News Article

Wii U Basic Can Only Store 3GB Of Downloaded Software

Posted by Andy Green

You can't swing a cat in there

Gamers will have two choices when the Wii U is released, they can either take home a Premium Pack which has 32GB of memory, or the Basic Pack which comes with a relatively meagre 8GB. However, once the internal drives have been formatted and other built-in data requirements are taken into account these figures nosedive to just 25GB and 3GB respectively.

So where does all this hemorrhaged data actually go? Well 10% of the total figure is spent up on formatting the internal drives while the other 4.2GB of data is most likely set aside for the system software and things such as the Miis that will fill up the WaraWara plaza on the home screen. Wherever it does end up one thing's for sure - Nintendo aren't giving Wii U owners much space to work with.

This loss will naturally affect Basic Pack owners a lot more than those who chose the Premium Pack as their storage space will now be so small they will struggle to house any downloaded games on it at all. Take Nintendo Land for example; a download copy will take up 3.2GB of data meaning it simply will not fit. New Super Mario Bros. U takes up 2GB of data so can just about get itself on the system but it’ll be awfully cramped in there - and don't even think about storing Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition which is available to download in Japan with a humongous file size of 16.7GB.

Naturally, the built-in storage can be expanded with the help of SD cards and USB hard drives of up to 2TB but this does raise questions about Nintendo’s limited built-in memory for the Wii U. Is the difference in built-in memory between the Basic and Premium models actually significant enough to matter?

Have you pre-ordered a Basic Wii U Pack? Does this news worry you? Let us know what you think.


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User Comments (74)



RupeeClock said:

Depending on how the eShop pans out I may be getting an external HDD after all.
Although I don't see myself getting digital downloads of retail games any time soon.



Burning_Spear said:

Let's face it: Basic is for people who just want to start with retail games and maybe transfer over a modest collection of VC and Wii Ware. It's probably going to be popular as a holiday gift for younger players or casual gamers who just want a few games. It was marketed for the sole reason of having something at a $300 price point.



TechnoEA said:

Even the Deluxe GB is laughable, this is just sad.

I'll just buy a USB Hard Drive, whether I'm getting Deluxe or Basic.



Mk_II said:

Much ado about nothing. Gamers will add a harddrive on day one, casual players will only buy retail discs anyway. "problem" solved!



ultraraichu said:

Seems like a small problem to me. The people who gets the basic would fall in two categories. People who know about the limited space, the potential downloadable games, and the use of external memory (like us), and people who buy the system for their children to play or for themselves (kids and casual gamers). With the latter they don't know/care about downloads or would buy a small amount of games to play.



MYCO said:




RogueBologna said:

I preordered a Basic Wii U intentionally to save money. Regardless I will need to buy an external hard drive, Nintendo Land does not interest me, and the Digital Promo wouldn't do much as I will save money buying then selling games physically.



iphys said:

I think it's even worse than the Wii in terms of the fraction of internal flash left for the user. With the Wii I think you got like 1/2 vs 3/8 with the Basic. It almost seems unfair to tell people they're getting 8 GB when so much of that is hogged. I can't help but get the feeling the Basic system is some sort of joke to convince everyone they're getting a great deal to buy the Deluxe instead, because it barely seems practical for anyone to actually buy it.



Tsuchiya said:


This ^
If people chose to buy the basic model then good for them. It's not for anyone to dismiss their choice. They have their reasons for choosing that particular model.

We could do without more elitist, snobby gamers picking on casuals especially in Nintendoland.



Tsuchiya said:

A £249 basic Wii U and say, a £30 500GB HDD Vs. a premium £300 model with just the 32GB...Yes, you don't get a game but it's a lot cheaper and you'd get much more storage.

Maybe it's not just the casuals buying it.



Link-Hero said:

Whatever. I was going to get a 1/2TB hardrive anyway and put all of my downloadable games onto it.

From the start, it was obvious that the Basic bundle was for more of people who don't game that much while the Deluxe was for more of the enthusiast gamers.



Tsuchiya said:


Seeing as you'd save money even if you buy extra space with the basic, I'd say that it's possible many enthusiastic gamers would buy that instead.

For less and change, you get more. I just think some Nintendo gamers are getting a bit too big for their boots now that we've gone HD.



ultraraichu said:

@RogueBologna the war wouldn't last long. As soon as the Wii U is released, both models (sides) would be as one. Playing video games and interacting with their new systems and possibly with others. It's Wii U-niversal with all video game owners



Mahe said:

If you're going to be downloading even a few games, the Basic set is pretty much useless.

Just one more thing Nintendo has messed up with the Wii U launch.



Tsuchiya said:


Basic Wii U was never destined for mass downloads. Once again, that's why it's the basic model...

Nintendo hasn't messed up at all. You have the basic model, more suited for casual gaming and light downloads then of course you have the premium model, designed for everything else, downloads, online gaming, media, yada yada yada

You have a choice of the two and as has been mentioned so many times here, you have the option to upgrade your storage. The word "option" is important.
32GB like it or not is a safe entry level for almost everyone. It covers the basics. So you can't clog it with full retail games well guess what, Nintendo have another option for you and they're called discs.

It just confuses me that suddenly some Nintendo gamers are demanding it all on a platter. Give Nintendo a break. Good Lord, this is all new to them.



grimbldoo said:

@Mahe #27
Buy the basic, spend the extra $50 on half a terabyte, you now have more memory than the basic Wii U.



Knux said:

Does it really matter? Both are beyond pathetic and you'll still have to buy an external hard drive no matter what. 25 GB and 3 GB is not really that much of a difference in the long run.



ShadJV said:

The space is limited either way, but Nintendo early on stated they wanted to give the customer the ability to supply the storage. Sure, you can moan and complain, but Nintendo could've been as greedy as Microsoft and have proprietary hard drives, forcing us to shell out a lot of money for a little more storage. External hard drives are cheap these days. For less than the price of a game you should be able to get one that could last the entire life of the system.



ueI said:

As someone who doesn't play many HD games, I can't pretend to understand what all the gigabytes are for. I'll probably end up getting the 32 GB WiiU because 32 (25) is more than 8 (3). The Wii has nowhere near 32 GB, however, and I was able to make do.



Discostew said:

Dunno why so many people are dissing on the Basic. They're both starter kits that will require an external HDD the moment you plan on embracing digital.



rjejr said:

I've lost count, is this the 5th or 6th post about this today? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Xbox 360 has had 4GB models with various names for the past 5 years so Nintendo should be able to make 8GB work.



blueeaglewombat said:

I bought the Basic set because I wanted white and I wanted it day 1. I only use the internal storage on Wii for game save data, and thats what I intended to do with Wii U. My intention all along was too attach usb drive. That hasnt changed, so the amount of storage is fine.

And what I say to those criticizing or laughing at the people who bought a Basic set, who cares what you think. Yes Nintendo should have included a hard drive or more internal storage, but they didnt. what they did do is give EVERYONE who bought a Wii U, basic and deluxe, options to increase the available storage. So you may laugh because I bought the Basic set, but when I attach a 3TB hard drive, it wont make a difference. I will then have more than enough storage space.

Bottom line is the Basic system was the system I wanted. And I'll have it on Nov 18th. Happy Gaming everyone!



arrmixer said:

I think both systems are fine ... depending on one's need.. I actually wanted nintendo land and the extra gigs for eshop games and plan to buy my games retail....

personally who cares which one you get as long as you get one... and both are at good price points...



Gate_Shikimuri said:

I don't really give a ... If all my stuff can fit on the Wii, it can fit on the Wii U Basic. They're not forcing you to buy digital retail or anything.

It's ALL about choice.



Urbanhispanic said:

Nintendo is giving gamers a choice so what's the big deal? Either way, the option of getting an external hard drive is there and it looks like people are buying one for their Wii U, basic bundlers and premium bundlers alike.



WaxxyOne said:

Yeah it's funny how the same people whining all over this site about the lack of storage would be whining even louder if Nintendo had announced that the basic set (32GB) would be $350 and the deluxe (256GB) would be $400 or more. You can get way more storage from a $50 USB drive than Nintendo could build into their system at a reasonable cost. They did you a favor. Now stop the complaining.



warvad said:

I feel so bad for anyone who shelled out more for deluxe. You're going to need a massive external hard drive no matter which model you get. You're just wasting your money buying partitioned "Nintendo" hard drives.

Why bother.



OorWullie said:

@RADencker Although I personally will be getting the Deluxe,mostly for the colour and the extras that come with it,I agree with everything you say.Just be careful though as your 3TB may not work,they've said that it can support up to 2TB and not the 3 previously stated by Reggie.Don't want you disappointed on launch day



Zombie_Barioth said:

The way I see it the deciding factor should be how much you want the extras and Nintendo Land, since in that case you might as well go deluxe anyway. 3GB should be plenty for saves and you can save your $50 until you want more space.



DrDaisy said:

How about removing whatever memory manages the region restrictions, since almost no one actually wants that?!



Spleetal said:

Agh I preorder the basic because they ran out of deluxe :/ on release day I'm going to GameStop as soon as they open and see if they have any deluxe and hunt around other store but if not ill get the basic and a 300gb external hard drive I guess



snax007 said:

Another retarded Nintendo decision. Wii U, at that inflated price, should have a internal HDD with at least 250GB. Requiring users to buy an external USB HDD is idiotic and a HDD via USB 2 is a much slower compared to a internal SATA HDD.



snax007 said:

"I laugh at the people who buy the basic pack."

Well maybe not. I had an preorder for the ZombiU bundle (now cancelled because ZombiU does not appeal to me) since I thought premium was the best Wii U. It still is but since both versions are severely lacking internal storage, a external HDD is a must either way. So the basic version may just be the best deal for many.



snax007 said:

@ueI "As someone who doesn't play many HD games, I can't pretend to understand what all the gigabytes are for. I'll probably end up getting the 32 GB WiiU because 32 (25) is more than 8 (3). The Wii has nowhere near 32 GB, however, and I was able to make do."

HD has nothing to do with it. It's about downloadable content (games, demoes, DLC, patches, movies, etc). 8/32 GB is simply not enough if you planing on buying a few titles from Nintendo's eShop. Look at Xbox and PS3 - most units are sold with 250+ GB because today downloadable games, demos, DLC, etc. is a huge part modern gaming. It's mind boggling that Nintendo choose not to include an internal HDD in the premium version instead of 32GB flash. it would not have made the hardware much more expensive to produce.



blueeaglewombat said:

@OurWullie yeah, thanks for the FYI. After I saw your comments I went and read the translation of the Japanese Nintendo Direct from yesterday. It does say 2tb like you said. Which is fine, 2tb will be enough, and I can see Nintendo raising that threshold via Wii U system update in the future, much like they did for Wii



Gridatttack said:

I wont be getting a Wii U anytime soon, so why worry? Im pretty sure nintendo will eventually release a bigger memory system later



AddDavey said:

I think that real gamers will only download games that can't be bought as a disk so the premium/zombi u bundle is perfect for them



LavaTwilight said:

Let's face it... the basic is for people who only really intends to store save files on their wiiU (u remember like consoles used to be) and so 3GB should be enough for those gamers. Even if you do run out after 10games, some of those should be completed so you can just delete it to make room for others.
I have NO intention on buying the basic set but it's just for 'casual' gamers or for those who don't intend on going e-shop mad... UNLIKE ME BWAHAHAHA



Bryon15 said:

Has nintendo even confirmed if downloaded games can be played off an external hard drive?



GameLord08 said:

@snax007: Nope, not "retarded" at all. Adding an expansive internal HDD into the Wii U would only increase manufacturing costs, therefore significantly affecting retail prices - something some consumers are already whinging about.

Nintend only made an informed business decision; with external HDDs rapidly decreasing in price (much so than they were 5-6 years ago), why tax buyers an extra $50-100 for only a little more internal storage when they can find much more expansive external storage for so much cheaper? I can find an external 1TB HDD for an average of only £60 (rougly $80-85), and that's huge.

Essentially, they're giving you that flexibility with the Wii U; if you're not downloading anything, we're not costing you extra for storage you won't need. Nintendo is clearly only taking advantage of the market for the benefit of consumers. And let's not forget that internal HDDs slow down systems a lot as they are filled up, and are a lot more succeptible to hardware failures nowadays, as has been demonstrated by the PS3. Thinking, people.

Asides from that, I have no idea what gamer wouldn't be set on having an external HDD at hand if they were distinctly choosing to go digital retail only. You'll obviously need one anyway, regardless of internal storage capacity. It makes little difference.



SteveW said:

"Is the difference in built-in memory between the Basic and Premium models actually significant enough to matter?" - of course, people will fill that 3 GB with game save data in no time. I definitely want the extra memory because game saves have to be stored to internal memory.



Hardy83 said:

So basically you NEED an external HDD just to use the system.
Not for downloads, but for game patches, DLC etc.

The 32, or 20GB model should survive for a few months, but the 4GB model won't at all.

Those are both pathetic options, it's like the Vita models, you just don't have enough space so you had to realistically add 50-80 bucks to the price for external storage.

Also, I HAAAAATE when companies advertise storage space that isn't even remotely close to what consumers can actually use. There should be laws against this. They should have to post USABLE data, it's simply misleading to consumers.
It's like the "UP TO" speeds ISPs like to use in ads, which I hate even more.



ueI said:

@snax007 When I said I don't play HD games, I MEANT that I don't play with the consoles that HD games happen to be on: PS3 and Xbox360.



Raylax said:

Now decided I'm getting a Wii U Basic and spending the leftover cash I would've spent on Premium on an external harddrive and some games.



Moshugan said:

Nintendo should have told us about this before. Marketing the Basic as having 8 gigabytes is just plain lying.



SCAR said:

@Moshugan Every GB quote is a lie. 16 GB means like 14.5 or something... I guess what I'm trying to say is that a HDD is better than none. It give more room to swing a cat ONLY that can help at times. Xbox 360 20 GB HDDs only has around 12 left when all the extras were said and done. I recall there being no HDD possibilities for that console at times.



mastersworddude said:

@pntjr Not even WII games. Wii Ware games.
Wii games are usually 2-4 GB, imagine Wii U games. 3GB or 25GB regardless, you need an external hardrive to download retail games.



RevolverLink said:

@sonik 512MB wasn't all that tolerable back in 2006, and 3GB of space in 2012 isn't either.

Unless someone plans on playing their Basic WiiU sparingly and only buying the occasional retail game (and at that stage, why would they even bother with one at launch?), I don't see much point in anyone getting Basic.



Mahe said:

@grimbldoo But the internal storage capacity will still be pathetic. External storage does not change that. At least the Wii had SD cards which could be used as an extension of internal storage capacity. (Internal, literally, inside the console.)

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