Now that LEGO City Undercover is available for download in the North American eShop, IGN has completed a download and confirmed that it is a 22GB file that will squeeze onto a Wii U 32GB model with enough space. That confirms the suspicion that Nintendo's official website stating a hard-drive is required was, ultimately, there for caution and simply didn't elaborate enough on specific details.
Since Nintendo outlined the included memory in its two Wii U SKUs, many rightly pointed out that the 8GB and 32GB available in each model wouldn't go far with current-day HD games. It was justified as a means of keeping the cost down, while it's simple for gamers to plug in an external hard drive and have all the space they need. That extra memory is a necessity if you like downloading games, but it seems that even if the upcoming LEGO City Undercover is your first dalliance with a retail download, a hard drive will probably be required.
It's been spotted around the web that the official website for the game has the following message under the 'pre-order' information - "An external hard drive is required to download this software. Visit support.nintendo.com for information about storage options." The reason for this may simply be that TT Fusion's open-world game is a bit of a beast, with Eurogamer reporting that the file size is apparently 22GB; considering the 32GB model only provides an actual 25GB of usable space when first booted up, the hard drive warning makes sense. Naturally, the Basic 8GB model isn't ideal for any retail downloads at all, with just 3GB of usable space.
If that file size is accurate, it also suggests that anyone downloading this title from the eShop could have a lengthy wait on their hands, though it's unclear whether the download will insist on having access to an external drive if, technically, the game could just about squeeze onto a practically empty Deluxe model. We're hoping for clarification and official word from Nintendo, and will update this article with any further information.