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Wii U: Does Size Matter?

GameFans editor Nick K writes:
"North America seems to be a unique market where our buying preferences are taken into consideration when marketing gaming consoles. Why would anyone care what Americans think when it comes to what sells and what doesn't? Apparently, Sony cares enough to entirely change the specs of the newest iteration of PlayStation 3 hardware exclusively for North America. So why doesn't Nintendo look at consumers the same?"

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Schawk2593d ago

External storage, most people have usb pens and external HDD'S.
Why stick a 20GIG hard drive in a console to take up space and add more heat? USB storage nowadays costs nothing and external HDD'S are cheap.
I like nintendos thinking on this one im with them it wont stop me getting a wiiU and im sure allot of people feel the same

Qrphe2592d ago

An internal SATA hdd is much faster than USB 2.0.
Regardless I understand why Nintendo chose to exclude the choice for one (even phat PS2 style) due to greater chance of finding exploits.

decrypt2592d ago

@Schawk

"Why stick a 20GIG hard drive in a console to take up space and add more heat?"

A 500Gig hard drive wont take up much space. Would be retarded having a USB drive hanging around all the time.

Regarding the heat... Lol is all i can say. HDs dont generate much heat.

Pekka2592d ago

Although even USB 2.0 is much faster than either BR or DVD. This may sound strange but optical discs have never been fast.

GribbleGrunger2592d ago (Edited 2592d ago )

I don't think it's about whether you can buy external hard drives or not, it's about the 'message' this sends out to the industry. If the uptake of external hard drives is 75% or more, then the industry will take Nintendo's online strategy seriously, but if it falls well below that figure, it could have long term repercussions... unless Nintendo have a Gaikai like plan up their sleeves.

I know that Sony have now released a 12GB PS3, but even so, with 67 million PS3s out there already, their message is loud and clear and has been from the start: 'You offer us DLC and we'll provide all of our users with the space to store it'. This is why Sony have more large games on the store than other companies. The space is out there and waiting to be filled.

I really hope that this works out for Nintendo in regards to encouraging developers to fully support and so endorse Nintendo's online strategy because I was disappointed with the Wii and want to see Nintendo and Sony battle it out and drive innovation in gaming.

yourmom29212593d ago (Edited 2593d ago )

I'm extremely glad that the Wii U is not including a larger medium of storage. Why? This would mean Nintendo would have to invest more money into console assembly and development by implementing a hard disk drive into each console. This would increase development costs, ultimately affecting consumers.

Also, adding a hard drive into the console would decrease the reliability of the console as hard drives contain moving parts; thus, increasing the probability of failure--not to mention also generating more heat within the console. I've had a hard drive fail on one of my consoles, and it is not fun. Flash storage, on the other hand, is much more reliable. It has no moving parts, it is almost indestructible, it runs cooler, and it uses less power.

On another note, sure, 32 GB may not be enough storage for some individuals, but Nintendo has announced that the Wii U supports external storage. External hard drives are dirt cheap nowadays. I'd rather use a 2TB external hard drive than be stuck with a lousy 200 GB internal hard drive. The nice thing about external hard drives is the flexibility; it allows one to transport and backup data from one device to another easily, so if something does go wrong, the precious data will already be backed up somewhere else.

I couldn't be more happy that the system allows us, the consumers, to pick and choose from a plethora of different options. This also allows us to technically have an ever-expanding amount of space, as we can purchase more storage as needed.

vickers5002592d ago

External storage means nothing though if you can't store full games and play them off the hard drive though (or data, or patches). And even then if you could, it would be extremely slow.

Also, what happens when those devs who rely on saving data to the hard drive realize they can't do that anymore? What do you think they're going to do? Work tirelessly with nintendo to solve the problem? Each and every developer? Of course they wont. They simply wont make the game on Wii U. Either that or they will make it on Wii U, but every time a new game like that comes out, you'll have to wipe out the old ones game data to play it.

The only thing external storage will work well for is crap like game save data and stored videos, pictures, and music. That's pretty much all you can use it for now on something like the ps3 (well you can use it as a backup device, but you can't access any patches or game data from the external HDD while you're playing the game).

Not knowing the difference between an internal and an external hard drive, you may think what Nintendo is doing is a great idea, but if you did, you would know it's not.

There is no "plethora of options" here. Now if the Wii U had an internal slot for you to put your own hard drive, even if it didn't come with one by itself, then there would be absolutely no problem and I'd be fine with it, since I could just buy a VERY CHEAP hard drive (cheaper than external) online and pop it into the Wii U.

But the lack of upgradeable internal storage means the Wii U will NEVER be able to survive as a main gaming console, it's only going to be played whenever a good nintendo exclusive (such as mario, ssb, zelda, etc.) comes out, pretty much keeping it in the same position as it's always been in.

If it means that the Wii U would be more expensive (I highly doubt it would cost that much to add an internal HDD slot to the console) then SO BE IT. This is something that's going to last me YEARS, something like like 6+ years, if I have to pay 50 to 100 more dollars to have a MASSIVELY better piece of hardware than I am more than happy to do it. Better to pay a big price now than suffer down the line because Nintendo decided to make an inferior product to save people a few bucks.

yourmom29212592d ago

"External storage means nothing though if you can't store full games and play them off the hard drive though (or data, or patches)."

Nintendo has not yet announced whether games can or cannot be launched from the hard drive. You sound like you are assuming it will not be the case. I am assuming since Nintendo is allowing the expansion via USB 2.0, they will make wise decisions for data integrity.

"And even then if you could, it would be extremely slow."

This is not the case at all. USB 2.0 external hard drives generally have read/write speeds that average around 25-30 MB/s. This is MUCH faster than the read speeds that the PS3's blu-ray drive (Blu-ray drive 2x @ 9 MB/s) is capable of, as well as the Xbox 360's DVD Drive (12x @ 15.85 MB/s). It would most certainly not be slower than reading from the Blu-ray or DVD medium.

"Also, what happens when those devs who rely on saving data to the hard drive realize they can't do that anymore?"

This shouldn't be a problem at all. The save data for a specific game could simply be stored in the location relative to where the game was launched. In other words, once the game is launched from the hard drive, the game will determine which drive it is being launched from to determine the relative save directory. It's really that simple.

"Not knowing the difference between an internal and an external hard drive, you may think what Nintendo is doing is a great idea, but if you did, you would know it's not. "

Sorry, I really don't want be tied down to an internal hard drive that simply generates more heat within the system. What if I want to add more storage? Internal storage would just be pointless. Well, I could just swap out the internal drive for a much larger one, but that would just be a pain. Why not just simply expand storage by plugging in an additional USB 2.0 storage device?

"since I could just buy a VERY CHEAP hard drive (cheaper than external) online and pop it into the Wii U. "

Internal hard drives are a little cheaper, but it is not as convenient as external hard drives are. External hard drives are encased in an enclosure that protects the drive from the elements, and some even act as a heat sink.

I would also like to note that external hard drives can be custom-made by simply purchasing an internal hard drive and encasing it via a $15 enclosure.

" This is something that's going to last me YEARS, something like like 6+ years"

Exactly, I would like to have more control of backing up my data by simply connecting my external drive to my PC and transferring all of my data to a backup drive. When owning a console for years, it is important to have more control over how data is organized and backed up.

Also, not having an internal hard drive will increase the lifespan of the console, because less power is used and less heat is generated.

"Better to pay a big price now than suffer down the line because Nintendo decided to make an inferior product to save people a few bucks. "

They are allowing the consumer to pick from a variety of different storage mediums (USB HDD, USB Flash, SD cards, etc.) which are ultimately cheaper than those small 200 GB hard drives that require additional assembly costs for the console.

vickers5002592d ago

"I am assuming since Nintendo is allowing the expansion via USB 2.0, they will make wise decisions for data integrity."

Nintendo isn't known for their wise decisions on the hardware side of things, at least not in any way that will benefit the consumer.

"This is not the case at all."

I'm pretty sure it is. I can't be certain because I haven't researched it, but I'm pretty sure read and write speeds are different for HDDs and disc based storage, so I don't think the 9mb blu ray speeds are comparable to the 15.85 dvd speeds, and I don't think either are comparable to the hard drive speeds.

If they are comparable and are the same, then show me proof other than read/write speeds. Because although I can't remember the details, I remember someone explaining long ago when the ps3 was out that blu-ray read/write speeds are different than dvd read/write speeds.

What adds quite a bit more assurance to that particular belief, is that in the past, I've tried to run games off of an external hard drive in the past (games that my computer could run efficiently, so it wasn't a weak hardware issue) from my pc, and it ran incredibly slow, and this game wasn't exactly cutting edge at the time. So when I imagine a current gen style game trying to run off a much slower drive, I get extremely worried about this no hard drive situation.

"This shouldn't be a problem at all. The save data for a specific game could simply be stored in the location relative to where the game was launched. In other words, once the game is launched from the hard drive, the game will determine which drive it is being launched from to determine the relative save directory. It's really that simple."

So how come SO MANY developers absolutely REQUIRE a hard drive to make their game work now? I'm fairly certain it isn't that simple. SOME data will have to be stored on the hard drive, data OTHER than the small game save data. Just imagine RAGE on Wii U. It required a huge install on ps3, and 360 pretty much needed one to prevent awful texture pop ins. Games like that are going to exist next gen, games that need every resource available, and developers WILL use every resource they can to make their games (in this case, the hard drive), and the 32gb hard drive will fill up very fast, forcing you to uninstall an old game every time you get a new game, and 32gb isn't very many games. When you want to play a new game, you'll have to go through that 5-20 minute install yet again, in addition to the patches that games will undoubtedly still end up requiring (devs aren't going to stop being lazy with that stuff because a new console comes out).

I wont reply to the rest of your comment, because it assumes that data will be able to be ran off the hard drive, which I don't see happening. I could be wrong, but I don't think I will be. I hope I am though and using an external drive will work for everything I mentioned. But nintendos decisions on hardware from a consumer point of view has generally been pretty crap (picking cartridges over cds, using those small gamecube discs over dvds, using wii discs over dvds and not allowing the playback of dvds, using Wii U discs over blu ray, apparently taking out backwards compatibility out of the newer consoles, etc.). I don't have much faith in nintendo on this one.

Benjamminkno2593d ago

It's dumb 'not' to do what Nintendo is doing.

ShaunCameron2593d ago

And who made the author the spokesperson for Americans?

<I’m not buying a Wii U until Nintendo steps up and offers a fully loaded console without the need to buy extra storage space, comes with a REAL game in the bundle, and drops the price to at least $250; because thats what Americans want.>

I managed to survive with the Wii just fine. Disk space was never an issue with me.

Oh! The same direct competitors for all the gigs their consoles offered had reliability issues and lost a lot of money because they were overpowered, expensive and bloated hence needed a Slim version?

<Can you survive with less than 8 or 32 GB of available hard drive space in a console race where direct competitors offer hundreds of gigs?>

Benjamminkno2592d ago

Actually you're right, Americans want a 'severely underpriced' console that can float on the profits of TV and PC sales. And why not use some outdated controllers from hardware companies that are unwilling to take innovation or software seriously? SonySoft are only trying to monopolize the industry, and can't seem to 'bribe' enough of us by selling their consoles at a loss. I suppose Nintendo should be more like them right? That's ok, don't by a Wii U, nobody cares if you lose out.

KosmoCrisis2592d ago

Excellent point. But consider this. If every Nintendo product is so well constructed, time and time again proves its quality with its extremely low failure rate, and continues to thrive after years of gaming - why wouldn't it be possible for Nintendo to apply these successes to a hefty HDD equipped HD console? Why stop where they did? Why do you think they didn't design the Wii U to be more "future proof", instead of "maybe" contending with PS4/720?

Stroke6662593d ago

Dear Writer of this Article,

I am american and I already own two 3tb hdd's, a 1.5tb hdd, and loads of 4gb-16gb usb drives around. So I can appreciate that nintendo decided to leave the amount of space obtained to the consumer. Its save me, according to your calculations, $100 on having the console company decide how much hd players need/want. I got the xbox 360 wit a 250 gig hd as a gift. Ive used less than 50 gigs of it and what i did use was only me downloading the game to the hd for the hell of it cause it really does minimal for load times anyway. so please do not speak for all of us. Oh and seeing as how no matter how you splice it, the wii out sold the 360 and the ps3, chances are more likely that people want the deluxe/blk wii u to match their blk wii which is more likely to be in the household.

Sincerely yours
Your Fellow American

KosmoCrisis2592d ago

Dear "Your Fellow American",

The majority of Wii owners do not play their Wii anymore. As a result, their black Wii is not black anymore. Unless your the only American with black dust.

I seriously do appreciate all the negative comments, and that's what makes this country so great. Opinion is ten tenths of the law, no matter who you are. We all have one, just depends on if you decide to voice your opinion or not. What kind of country would we be if we kept our opinions to ourselves.

The Wii U was obviously designed for an American with over 7.5TB of unused storage lying around their house. You will be getting your monies worth my friend! But just imagine if you didn't have to use your own storage, and they sold the Wii U for the same exactly price while upping the storage to something more commandable. Wait until all those GameCube games start hitting the Nintendo Network. First thing people will begin to complain about is storage space just like they did with PS3. We are just smarter consumers now than 2005.

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