News Article

Talking Point: It's Time for a 3DS Storage Upgrade From Nintendo

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Small price, lots of space

When the 3DS was launched, it didn't even have an eShop to enjoy, and even after the online store arrived the pack-in 2GB SD card seemed perfectly adequate. With a mix of Game Boy Virtual Console titles, the odd 3D Classic and the first flashes of download-only titles from third parties, the number of blocks offered up by the included storage was enough for even the most enthusiastic of early adopters.

And then download-only games started to get a little heftier as developers started to realise that the 3DS goes well beyond the capabilities of the DSi; Mighty Switch Force seemed big at 1801 blocks, with some starting to eye up SDHC (high capacity) cards to handle the burgeoning eShop library of must-have games.

In mid-2012, however, the space-hungry 3DS took it up a notch. The 3DS XL was released with an included 4GB SD card, twice as much as afforded to standard systems, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 became the first retail download offering from Nintendo, promptly followed by every subsequent first-party release and a number from before the initiative began. The list of retail downloads — including those from third parties — continues to grow.

We've considered Nintendo's retail download offerings — including their pros and cons — elsewhere, but we're certainly seeing a generation of 3DS owners more than happy to go the download route for some of the biggest releases. Whether it's a choice for the convenience of not swapping out game cards, or simply a preference for staying away from physical media, a number of people are opting for downloads rather than a trip to an online retailer or the shops — though download codes are now also available from GAME in Europe, and a North American option surely isn't far behind. The simple truth is that anyone opting for download software, however, will have in all likelihood already upgraded their SD card.

And no wonder, as retail downloads are getting bigger. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was only 2950 blocks (368MB), yet recently we've had Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate at 14,275 blocks (1.74 GB) and, as we revealed yesterday, the upcoming Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is a beastly 17,693 blocks (2.16GB). Even that can't touch Resident Evil Revelations, which with its impressive visuals and lengthy pre-rendered cutscenes comes in at a horrifying 25,795 blocks (3.15GB).

Of course, these hulking examples aren't quite the norm yet, with a good number of 3DS titles coming in at comfortably under 1GB in size. And yet, the existing bundled SD cards — especially in the older model — won't get download consumers far if they opt for retail titles, especially if they want one of the larger games that we've seen in recent times. Of course, download retail games are all about providing choice, and consumers can quite easily pick up a larger card up to 64GB — the official advice is to stick to the SDHC standard for the 3DS.

An important thing with SDHC cards is that, with a brief bit of research online, they're available at thoroughly modest prices. They come in different classes, with the most expensive class 10 options having the quickest performance, but the lower grade options arguably function well enough. It reflects a key advantage that the 3DS has over Sony's Vita, with Nintendo's rival — foolishly, in our view — opting to use a proprietary memory card that's still a substantial expense for gamers. By utilising a common storage solution Nintendo has ensured that memory expansion is becoming increasingly inexpensive and accessible.

But we think Nintendo can go further. Not only is it giving the "option" of download retail games, but it's becoming increasingly active in directing 3DS gamers towards the eShop. We've now had two promotions in Europe — one so far in North America — where registering a system or a series of games makes you eligible for a free retail download. We've also had consistent messaging from Nintendo, particularly in response to stock shortages of major releases, saying that even if stores don't have a game it's always accessible from the eShop. Yet as games get bigger it's becoming increasingly likely that no sooner does someone buy a system, they're already getting drawn in by all of the downloads on offer — an SD card upgrade is becoming almost mandatory.

As a way of continuing to represent a better value proposition than Vita, and to genuinely line-up the 3DS as a device with smartphone-style convenience — where all major games can be downloaded — it seems logical to boost the pack-in storage; perhaps 16GB for the standard model and 32GB for the XL systems. While that may seem like a hefty upgrade, we should bear in mind not only the continuing decrease in SD card prices, but also that Nintendo would be able to secure a mass-purchase deal with manufacturers such as Sandisk or Samsung; we also suspect that 3DS manufacturing costs will continue to decrease. Not only would that kind of move bring positive press and look alluring on packaging, but it'd emphasize to new owners that this is a system equipped for the convenient downloading of content, with concerns over storage space being far less relevant.

As this year progresses we feel the timing would be right for a move such as this, accommodating the ever-expanding eShop with an improved offering on a two-and-a-half-year old system. We've seen changes like this in the home console space with a variety of options for PS3 and Xbox 360 models, so a hard drive initiative would also suit the Wii U in future years.

But for 3DS, this would be the simplest of initiatives for Nintendo to implement. It doesn't need to concern itself with any adjustments to the built-in components — as a Wii U hard drive change would necessitate — but simply place a different SD card into models before they're shipped. If you offer customers even more bang for their buck — costing the business relatively little in exchange — while also promoting a valuable source of revenue, then everyone potentially wins.

What size SD card do you currently have in your 3DS? (583 votes)















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User Comments (142)



bezerker99 said:

I have a 4GB SD card in my Wii U and an 8GB one in the 3DS. I buy retail cartridges/discs 100% of the time so whenever I download a game, it's usually something that's relatively small in block-size and something that's only offered digitally.



R-Moss said:

Basic 2GB here.

Someday I'll upgrade my SDcard. But now I'm waiting an account system...

C'mon Nintendo!!!!!!



TomJ said:

Data on the 3DS is no problem for me, before I ever do buy a retail game from the eshop, I'll make sure I have an SD card with hefty storage space, or just buy extra SD cards for other small eshop games like Dillon's Rolling Western.



Bisylizzie said:

I'm currently using a 32GB card, after my original 2GB(maybe it was 1? Not sure...) got filled up with the Ambassador games amongst other games...

Got more than 4GB on it in music(iPod is 4GB, got that filled, wanted to take some more music with me, sticking some music on my 3DS was cheapest option)!
And likely the same amount in demos/eshop games, so I'm well sorted (at least, unless I decide to go on a music/eshop binge or something. Unlikely, as the only digital game I'm looking forward to now is AC, due to the promotion.)

I prefer to buy physical games (only reason I'm getting AC digital is because of the free game promotion, as mentioned above), so I'm fine there. I just sometimes feel that 32 is... Too much. (Was on sale though, very cheap, so not complaining xD)



Spoony_Tech said:

I have a 32 gig and feel like ill be out of space in about a year or so. please give me more cheaper option to help me give you more money!!



snoox said:

U can get a 32GB SDHC class 10 UHS-I card for $20, totally worth it. I have a Samsung I got for $35, luv it



painbow1985 said:

I have a 32 Gig card. I have been looking at 64 GiG and 128 Gig for a while now. I read they will work if you format them correctly. Currently I am almost out of space on my 32 Gig from just games I have downloaded alone. (I download almost everything). I am afraid to drop the money on a larger card and have it not work. I am also afraid that I will run out of space within 3 months.



Zyph said:

32gb and 64gb cards are already too much IMO. But if you're a hardcore digital download guy and want more memory then you could just format SDXC cards to Fat32 and the 3DS will read it no problem.



manu0 said:

tipp: if you're going to use the SD card only with the 3DS it's pretty pointless to buy a class 10 card, because the 3DS can't make use of the higher speed...I didn't notice any speed difference between a class 4 and 10 card...



RevolverLink said:

I'm still using the 2GB card that came with my 3DS, but I'll probably upgrade at some point this year.



DreamOn said:

I got an 8gb but after donkey kong that's not gonna last long this "year of 3DS"



rjejr said:

Did you really just spend all that time and energy on another very well written piece to request Nintendo include a bigger SD card in the 3DS box? An SD card that would be bigger than the built in WiiU storage for the home console that has very large many GB DLs available for it?

This whole article can be summed up as - "Hey Nintendo, how about putting a bigger SD card in the box so people can buy more games and you can make a' more money on those DL game sales?" Meanwhile there are games on the WiiU that are too big fit and people are expected to buy an entire external HDD that needs to be plugged in. And the 3DS costs about 1/2 the WiiU price, and SD cards are much cheaper than HDD.

Just seems like misguided use of energy to me. Fight the good fight that needs fighting, not the easy obvious one.



SigourneyBeaver said:

I've currently got 2GB but I chose Monster Hunter as the free game in the recent offer and now I need something bigger. So I ordered a 32GB.



Giygas_95 said:

I've got about 20 gb left on my 32 gb card, and combined with the 10 spaces I have left in my game card case, I should have enough to last me the rest of the 3DS's life (I hope).



SCAR said:

As far as I know, 64 and 128GB only work if you format them.
Maybe Nintendo will update the memory to that high, but cards higher than 32GB are pretty expensive and it most likely wouldn't be taken advantage of for quite some time, but I'm sure it will happen.
128GB on 3DS is about the equivalent of 2TB on Wii U, which would seem appropriate.



Kriedler said:

You guys forgot one really important issue: onboard storage. It's grossly inadequate since DSiWare can ONLY be launched from the system and not the SD card. I've been forced to stop downloading DSiWare games because I don't want to lose high scores and other save data on my DSiWare games. Not to mention the load of games I have on my SD card all downloaded but not playable.



SkywardLink98 said:

8GB should be enough for me. I only download games that are hard to find at retail (Fire Emblem Awakening).



R-L-A-George said:

Man, I wish I was able to have a huge SD card .

You forgot to mention that FE:A is over 8000 blocks and counting.



SCAR said:

I have 32GB with 7 retail games on it, about 8 3DS digital games, and about 33 VC games. I'm not really sure, though. I don't have my 3DS with me at the moment, but I've only used like 18% of the memory with that ammount of games.



Spoony_Tech said:

@manu0 Wrong!! I had a class 10 Duracell memory card and true it was no faster then my original 2 gig. However when I upgraded to a 32 SanDisk class 10 there was a Hugh difference just in swapnote alone!

@LEGEND_MARIOID Same here. I was told by many 32 was as high as it goes. Now I want to upgrade to 64 gigs!



ultraraichu said:

@snoox I got my 32GB SanDisk Ultra class 10 months ago for the same price.

I'm pretty sure by next year (or black friday) I'll find a 64GB class 10 on sale for the same price.



Spoony_Tech said:

@SCAR392 Sounds like me but I'm pretty sure I've used close to 50% of mine plus by years end I can see that go to over 75% used up!



Stuffgamer1 said:

I've been using an 8gig card since brother and I split a cheap 2-pack from Costco. Since we prefer to have retail games in retail format, this storage capacity has been FAR more than enough, and I'm not really looking to upgrade. That said, it would be good for Nintendo to increase the pack-in size...but they probably won't because it costs even a little bit more to them and they don't seem to be very good at the whole cost-to-reward dynamic.



Arcamenel said:

I'm using the 4GB one that came with my Pikachu 3DS XL. I don't download anything since I'd rather have the physical copy. That was before I got into the Monster Hunter series though. I think in the future I will download that just because I know I'm going to spend a lot of time playing it. Closing in on 200 hours atm O_O



idork99 said:

Currently have a 32GB (Class 4) with eight retail games, all the demoes offered on the eShop (US), Ambassador Games, all 3D Classics, DSi games (that are on the system's small memory), plus a lot of GB, GBC, Game Gear, and NES games. So far, I have over 103,000 blocks left. The SD card was about $22 US Dollars. Besides Virtual Console games and download only eShop games, the only retail games I see on the horizon that I'll download are Animal Crossing, Zelda(s), and Smash Bros. In other words, I think I'll be perfectly fine with my 32GB for the 3DS lifetime (fingers crossed).

It would be nice if Nintendo provided larger SD cards but I personally don't see it happening.



ivanmata said:

Since I always buy physical copies I got a 16GB for the VC games, and I want to have the freedom to download a couple games that require a lot of memory, you know, just in case.



Hunter-D said:

I've had this 32gb SD Card since last year. I bought it because it was on sale and I knew that eventually I would require more space. I've got a hell of a lot stored on my 3DS at the moment, yet I still have plenty more space to go. I'll be sorted for the another 2-3 years at least.



FJOJR said:

I'll upgrade when the time is right. Maybe for when Pokemon comes out.



Wonder_Ideal said:

I currently have a 16 GB SD card, and I'm doing fine. A 3DS with more built in memory wouldn't be a bad idea though.



nilcam said:

I have a 32 gb card in my XL.

If Nintendo were to alter the storage, I'd rather see them add an internal flash memory solution while keeping an SD card slot for expansion.



SanderEvers said:

I have a 64GB card in my 3DSXL, it's the best thing to happen to the system It's fast (faster than my old 8GB card ) and I have lots of free space



123akis said:

My 2gb SD card that came with the system filled with lots of downloads... then i got a Sandisk 8gb SD card... again that got filled.. so no ive got a sandisk 32gb SD card, theres are loads of blocks remaining!



Torterra275 said:

You can upgrade it, UPGRADE IT YOURSELF. Its not that hard, and it will keep the system cost down. Look at the Vita if you want to complain....



SCAR said:

Do they allow 64GB cards without a format now, though? I remember I had bought a 64GB card back when 3DS was still fairly new, and it didn't work, but I had not known about a possible format, and no one knew how to get them to work yet either.
I don't really want to format an SD card, because doing so usually dumbs down the cards capabilities just for more memory. I'd rather just wait for Nintendo to update the memory so I can still get the benefits of the expensive SD card...



Flowerlark said:

I've already upgraded my SD card about 4 times. I now have a 32GB for my 3DS. Frankly, I'd rather go buy a bigger SD card if I need it than buy memory on the system that I might never use.



Rect_Pola said:

I just upped to 32. It's not a serious demand on consumers (though the fact raises the question; why didn't they just give it to us in package?). What always annoyed me before was how all the DSi catalog relied entirely on the system memory (which wasn't all that big. Sure it's old news now, but it was an early sign that Nintendo wasn't and still isn'tforward thinking enough about tackling digital gaming. Let's not even get into their hang ups on the console side.



kitroplious said:

Just recently, I upgraded to a 64GB SDXC card (my 32GB is now on the Wii U). As I'm a digital-only gamer now, SD card size is not a problem. Although, the only thing standing in my way is the number of software limitations that can be saved and/or read on the SD card. Nintendo really needs to increase that number dramatically or make it unlimited completely.



blackknight77 said:

The only retail games I downloaded were Bit. Trip saga and Croswords everything else I have a boxed copy of.



ouroborous said:

wow, i cant believe that more people have a 32gb card than anything else. while cards are relatively cheap in general, the 32gb card isnt exacly free, not to mention that downloads of retail games and thus a much greater need for space has only just started to become something that people are going to need.
maybe it was just a (i need to upgrade, might as well go big) kind of thing.



LeonChamp said:

I've for a 32GB Sandisk class 4 SDHC card!! Got it very cheap!! Only problem is after downloading a good few demo's with NO problems, now whenever I download a demo it gets to about 95% and then I get an error code!! It now does this everytime!! So now I can't get any new demo's/retail downloads!! My original downloads still work fine (and the video app updates its 3d video clips each week no problem!)
I'm very frustrated with this, as I bought the card specifically for my 3ds!!
HAS ANYONE GOT ANY POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!



Bulbousaur said:

I have a 4GB one which I upgraded from the 2GB my 3DS came with. I ran out of space once because I hoarded almost all of my demos, so I just deleted the ones I didn't want anymore. I have no intention to buy retail downloads, so there's no reason for me to upgrade anytime soon. (Unless I go for that "buy three games get 1 free" deal on Club Nintendo Europe going on)



SCAR said:

I don't recommend buying anything over 32GB until Nintendo updates the memory upgrades themselves. There is a reason why SD cards over 32GB don't use FAT32. The reason is that FAT32 is not as capable of handling memory of those capacities as well.
You are only paying for more memory, but the format used on SDXC cards will take advantage of the card. If they ever update the 3DS to handle SDXC memory formats, I suggest reformatting it back to SDXC standards.
Formatting your SDXC card to FAT32 is like telling a 7200 RPM HDD to run at 5400 RPM if that makes sense. Alot of the cost from buying an SDXC card is is taking advantage of the faster write speeds.
I don't even think it's possible to EVER fully use a 128GB SD card on 3DS, even if you bought everything on the eShop. The only use you will get from having a huge SD card is if you buy everything off the eShop, and use 3DS as your main music and photo device as well. Plus, it will be hard for your console to read such a high capacity card at FAT32 if you ever reach past 64GB.



UnseatingKDawg said:

I used my 4GB SD card from my DSi when I got my first 3DS. But, due to wear and tear, it stopped working. I was just thankful enough that my computer could copy the data off of it, so I wouldn't have to re-download everything. I now have another 4GB card in my 3DS XL, which has mostly VC games (about 40), with some download-only games, and two retail games. The biggest I have is Paper Mario: Sticker Star. So, I'm not getting any downloaded retail games any time soon (like DKCR3D). But, if I need more room, I can just take off the little bit of music I have on there.



Skeet102 said:

Wow... I just lost my 3ds sd card and I was planning on getting a new one. I was thinking of getting a 4gb, maybe even an 8gb. Now I think I should get a 16gb. Although, I'll never download retail game, but my eshop only games were starting to reach 2gb which was my original. It's annoying that unless I find my sd card soon, I'll have to restart all my games. I just finished Fluidity: Spin Cycle, I even got all the puzzle pieces.



Dpullam said:

I happen to only use my 8GB SD card for downloadable eshop games so I don't need a huge space upgrade though I will admit that Nintendo should offer a bigger SD card with each system so this problem could be avoided entirely. I definitely would like to warn new Nintendo 3DS owners to buy a bigger SD card before they get too heavily invested in their systems. It avoids a whole mess of problems down the road.



XFsWorld said:

Seems like I need to start deleting all these demos I have Lol [even though I do have a 32GB]



AVahne said:

They're still pretty cheap though. If you're going to get memory for a game system, you might as well get the one that can offer the biggest bang for your buck. And for many people, it seems 32 GB for around $20-30 is the optimal amount. Plus waiting for Black Friday can net you a high quality card like the SanDisk Ultra 32 GB for around $17 at retail stores instead of the usual $27 off Amazon.



fishwilson said:

I have 32 gb in my 3ds and plan to fill it with obscure titles from the eshop, it will probably take a while. Also I like to have a bunch of demos to test out once in a while. For the Vita I only have a 4gb card due to the prices and Atelier Totori took care of that space....



Pokefanmum82 said:

i have a 16GB one with four retail downloads and a bunch of other games. i still have 69,187 blocks left so i think i will be fine for awhile whereas my system memory is at 89 blocks left so won't be able to download much more DSiware. More internal storage would be great.



Shadowflash said:

I have a 32gb card that I got off Amazon for $20. I wanted to make sure I don't run out of room.



shinesprite said:

Currently, I'm using a 32GB SanDisk Extreme class 10/UHS 1 and I have to say, I'm nowhere near using it all up! (ok, about 7 GB used) Some games even seem to load a bit faster than off a regular cart!

At the time, stories of 64 and 128 GB cards were rare, and success was somewhat marginal. Looking back, I don't regret my purchase, even though I seem to have more demos than actual games! XD



HandheldGuru97 said:

I upgraded to an 8GB card almost two years ago right after the eShop came out. It has worked pretty well up until the last half of last year and still don't have (or plan to have) any retail games on my system. So maybe I will up it to 16GB soon.



cmk8 said:

I bought a class 10 32gb as I thought the 3ds didn't like 64gb. 32gb is plenty, I might download Animal Crossing but otherwise I still prefer carts, and eshop games aren't too big.



Ren said:

Cool idea. I have a 32 and download lots of stuff, The kind of encouragement to use downloads is a big deal, that they should get with. One of the big reasons I didn't get a WiiU was the lack of storage; no excuse (If you could play from SD i wouldn't mind). I think it's unreasonable to have to tack on an external thing to do what a thing is marketed to do so well. 3DS is the best game machine around right now, to me.



AcridSkull said:

Completely agree, Nintendo should be looking to provide larger cards in the units now, especially when selling limited edition XL consoles with pre-installed games.
Currently I'm running the standard 4GB in my XL, though with the recent promo I'm considering getting Monster Hunter 3 as the free game which may force my hand to pick up a 16 or 32GB card, I already have Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land installed, as well as a bunch of eShop exclusives and VC titles, so space would be tight at best with MH3U installed.



Peach64 said:

I don't think they need to be increasing the size of the card packed in. You're then forcing some people to pay for something they don't want. If someone wants to focus on digital releases, then they have the choice to go buy a bigger card for a relatively small price.

I think they have a lot of work to do before the digital releases are getting anywhere near the sales physical are. With no way to re-download purchased games to a new 3DS, and with the prices being almost twice as much in many cases compared to the physical release, then no amount of advertising is going to make people switch to the eShop in huge numbers.



Nintonic said:

Retail is where its at, I'll probably never upgrade my 2g sd card for a while.



ledreppe said:

I got a 32GB recently, used to have 8GB but it was fast running out. Before that I obviously had the 2GB card the 3DS comes with, but that was never going to be enough. Does anyone know if the 3DS can take 64GB and 128GB SD cards, and if so how do you format them to be recognised by the 3DS? I heard the 3DS doesn't support XHSD cards until a future system update, but some people have said they have 64GB cards, so it must be possible now.



grumblegrumble said:

Welllll, I hate to say "I Told You So!" but when the eshop started selling downloadable retail titles, I said more than a few times "I don't want to download them because of the storage issues I'll face later on." Many people (including some mods here at NL) were saying "oooh, the 3DS/3DS XL has MORE than enough storage!! Stop yer whinin'!"

Well, look at ye now.



Arren said:

I mostly buy my games retail, so 8GB will be enough for me. The only retail game I plan on buying digitally is Animal Crossing.



SCAR said:

It's called a system transfer. I did a 3DS to 3DS XL transfer. Granted, you have to repair your console if it's broken(some people would rather just buy a new one for some reason and lose their games when they don't have to), but your games are never lost if you know what you are doing. Alot of people just don't know how to handle Nintendo's DRM.
I can see Nintendo adopting what Microsoft did for Xbox 360, though, where you deactivate one console in order to activate another whether it be online on their website, or straight off the console.

It really doesn't matter. Buying digital is an option I see as being beneficial, and I have no problem with Nintendo's dealings with the way I handle things anyway. There's definitely room for improvement, but demanding 'now, now, now' doesn't help when they aren't exactly in a position to do these things.
Once 3DS and Wii U get some sort of unified account management(w/o the unnecessary cloud and account sharing between 2 identical consoles), I'm sure we'll see these things happen.
I expect accounts to mainly be managed locally though.



Jakurdo said:

I'm a sucker for retail, so I won't be switching up anytime soon. But with Nintendo pushing DD so much, I wonder if they are planning to release a 3DS model that doesn't have the capability to play physical media. Just slap in a big SD card and you can download anything you like. Depends on how much they can cut on costs when they remove the gamecard slot, I guess (and if there is a market for that type of handheld, of course).



tripunktoj said:

I don't download retail games (except if they are free gifts, like the last club.nintendo promotion) so I think I'll be fine with 32GB for eShop games. Im a regular downloader for eShop only and 3D classics and Im not even half way of the 32 GB limit.



stefenjc said:

32 gig Would be a great bundle with the 3DS XL from the start ever since we learn the mistakes from the 3DS. 32gig memory stick isnt that expensive actually. Bought one for my self for about $15-20 and I gaurantee it would last many games with that card.



ToxieDogg said:

32gb in mine. I much prefer to use it's space for download only games point in wasting valuable space on retail titles, and then needlessly having to buy another SD card because of it.



Neram said:

I think, considering digital games are almost entirely optional, it should be left up to the customer to upgrade the SD card themselves. Having said that, I also don't think it would hurt to unclude an 8GB in the 3DS and a 16GB in the 3DS XL, as a minimum of 8GB seems to be plenty of space from my experience so far.



ToxieDogg said:

@Jakurdo Sony tried that with the PSP GO and it was a massive flop. Maybe the market is more ready for a handheld gaming device like that now, but I'm still not 100% sure.



ecco6t9 said:

I have a 16 and will upgrade to a 32 when I find one at a great price. But it's time to make DSiWare launchable from SD Cards.



xerox said:

@manu0 no i noticed the diferenc very well after i bought a 16 gb class 10 memory the loading time in mario kart 7 for example goes like 2 times better than the 4gb that came with my 3ds xl.and in other occasions to the difference is clear



sweetiepiejonus said:

I've had the same 4gb card since I got my XL and I'm not even close to filling it up. I don't have a lot of 'retail' titles though, but a decent amount, and haven't had to delete a thing yet.

This is an area I think is hurting Sony more. There are so many pros of PSN but the stupid high prices for the storage is enough a downside for people, and I don't blame them, as I filled up my 8 gb card in a couple days.



armoredghor said:

I upgraded two weeks ago to a 32 gb and I think that'll be enough for a 3ds lifetime for me. If they average 2 gb which is probably overshooting it, I can hold about 14 games with the rest taken over by my music and a few small games. That's a lot to buy in a generation. Besides any standardized amount is going to be too little for someone, so that's why they left it as external memory and gave a free 2gb as just an entry memory device. I think they expect most people will upgrade as their prices go down.



Spleetal said:

Wait we can have more than 32gb? For some reason i thought that was the limit



Yrreiht said:

I have an 8GB card with Mario 3D land, Mario Kart 7 and Luigi's mansion installed, as well as some VC games. still have a little space left, but for now i'm fine.



GamerZack87 said:

I upgraded to an 8GB SD Card in my blueack 3DS XL. I only have four downloaded games on my white 3DS XL so far (Super Mario 3D Land, Game & Watch Gallery, Game & Watch Gallery 2 and Game & Watch: Flagman), so I'm in no immediate rush to upgrade yet. I would, however, like to upgrade to the largest possible SD Card size in each console at some point.



iphys said:

Nintendo needs to keep the starting cost for buying a system low, a lot of people have spare cards greater than 2GB or 4GB kicking around, and not everyone is going to download retail games from the eShop. I think it would be a mistake to include larger cards with the systems if it meant raising the prices $10 or $30 and dissuading customers from buying the system, and I don't think Nintendo can really afford to include larger cards for nothing, because they're already selling the 3DS for far less than they'd planned on.



BabyLogey said:

I have a 2GB in my 3DS that just stopped almost 2 weeks ago, and I'm just gonna get an XL and try to get the standard one fixed so I can transfer download games.



ShortSleevedNook said:

I've never downloaded a retail game on my 3DS. They're more expensive, and they don't even have all the games on the eShop. I like to keep my stuff neat and organized.



rjejr said:

@Alienfish - And cars are cheaper per pound, but I don't want to spend $20, 000 to use my WiiU either.

I.e. its hard to find HDD for less than $40 but its easy to find 32GB cards for $20 so its so easy and cheap to upgrade a 3DS this shouldnt even be an issue, but that $300 WiiU will cost you more in space, energy and money to DL a game.



kevkeepsplaying said:

Woah. I recalled buying a 16gb previously, but no, I have an 8gb. I'm probably upgrading to a 64gb next paycheck, but regardless, I'm in shock over how much space I have with 8 alone! The 64gb should be enough to last me for the rest of my 3DS's lifetime.



WarioPower said:

I still have the original 2 GB one that came with it, but I'm thinking about upgrading soon..



King_Boo said:

I quickly went from 2 to 4 gigs, and then all the demos I kept led me to jump to 16 gigs. I've got plenty of space, but I won't be downloading any retail games anytime soon.



Espionage_Pro said:

I really don't like playing downloaded games. I don't know why, but I am always satisfied when put in a game in the 3DS and it makes that nice clicky sound.



Mizzah_Tee said:

@R-Moss You don't need an account system to upgrade your card. All you have to do is plug your card into a card reader for your computer (you can get a USB SD card reader for $5) and copy the drag the files onto your computer and move them to a bigger card. It's also a good way to back up your games in case your card gets damaged. The games will work as long as you play them on the 3DS you downloaded them on...



Mizzah_Tee said:

You can upgrade your own storage for much cheaper than Nintedo would charge you and Nintendo knows this. That's why they want you to have the freedom to decide how much space you want to pay for instead of forcing you to buy a $260 3DS when you may not need 64GB of space cause maybe you don't download that much. I like freedom better.



DualWielding said:

The Wii U have a much more serious storage problem that the 3DS does, 8GB storage when 5GB are taken up by the operating system is preety pathetic



Stark_Nebula said:

I find it funny how we're talking about games taking up substancial space, when in contrast a 4GB SD card can hold every NES/Famicom and SNES/Super Famicom game. Times certainly have changed. Anyway, good on Nintendo for foregoing proprietary media for both 3DS and Wii U.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

I just bought another 32GB SD card. I say another because when I tried to transfer my data from my 2 GB card to my first 32 GB card the card got locked up and I was unable to use it so I had to send it back

Anyone have any ideas of how to successfully transfer my data or should I just reformat my card and download everything again from the E-shop. This is probably the last card I will get so if I have to download all my games this one time I don't mind.

Any thoughts?



Stark_Nebula said:

@MakeMyBiscuit Brand is just about everything. SanDisk is revered for it's quality. Got an 8GB one years ago and it still works fine, while a 16GB "random" brand lasted but about 15 writes and locked up permanently. Stick to a brand you know is good. I also find Lexus to be quite reliable.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

Thanks for the reply. I usually go with SanDisk because I've had no problems with them but the card that froze up was a SanDisk card. They stick by their products so I got a full refund no problem. Maybe I just got a bad card. I was actually thinking it had to do with Nintendo's anti-piracy software bricking my card



Suzakuryuu said:

still using the std 2gb memory card... playing from catridge all the time.
might want to change it to 32 IF nintendo video can save the 3D video instead of replacing it with new videos. or IF nintendo release a 3D movie player that can play more than 10 mins per video



Zombie_Barioth said:

I swapped the stock 2GB card in my 3DS with the 4GB Sandisk card from my camera, yea it was a cheap solution but the only things I have on my 3DS as of now are a couple demos, MH3U downloads, and a handfull of songs for when I need a quick distraction while I'm out so thats plenty for now.

To me 4GB is the minimun amount of space a handheld should have, any less and it runs out before you know it. If anything Nintendo should include a bigger card in the bundles since they've been selling them with the games pre-installed, not only to make up for the space taken up but to drive home the idea that its all set and ready to go digital right out of the box.



Byron-3D said:

Got the 4GB card that came with my XL, it's got a hand full of eShop games 3 Virtual console games. The only retail game I have is Mario Kart 7 and that's because it came with the 3DS, I am getting my free game of the European off too. I want a 32GB card but I don't really 'need' to upgrade.



Zodiak13 said:

I have a 32GB SanDisk seems to work well have 210,000 blocks left (21GB??) 52 games but only Unchained Blades is a full retail release (per say). Although in fairness I impulse bought way too many game once I got the 32GB card. Lots of games I didn't really need.



datamonkey said:

Still using the bundled 4Gb but plan on upgrading to 32Gb at some point as my card is filling up quickly!



Lalivero said:

I'm with those who are annoyed to all hell about the onboard memory available for Dsiware, which isn't even playable off of the SD card. I've had to constantly swap games to and from the SD card/System memory in order to play them all eventually but it gets rid of saves and everything so I have to watch which ones I do switch...

It was one of the reasons I originally couldn't wait getting the XL, but it still is a problem.



Ristar42 said:

2GB is fine for me, I may still get a few VC games if any future releases really interest me, but I can’t image paying £40 to download a game without any type of account system in place...



SethNintendo said:

Bought a 32 GB SD card when I got the 3DS. It cost me around $30 or so dollars off Amazon. They are now even less expensive. Beats buying overpriced memory card for Vita.

I'm with people on DSiWare memory storage. I simply stopped buying DSiWare games after going a couple games over the limit.



Araknie said:

I buy only what i can touch, more now that Nintendo has said that no cloud serivces are coming in the near future.

Online only on Steam.



Alienfish said:

We're going to run into a lot of problems comparing console to handheld. I fully support Nintendo for allowing people the choice of what storage they use on both console and handheld. I would rather see an overall price drop on both consoles than have the prices stay the same, but include more memory.



jgibson75 said:

@R-Moss I upgraded my 3DS & my Wii U with a bigger HDD & SD Card. But I totally agree. They desperately need an account system like Microsoft & Sony use.



MundaneName said:

Got a 32GB more or less straight after buying. I knew that it would become a problem otherwise. Didn't want a repeat of my PSP shenanigans.

Didn't think the 3DS could use a 64GB card...



ToxieDogg said:

@Chriiis No it doesn't. If you play a DSiWare game that's on the onboard memory, and then go into your options and copy it back to the SD card over the existing copy of the game before you delete it, then the new copy retains your game saves as well the next time you copy it back onto the onboard memory and play it.

@Peach64 You're wrong about redownloading games to a new 3DS....if you transfer your account over from the old one, then you can just plug your old SD card into the new 3DS and you're good to go. Worked for me when I upgraded my 3DS to a 3DS does require you to keep your old 3DS until you've done the account transfer though. Also, I agree with everything else you said.



Marioman64 said:

for those looking to easily upgrade, this article's step by step process is the best method I've found and what I have gone by with my two upgrades , the usual Nintendo method leaves junk files on your sd card and can cause pictures and videos to not be recognized by the system for a few boot ups until it gets used to your new sd card. this method is flawless and works like a charm



Lalivero said:

@ToxieDogg Something must be screwed up on mine then because I just checked and some of my games retained the save data while others did not.



element187 said:

Uhm the whole reason why Nintendo puts in a tiny 2gb/4gb option is to keep the costs low so customers who only buy retail aren't paying for something they really will never use.... The power users that wish to upgrade can. I don't see whats so hard about letting users decide on how much or how little they need.



sweetiepiejonus said:

Just an example of people wanting (feel entitled to) more for nothing. They've had their share of questionable decisions but Nintendo has always been, or tried to be good to its fans. But then when they have the lowest pricing of the "Big Three" then they get ripped on by people about being cheap. I don't want my console to be a media center. I just want it to play games I like.



Bakajin said:

I just got my XL 10 days ago so I've still got the 4GB, but it's filling up fast. I'm not planning on downloading anything I can get on a cart, but I'll probably snag myself at least a 32GB soon.



kyuubikid213 said:

I only have a 4GB SD card, but I'm not too worried about the whole space thing. If I keep getting the physical copies, then I only have to have around 10 blocks of space to save the extra data. All of the rest of the data is on the card itself and that's fine by me.

The rest of my (current) 13,000 blocks of space is reserved for DSiWare, Virtual Console titles, and DLC. Since the biggest downloaded game, that isn't NSMB2, I currently have only takes up around 2000...and that's 3DSWare.

Until I hit the 4GB limit, I won't upgrade to an 8GB. And with the lack of money I usually have, I won't hit that limit anytime soon.



StarDust4Ever said:

I have an 8Gb. My original 3DS upgraded from 2Gb to 8Gb, then I tranfered all my software over to 3DSxL and kept the 8Gb card. I only use eShop for VC, indie games, and download exclusives. Most of these d/l games are much smaller than retail titles btw.

I also stopped buying DSi-ware when my old DSi got filled up, and 3DS only marginally increases this storage area. I transfered most of the titles I wanted to my original 3DS (Shantea is awesome btw). Sadly, a lot of DSiware is shovelware anyway, but I digress. Haven't bought any DSiware in a while...



MakeMyBiscuit said:


Thanks. I just got my new 32 GB card today and I want to take advantage of the sales in the e-shop. I will check this out!


Sadly the transfer did not work In the middle of the transfer of from my old card to the new one I got a message saying something like "redundancy error" and the transfer stopped so now I am re-downloading my whole library including my Ambassador games from the e-shop. It's working but it is such a pain I have almost 100 games

I just finished downloading everything and it all works fine with my new 32GB card. At the very least my 3D pictures and videos transferred to the new card before I got the error message. None of the save data of my games transferred though. It's time to rediscover all my downloaded games again

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