, with its detail-rich graphics engine and sizeable (for comparison) PC download, to test the capacity of the smaller console. 8GB would be a lot with Wii software, but is small-fry as Nintendo enters the HD age.

And then we have the premium model, which at 32GB should at least accommodate a good few eShop games and perhaps the occasional retail download before external memory's needed. Even so, consider that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be available to download in Japan, and comes at a reportedly whopping download size of 16.7GB, which is well over half of the available space on the black system. While Nintendo's two launch titles are relatively small downloads, that's possibly due to the fact that New Super Mario Bros. U is a 2D platformer with an art-style focused on crisp, colourful visuals rather than an exceptionally high polygon count; a similar argument can be applied to Nintendo Land. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 perhaps gives us a greater indication of the file sizes we can expect, especially if graphics-intensive titles such as Assassin's Creed III become available to download, which Ubisoft would certainly like to be the case.

Now, of course, Wii U's HD rivals have had a variety of internal memory sizes in their history, and at present there's a budget "super-slim" PS3 with just 12GB of memory, and there's been an Xbox 360 with as little as 4GB. Yet there are now options with included system memory from 250GB to 500GB, and these are consoles that Wii U is directly up against. While it's undeniable that a part of the Wii U audience may happily exist with just 32GB and never actually use it all — as some have little interest in downloadable games, for example — many will fundamentally need an external hard drive within a relatively short time, which is an extra expense. When you consider the file sizes that we're likely to be dealing with, it can be argued that the difference between the Basic and Deluxe models comes down to the inclusion of Nintendo Land, the Nintendo Network Premium eShop discount and the console colour; the difference of internal memory is barely worth writing home about.

Of course, this may all sound negative, so we should remember that the extras in the Deluxe Set do offer value for the extra money. We should also consider that Nintendo will already be selling Wii U at a loss, initially, which is likely due to the complexities of the GamePad, which has functionality that shouldn't be readily dismissed. If Nintendo had paid to mass-produce and include more internal system memory, it would in all likelihood have increased the cost further, which wouldn't have gone down well with consumers. We're not necessarily decrying the memory in the two SKUs as inadequate, but perhaps giving necessary context to show that, ultimately, we're all likely to need an external device.

With all of the hype and excitement around Wii U and its various functions, its innovative controller and more, it perhaps fell under the radar that the included system memory is arguably nominal, at best. It'll serve a purpose, but won't be able to satisfy the needs of enthusiastic gamers.

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User Comments (137)



Hokori said:

I still don't buy the TTT2 being 16 GB, you guys said MK7 was 1GB, but I heard from people who DLed it it was only half, so maybe TTT2 is 8GB?



ThomasBW84 said:

@HarmoKnight I did say "reportedly"

Some games are bloomin' huge though, which is why I threw in Assassin's Creed III as an example, plus they're only likely to get bigger.



Wonder_Ideal said:

It makes sense why they did not load it with tons of internal memory. Doing so would have jacked up the cost. I plan on primarily sticking with physical copies of retail games so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Besides, if I got a 2TB USB device, it would last for a long time.



Rapadash6 said:

Personally, I don't plan on downloading any retail games, so the 29 or so GB available to me from the internal memory should last me a while.



Megumi said:

I doubt I'll be downloading retail games anytime soon, I'll save that space for Wii U Ware and all that. So the SD card can only be used for Wii stuff? :c



rjejr said:

Well stated.

One question I haven't seen addressed is mandatory installs for disc games. MGS4, MLB: The Show and several other big name PS3 games are taking up GB and GB of space on my 500 GB HDD. I think MLB is 10GB. So if you have the Basic, even if you buy the game on disc, you may still need an external HDD to get the game to run. Though the 4GB Xbox360 seems to run almost everything, though I think even that has issues with some games. Hopefully Nintendo can make everything disc based work correctly on the Basic.



Marios-love-child said:

I never filled up the memory on my Wii so I can't see this ever being an issue for me personally.

I prefer retail copies of games so that if / when I get bored of them I can trade them in and get something back for them.



Blodtryck said:

One thing I'm worried about: Not everyone is on the internet and reads news like this. They'll get the console and then just be confused and utterly annoyed when they realize they can't download anything...

(on the other hand: those are probably also the people who are only playing retail games anyway)



dizzy_boy said:

i`m thinking of getting the premium bundle, but there`s no way i`m downloading any retail games. if they turn out to be games i don`t like, i can`t send them back.
besides, i think that rental might be a good option for games nowadays. atleast you can try before you buy.
thing is, how many games do people really need before they think 2TB is a sensible option.
i haven`t even filled the 16gig card in my wii yet, and there`s over 200 games downloaded on it.



crumpledpapyrus said:

It's likely we'll see GameCube games on the NIntendo eShop at some point too. I'd say you'll definitely be needing extra space should you want to download a couple of those!



19Robb92 said:

Yeah, the built-in memory definitely won't be enough for people planing on downloading a lot. But external HDD's are cheap nowadays anyway.



fortius54 said:

I think Nintendo did right going with external hard drives. I think the Wii would have had extra life in it if they had done this. I am not too worried about it. I have not decided yet on going download only. People talk about the PS3, but it is not without its drawbacks. I may in the minority, but I never once had to restart a Nintendo game because it froze, but I can't say that about the PS3.



Burning_Spear said:

I think Nintendo did the smart thing. Most people are going to buy the console and a few games, and that will be enough of an investment for the first few months. Then, when the funds and a widening catalog of games are there, they can splurge for additional memory to support an expanding catalog of downloaded product. Why make everyone pay for memory that only some will use?



Tsuchiya said:

Wii U whether 8gb or 32gb, just seems better suited for WiiWare and VC games to nibble away at the storage. You can always add extra space for peanuts anytime you want.



47drift said:

I don't plan on buying any retail games digitally, but for downloadable games this may be an issue. As a matter of fact, the only games taking up space on my Xbox 360's hard drive are games installed from discs to decrease fan noise and speed up load time, but the Wii U seems to have both of those covered without need for installation so that's fine. If downloadable games never get any bigger than they are on Xbox Live Arcade, I should be fine with the 32GB model for a solid couple years or more.



Ryno said:

@rjejr: The PS3 has mandatory installs because of the slower Blu-ray read speed. Wii U games are not on Blu-ray so my guess is that they won't have the mandatory installs.



TruenoGT said:

The Wii U also has solid state storage as compared to a mechanical hard drive, so I imagine it will be faster loading, quieter, cooler and more reliable long term than whatever hard drives Microsoft and Sony stick in their systems. Since we'll need to add our own drives, we take on a greater liability for failure, but we don't need to worry about heat and noise generated by the drive affecting the system itself. I personally love this and I'm sure Nintendo does too as their warranty and service work will be less than the 360 or PS3 with a more reliable and stable memory choice.



SteveW said:

Internal memory is very important to me, my Wii memory is totally full with just my save games. I'm tired of swapping game save files back and forth to SD.



Metal_Slugger said:

I'm starting to think I should of went with the basic model. I like the white look and would of saved some money towards something better than nintendo land.



ultraraichu said:

I like that we have the option to even upgrade the memory yourself with a 3rd party hard drive like western digital without having to buy a Nintendo brand hard drive which would very likely cost more or to have them upgrade it internally for you. So this works out from the financial standpoint.

If it wasn't for Nintendo land, the eshop discount, and the other two item included with the deluxe version (a good bargain btw), I would of get the basic version since the white would match my other Nintendo systems and I have a 2tb hard drive I got from last year black friday.

In short, bring on the retail download, my memory is ready.



The_Fox said:

This has been one of my biggest beefs with the Wii U. Releasing a console in 2012 with the same amount of memory as a console released in 2001 is ridiculous.



moomoo said:

I can see why Nintendo did this, and there's definitely pros and cons to the situation. It's worth noting that the memory the WiiU uses is flash memory, which is substantially faster than other forms out there, so that's a plus. I'd probably just use it for smaller games anyway, since I buy pretty much all of my games in physical form. Plus, hardrives are pretty cheap now, so this allows for people to choose how much storage they want.



XyVoX said:

SO if im reading this right you CANT play games from the external drive just load them back into system storage to play? exactly the same as Wii then that is truly awful as someone who would download alot over time this makes it alot less appetising to make a purchase with all of the effort considering many games are going to weigh in many Gigs thus costing me time waiting to play a game, i might as well dig out my old SPECTRUM 48k then.



originaljohn said:

Like many people have highlighted external storage is much cheaper than Microsoft's solution. Sony have mandatory installs because of the relatively small amount of RAM the GPU and CPU have access to. The WiiU does not have this problem.
Personally I'd much prefer the option to purchase a hard drive separately.
@XyVoX it looks like you can run games from the hard drive.




What kind of money does Nintendo think we have to pay ought for HDD drives on top of the high priced Wii U? Do they want the eShop to be a success with the average consumer? Surely this tells us the Wii U should have considerably more memory?



Tsuchiya said:


Well no one is forcing you to do anything and having more onboard memory would only push up the price so it makes so much more sense to have Wii U with 2 models AND we have the option to buy HDD's when and if they may be required.

HDD's can be picked up fairly cheaply so it's really not a problem.



Adam said:

You can buy an external hard drive. If Nintendo added more internal memory, they would have to charge more. You pay either way.

As for the black model, you are getting a game for the extra fifty bucks, and U games retail around sixty bucks. You save right there. The extra space and free subscription are bonuses.

I may be missing something or have outdated information, but everything mentioned sounds like a complete nonissue.



Tsuchiya said:


Then you either buy it, don't buy it, shop around for it or wait for a price drop in the distant future.

For what comes boxed and when compared to consoles released not so long ago that offered nothing really new, it's an extremely fair deal. The pad alone must be worth $100 easy.



Hokori said:

@The_Fox So that means MGS3 on PS2 was pathetic compared to what game?
Wasn't MGS3 like 4GB? So compared to that mystery 32GB game MGS3 was awful then right




The average consumer won't buy HDD drives and therefore this'll effect Eshop download sales. People like us will - more " dedicated gamers" ...The UK prices for the system are way too high for a 32gb system even if you factor in the price for a game pad. That's considering you can get a powerful hd 500gb system for £199. Yes, I know it's been around for a long time, but still. By the way, this is coming from a NInty fan that'll be buying the full works (not downloading full retail games though).



Starwolf_UK said:

One thing to bear in mind is the Wii U is flash memory which is much more expensive than the hard drives the competitors use in their hardware. This makes the whole "Ninty should give more storage" not such a cheap thing to do. Yes time will make cost go down as seen on the Xbox360 (thats why there are 250 gigabyte consoles now, plua factoring in the 1000% markup Microsoft like to put on it)



Tsuchiya said:


You can't think the price is that bad if you're buying the full works.
The average consumer most likely won't even need a HDD. Again, Wii U has 2 models AND the option to buy additional storage should people need it.

eShop won't be affected at all. Wii managed just fine without 32gb under the casing. Full retail downloads won't leave much space but even there you have more options.

Either buy a fairly cheap HDD or for less than they would be digitally, buy your games in the shops. If you're worried about filling up the storage and don't want a HDD then don't buy your retail games digitally.

Nintendo are right to play it this way. It just makes more sense.



FJOJR said:

I'm not really mad about this. I mean I've already got the Wii accessories for VC and WW and an external hard drive would be a cinch to get later on when I need it. These first few months many people will not really need that much memory. Besides I'll be filling mine with just WW and VC as developers get a grasp for the console.



sc100 said:

Nintendo made the right decision on this one. It would have been bad to raise Wii U prices above where they're currently at. Most people still buy games retail. Plus, in 2 or 3 years hard drive prices will be a lot cheaper.



Discostew said:

"The average consumer won't buy HDD drives and therefore this'll effect Eshop download sales."

Are you sure about that? Computing is common in this day of age, and a lot of people have some sort of external storage device to improve their computing, whether that is an SD card, a flash drive, or external HDDs. Computing in general encompasses a very broad range, far more than gaming does. There has never been a more important time for "backup" of important information than now, so external storage devices are not uncommon in today's society.

In any case, because the average consumer that deals with computing feels a need to have an external storage device, sure, they won't buy one, but that is because they already have one in some form or another.



Cyber_Canuck said:

Hey guys - first time poster. Love the site!

As I'm reading this article, Gamestop calls me:

"We're sorry to say that your Deluxe Wii U pre-order won't be here on launch - Nintendo short shipped us".

Unsure if I should wait in line at the big box stores, I told Gamestop I would take the Basic model. I don't think I'll regret it (fingers crossed). I'll be far too busy with single player retail games (on the Wii U and PS3) to play Nintendoland. Additionally, I figure that the white will just look more old school and get less prints . Obviously the memory is the big difference - but I usually buy my games on disc and if I need something else for storage down the road, so be it. I think it's too risky to pass up this basic pre-order, no?



Prof_Clayton said:

I can't see why people are complaining, its fairly simple.
If you dont like the small space allowed, just buy games retail.
If you must buy in the eShop, you can always buy an external hard drive. But it makes little sense to, as the main reason you buy a retail game in eShop was for portability on 3ds.
If you are really upset, calm down, and don't buy a Wii U.



Bliquid said:

Many seem to forget that even if u buy a physical copy of a game (which, in the end, is an anti-sustainability choice), DLC for that game still occupy space.



Tsuchiya said:


Again, options exists. DLC is entirely optional and often finds its way onto discs.
In some cases, it's already there O_O



TsunamiSensei said:

32 GB is gonna be plenty for me, but is good to know that if I get a hdd, I can play games directly from it.



irken004 said:

From IGN: When buying a Wii U, gamers will be able to choose between the Basic bundle, which comes with 8GB of internal storage, and the Deluxe bundle, which comes with 32GB of space. By default, due to formatting, the Basic system will have 7.2GB of free memory and the Deluxe will have 29GB. From there, though, the Wii U's OS will take 4.2GB of space. That's about half of the Basic's storage, not counting any expansion through hard drives or SD cards.

So the basic bundle is practically useless for anyone that would want to download any new games.



irken004 said:

@Tsuchiya True, I'm just saying the OS takes a few gbs from the overall advertised gb size. At least it's not like with Microsoft where you have to buy overpriced hard-drives specific to their systems. PS3 can use almost any 2.5 inch internal hard drive though for upgrading.



-KwB- said:

32 GB is more than enough ! Retail games it will be !! ^^
Nintendo fixed me on a couple of years less lazyness and actually going to the store to buy the games, being social and so .. iz good to me !



Moshugan said:

On thing I didn't quite catch:
Did Iwata mean that I cannot use the same HDD with the Wii U and a PC?



Moshugan said:

''What if you believe the systems price is high already?''
Then you're better off playing older discount games from on an older PC. Problem solved! ^___^



Cyber_Canuck said:


Thanks! Although I apologize for not picking up on the speculation about Trine 2 in the original article. Anyways - I'm excited for the Wii U basic, even if my Mii won't be able to don a beard due to storage space.



Burning_Spear said:

@Moshugan He apparently meant that, once formatted for Wii U, an HDD couldn't be removed and contemporaneously used for your computer. However, some have suggested that you could partition the drive and continue to use it for other things.



Squiggle55 said:

I will download the quality e-shop exclusives and VC games and I will buy retail games at retail. I'd be willing to bet I won't need need an HDD for a long time if at all.




"The don't buy it then" style comments miss the point of the original posts they reply to. Its just a case of thinking critically. I've sold other systems bar the 3DS and wii to fund this and other Nintendo purchases because it is in keeping with my "geek dad gamer" lifestyle pass time alongside my family (who r gamers too). Doesn't mean I have don't have to feel disgruntled does it? If u have the surplus money to spend on what are entertainment devices, they all "power" be to you then - and good luck



SirSmugleaf said:

I just wish that Nintendo would release a model with a couple of hundred GB. So the casual players can have fun leaving their Basic 8GB storage to collect dust while us downloadable junkies can go crazy, and I'm sure we won't mind the high price!



naut said:

I have zero problem with this. I would never buy a retail game in downloadable form. Having physical copies is the way to go. As for download-only titles, 32G should be a great start. If I need an external later on, so be it--But I don't see it as being a problem.



The_Fox said:

Of course you can. That doesn't change the fact that it's still annoying.

I'm honestly not sure what you mean. I was talking about the Wii U releasing with the same amount of storage as the original Xbox. I never mentioned anything about games.



renaryuugufan92 said:

not to much of a problem with me~ i'm siding between getting a 64GB usb flash drive or a 250GB external HDD, judging from my Wii first party library and the sequals that are sure to come on the Wii U ((Super Mario U -a 3d sucessor to the galaxy games- Smash U, Mario Kart U, Legend of Zelda U etc.)) , a 64GB usb flash drive would more then suffice~ as i will buy most 3rd party games retail in case i wanna trade em in later, which is something i almost never do with first party Nintendo games~



Hokori said:

@The_Fox Well The game is on a PS2 is it not? And the PS2 was around in 2001 was it not? And MGS3 is one of the biggest games for said system is it not? But it didn't take up a lot in comparison to what the WiiU can handle, and I doubt many games will be 32GB on WiiU, and if worse come to worst you can always.... Oh....whats it called?......ummmm...I'm thinking...... Oh yeah UPGRADE, I know Xbox had a lot when it first released but there is such thing as too much unnessisarry space 250GB is a lot and I'd feel more ripped off on a system I don't need to used that extra space then on a system that has less then I need, especially if I can just upgrade when I want



Emaan said:

I plan on getting most of my games retail anyways. 32 GB seems like enough for the occasional eShop game here and there.



Chomposaur said:

i picked up a 1TB external Hardrive for £40 in a firesale a few years ago + I have over 140 Virtual console games stored onto a 2GB SD card and it still has 4000 blocks left on it

I plan on getting the basic model because I am quite upset on the Wii U price + Nintendo land dosent appeal to me .. this memory issue is being really blown out of proportion.



SetupDisk said:

Great stuff. I can just partition my 500 GB external drive and use it mostly for wii u and the occasional file backup for my pc. (mostly just pics anyway) Since my External Hard Drive is about the same size as the Wii I already know I will have enough room for both my Wii U and HD without having to move my systems all around on my tv stand.

But my HD is white so I might just also get a cheap black HD to match. I only plan on downloading eshop games but I imagine most will be much larger than wiiware titles plus room will be needed for DLC as well. If there is the option to install from disc I might take advantage of that as well.



Adam said:

The system is already being sold at a loss due to the controller. Demanding more space is either demanding free stuff or demanding higher prices, in which case you may as well spend the same money on an external drive instead. I don't know which of these possibilities describes most of the backlash, but either way it doesn't make any obvious sense to me, personally. Hard drives are cheap anyway.

Comparing the Wii U to PS360 based solely on memory and price seems grossly unfair. There are other price factors, ie. what must be an absurdly expensive controller?

Everyone will always want more for less, but this deal is reasonable at worst.



Kirk said:

These are the kinds of reasons I'm not buying a Wii U at launch and quite possibly never will buy one.

I don't want to have to go through all this hassle to do something as simple as downloading and playing a digital copy of a game.

I also don't want to be forced to buy extra controllers just so I can play older WiiWare and VC games. Something else that was revealed recently.

There's a lot of other things that have just put me off the system at this point in time.



renaryuugufan92 said:

@Kirk then just buy the retail games, and Wii controllers don't cost nearly as much as it will cost to get a Wii U gamepad, and all your current Wii controllers, Wii remote, nunchuck, classic controller, and classic controller pros will all work with the Wii U~



daveh30 said:

as long as games can be loaded from the external HD, its pretty much a moot point for me.



LittleKing said:

Well, now the basic set is looking better. Touch choice. White Wii U with 500GB of external storage or Black Wii U with 25GB of internal storage, Nintendo Land and a few useless charging stands. Both would cost $350.



XCWarrior said:

This means nothing to me. I buy my games physical whenever possible. I like owning them, not owning a file. I plan to get the 32 deluxe version, but I don't expect to ever fill up the space. Unless eshop games get big fast.



DrSlump said:

That's ok. For storage purposes, an external hd is cheap and it's an optional.
But, let's consider another nice use for an internal hdd:
the main advanced use is for game streaming.
The first would give to the wii u some boost in performances, such as all new ps3 games does (for example: god of war III delivers such rich graphics thanks to hdd streaming).



TrueWiiMaster said:

Of course the extra 24GBs was never that big a deal. I'll probably stick with the 32GBs for a while, as I don't plan on downloading any retail games, but I have a 250GB HDD lined up. The real draw of the Wii U Deluxe for me was always Nintendo Land, which by itself costs $60. Getting the Deluxe model means getting the game for $10 off, plus the eshop reward promotion, console stand, remote stand, remote charging cradle, and 24GB of extra memory for free. It's an easy choice for anyone who wants Nintendo Land.



Discostew said:

Think me bad, but if people are going to cancel their pre-orders because of this news, then better chances for me to switch to a Deluxe from my Basic pre-order.


True about the HDD streaming, but then again, the PS3 had limited RAM and the GPU wasn't exactly up to snuff. For all we know, the Wii-U's GPGPU is going to be a capable of handling more detailed textures at reduced sizes than what the PS3 can do, making the need to stream unneeded.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'm with you on disc based games, but there's still the matter of digital only releases (and some of them look really good), DLC, Updates, save data, HD videos, and demos.



Ren said:

"Just getting" an external HD is ridiculous in this day. Like getting a vacuum without a bag. It's not that it's a hard thing to do, it's that it's just a shaky deal if there is that much that has to be bought extra to do the most basic things that any other HD system can do. So I want to download a multiplayer game in a few months or install for faster load times? I need the system, a HDD, buy the game, get a Motion plus controller (that was hardly used til now), and then hope that online play is actually working for WiiU?! OR I could just get a different cheap existing HD system for much cheaper where everything WORKS easily out of the box, no crazy workarounds. Why release things like this that average consumers can't easily manage? That means lost sales and less media momentum. If it's a toss up at holiday time which do you think a parent will get for their kid? this or another and some games?



ArcanaXVI said:

I really couldn't be less concerned. I still like my retail copies, and 25GB should be more than fine for what downloadable titles I'm planning on. If I need an external drive eventually, so be it.



Mahe said:

Good article and good reporting on the news.

The difference between basic and Premium is that the basic set shouldn't even be considered, and "Premium" with its 32 GB should be the baseline model.



mookysam said:

Yes, one could get an external hdd, but this understates just how much of a problem the absence of sufficient internal storage truly is, particularly if nintendo are serious about pushing the eshop. When I had a 20GB hdd for my 360, it was very quickly filled by various live arcade games and dlc. So I upgraded to a 120GB hdd, which again was almost filled. I have never downloaded full retail games. These days it is not uncommon for xbla games to be upwards of 1GB in size, and the same goes for dlc, too. I notice that there is a lot of excitement surrounding potential Gamecube games on the Wii U's virtual console, and with GC titles being up to 1.5GBs in size, this could cause problems for those without external hard drives.

I can see why Nintendo chose not include higher storage - SSDs are expensive and hard drives, though cheaper, are physically larger and require more power, which given the wii u's small form factor are out of the question.



rjejr said:

Trine 2 is 1.1 GB on the PS3.

One of my favorite things about the PS3 is the demos, several of which are over 2GB each - Transformers, Madden, Sleeping Dogs. That's 2GB per DEMO. I'm sure there are more those are just the ones I came across looking for Trine 2 which I had apparently deleted back when I upgraded my HDD.



WaxxyOne said:

Yeah, this is hardly news and it's really not as big a deal as people are making it. Keep in mind the XBox 360 and PS3 were both well over the $300 mark at launch for models that included hard drives with just 20GB of storage. Obviously storage sizes have changed since then, but if you're seriously expecting Nintendo to release a console with a high amount of built-in storage and not charge an extra $100 for that, you're living in la-la land.

I already have an external drive I am going to repurpose for Wii U storage on day 1 and anyone serious about puchasing digital titles will want to take care of this sooner rather than later. Nintendo has packed plenty into the system to justify its price tag and have given a reasonable amount of memory for the mainstream consumers who are going to stick mainly to retail games and a handful of digital-only titles from the eShop.

At least they have a custom storage solution ready on day 1 and aren't asking gamers to shell out top dollar for a branded storage medium like Microsoft.



youkoaoshi said:

I'm fine with this because hard drives are cheap and I can get it when I'm ready. I still prefer to buy the discs and not exclusively download so space won't be too much of an issue initially.

I do not understand why people say that the system is expensive though. 360 and PS3 debuted at higher price tags. Heck, the Vita is the same price and its just a hand held. Also look up the cost of the older systems with inflation. You are paying the same for a Wii U as you did for an NES. I'm happy with most of Nintendo' decisions with this. Not all, but most.



Aviator said:

@HarmoKnight You seem a little confused. You're comparing a console in 2001, that couldn't download games and everything was on discs, to the Wii U?




Hokori said:

So me knowing the Xbox didn't have 32GB and him saying it did when it didn't means I'm not right?
Anyway I'm not going to give you anymore "satisfaction" I'm not going to reply when I don't have to prove myself



Metal_Slugger said:

For a 100 more they should offer a system with 1 terra byte of memory "mechanical", plus a 32gig SSD for optimal operating system speed. The reason being is any add on is adding clutter.



Tsuchiya said:

You can buy the basic Wii U AND a 500GB HDD and still have change when compared to the premium model's price. At least in the UK anyway. Frankly, most of the people complaining are being ridiculous. 32GB will fill up quick if you're downloading a lot. But of course you CAN'T download a lot so the best solution is to buy a HDD. Grit your teeth and get it now because you know you'll need it.

Listen, if you plan on hefty downloads don't sit around fuming at Nintendo. They've given you the options. Go get yourself a cheap HDD now and stop moaning!

Please don't cut your nose off to spite your face.



WolfRamHeart said:

I plan on getting a Deluxe model Wii U and I will pick up a external hard drive when I start to run out of space. Not really a big deal to me considering that I had to upgrade the hard drives in both my Xbox 360 and PS3.



Pro-N-Gamer said:

Wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo includes more internal storage in future models. But i don't mind buying a external hardrive when necessary.



Sean_Aaron said:

I was planning on upgrading my existing 2TB powered USB media drive to something with a faster interface like FireWire 800, so I can just use that and not regard it as an "extra" expense.

I don't get all the griping really. Most downloads will be much smaller than full retail releases and I expect most people will buy retail games on disc, so people like me who plan on downloading everything are in the minority. I do wish there was a deluxe model that didn't include Nintendo Land, however as I'd prefer to download that, but I want other things like the stands and Nintendo Network membership that only come with the deluxe. Maybe I'll just get the basic after all...I'm not pre-ordering so I have time to think on it.



Punky said:

Anyone wanting to get an idea of eshop download sizes might want to check out some games on Steam
Trine 2 is listed as needing 1.5GB of hard disk space...I expect the Wii U to be similar.
Toki Tori 2 is listed as coming soon so no disk space requirement is listed yet.



Punky said:

assassins creed 3 is also listed at 17GB.....I think it looks like wiishop games will be around 1.5GB-2GB and retail games around 17GB....



ZombieToast said:

I don't see this as being a problem in the slightest, especially during this time of year when you can get a 2TB external hard drive for cheap. Heck, if you want to, you can just get a 320GB one for only $15 at some stores. It's a much better solution than what is available for Xbox 360. I'm assuming the Wii U can't handle two 2TB drives at once, but I'm sure you could easily swap them; you could even keep both plugged in but have one shut off when not in use.



EvilMario said:

I'd much rather be given the option to expand via a USB drive rather than have a forced limit on me, driving up the price of the system far more than the memory is worth.



The_Fox said:

The Wii U Basic comes with 8 GB storage, exactly the same amount as the original Xbox. I never the said the original Xbox had 32GB nor was I at any point talking about the PS2.



SCAR said:

Cool. I don't really give a f*** about the memory on the console anyway. They're already selling this console at a loss, and dishing out $80 or less on black friday for a good external HDD that will hold everything I could every even want on the console, will be good enough for me. I DO plan on buying the digital DL version of every game that is, but I'm still not worried. Even if you want to be "classy" and not have an external HDD laying next to it, you can still always go get a 128 GB SD card and call it good for a while.



CrissCross87 said:

How many casual consumers actually felt the need to upgrade their 4GB Xbox hard drives? Those basic Xbox 360 slim models sell very well. Not everybody cares for playing online, downloading dlc, or installing software. I think the casual Wii U unit will do well for small time gamers and the 32GB edition will sell to those who want it or Nintendo Land.



Hokori said:

@The_Fox Oh I was confused since Nintendos giving you 2 choices (the 32GB being the obvious) the 32GB isn't pathetic nor was it available back in 2001



ei8htbit said:

I think that's what people are fussed about though, Nintendo is saying that you actually can't even use the sd card memory for any wii u content at all - it is there purely for legacy wii content (wiiware, wii vc, wii game saves, etc) wii U will have an entirely separate VC and will only use the internal memory or USB storage. Essentially anything related to wii u can not use the SD card for memory expansion.



sinalefa said:

I really don't mind. I don't see me getting a lot of downloads (if I ever get any) and the solution is from a third party, which means it can be cheaper and come in many shapes and sizes than a proprietary device.

Looking hard enough you could buy a decent drive for the amount it takes to buy a Wii U game, depending on where you go. With a new console come a lot of expenses and we can still use the old controllers and peripherals.



Discostew said:

I hope they meant the primary partition of the drive and not the entire thing, as many people who don't deal with partitions aren't likely to know how to make them in the first place. I'm also hoping for music/video/etc storage on the USB drive, no matter the format, and that the WiiU can play them. The specs of the GPU show h264, VC-1, and MPEG 2/4 support, so I'm hoping for usage of those outside of commercial games.



Mulder1617 said:

Ok, so does anyone know if you will be able to attach one of those weird oblong shaped exterior hard drives to the Wii U? I am talking about the external ones that you can attach to the X-box 360.



ToxieDogg said:

A few things to consider...

1) If you buy just the 8gb Wii U, then you don't get Nintendo Land. If you don't actually want Nintendo Land then you can spend that cash you saved on a 1tb hard drive. Problem solved! The vast majority of people are never going to fill up a 1000gb hard drive with just downloaded games. The 250gb hard drives I've had on both my Xbox 360 and PS3 for the past couple of years have been more than enough and still have a lot of space on. I often download XBLA/PSN games too.

2) If you do want Nintendo Land and buy the Premium bundle, then effectively the 24gb extra memory is free as the higher price you paid for the Premium Bundle paid for Nintendo Land. So quit complaining about it barely being a difference from the 8gb Wii U. 32gb will still last the vast majority of people a few months at least.

3) 1tb hard drives are only about £50 (here in the UK at least) so hardly breaking the bank considering how long it will take to fill one up (like I said, a 1t hard drive would probably be more than enough for most people for the Wii U's entire life cycle). Plus if you've got a 32gb Premium Wii U, you won't need to buy one for a few months anyway if you just buy physical copies of retail games and only download 'E Shop only/Indie games'.

4) Look at the Xbox 360 which forces you to use propriety hard drives. £50 for a standard 1tb external hard drive is a much more attractive propostion than having to pay around £100 for a 250gb special Xbox 360 compatible one. Nintendo are much better than Microsoft on this issue.

Really not sure why so many people are getting worked up about this.

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