The lights are on
I know I'm not alone in my concerns about the paltry 8GB and 32GB hard drives for the Wii U. It's one of the largest debates surrounding the console. Nintendo and it's fans have supported the small size by saying it cuts costs on the system and that you can easily hook up an external hard drive.
HOWEVER!!! Not everyone knows about external drives or how to hook them up. It may seem simple and common knowledge among avid gamers and PC users, but what about the multitude of folks the Wii brought into gaming? Many of these people (I know a few) are casual gamers at best and only know how to turn the system on, put a disc in and play. Others just want to do this and don't want to go through extra steps to keep all their data on a console that should have enough space to begin with. How are the hard drive sizes justified for these people?
Everyone seems to be rabid when defending the Wii U's status as a next-gen system, so why is Nintendo trying so hard to keep the price the same as current-gen? For an extra $50 I can get hard drives ranging up to 320GB, so I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. Why not spend a little extra money and make the system cost a bit more (~$50) than current-gen to avoid alienating consumers who do not know about external hard drives?
It's a strange decision. When you tell parents they'd have to spend even more money on top of the base price it definitely gets some raised eyebrows.
But Nintendo has made tons of questionable calls for good or bad. It's risks that are either gonna make or break them.
As you somewhat say I find the cost cutting argument to be somewhat funny. If Nintendo plans to in almost any way support DLC or digital distribution of HD games an external hard drive becomes a must. So when buying the console you need to almost immediately add another $50-$80..maybe even $100 to the price depending on the size of the drive you are looking at. However if you figure that Nintendo would be buying in bulk and getting a manufactureres discount they could probably put 250gig drives in the Wii U for roughly $20-$30 a pop.
I will say this though, I think most people that will be buying the Wii U can plug in an external hard drive. Anyone that can plug in a thumb drive can do that. I also fully expect that within 6 months there will be either a box set that includes an external hard drive or a new model of the Wii U with a larger hard drive.
I think the bigger concern is does the size of the storage space show that Nintendo still does not understand the digital marketplace. Do they not expect people to want to download DLC? Do they not realize how much space an HD game can take up? I find it very ironic because Nintendo is really missing the ball. Think of all the money they could make by releasing extra levels for games like Mario , new worlds for $3 a pop. They could add new pokemnon via DLC, levels for smash brothers and so much more. I see a gold mine there that Wii U may not be designed to take advantage of.
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I can't for the life of me remember if there is also a sd card slot, i also wish i knew what the limit is on how big of a file system it can handle externally
buy a standard usb external desktop hard drive
So low on Disk drive space would drive me crazy, however I know my computer stuff so installing a larger 1-3TB HD won't be a problem. Yet, I agree with Palor. Nintendo DOES NOT understand the digital world clearly. If Nintendo wants to catch up on the part of serious gaming, Larger space will be required. How in the world will Nintendo introduce DLC to the system with such low memory? I believe we might see a solution through Nintendo in the near future. Cloud technology or server memory might be implemented in the future.
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Now that I think about it the PS3 and XBOX had a couple models with small drives (256MB-40GB), but both those systems offered models with 60, 80, 120, 250, 320, and now even 500GB drives. Not an excuse seeing how the Wii U is supposed to be "next gen", and so shouldn't be being compared to 6 year-old consoles, but I'm sure Nintendo will come out with models that have larger drives in the future.
The SD card slot is pretty much only there for storing downloaded Wii games and data. I don't think the Wii U can actually read save data off of it for Wii U games.