Nintendo’s Next Console Will Enter The HD Era, But Not The Hard-Drive Era

Kotaku writes: "The successor to the Wii will not include a traditional hard-drive but will bear some of the traits of competing high-definition game consoles, according to sources familiar with Nintendo's planned 2012 gaming machine.

The console, codenamed Project Café, will include 8 gigabytes of on-bard flash-based memory, presumably for game storage. That quantity, while nearly 16 times the storage capacity of the Wii, is smaller than the 20GB of room available in the original, optional harddrives offered in 2005 for the Xbox 360. The amount of memory in the new Nintendo console would also be dwarfed by the 250 GB drives offered in current, high-end versions of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3."

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NYC_Gamer3795d ago

would be foolish if the console doesnt have hard drive support

smoothdude3795d ago

I added a 320 GB drive to my PS3. Though I am sure that Nintendo knows they need to have some kind of storage solution as gamers this gen have complained about it a lot.

evrfighter3795d ago

I added a 2tb hard drive to my pc. and an ssd.

oh wait I added a 320gb. like 5 years ago.
sitting in a cupboard unused now.

WhittO3795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )

I just added a 2TB HDD to my existing 1.5TB Comp.

How can they NOT include a HDD??

Just proves that they will STILL not bring the features the other consoles have been offering for years.

With everyone becoming more "tech-aware" with owning Smartphones etc, I think even the casuals will understand how STUPID it is not having a HDD and will see just how much less it will offer compared to what is already available.

HolyOrangeCows3795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )


I think Nintendo is making a big mistake. We're only moving more towards the digital/internet age. People are going to want more.

And especially if they're going for the controller with the touchscreen....they might attract a more hardcore crowd based just on that (with it being a more classic setup but with more), like people were when the Wii showed a bunch of potential for shooter controls and such. And that's an audience who wants to download demos, trailers, and use their console as a multimedia device.

"People will be fine with that flash memory, Nintendo consoles never need to install games and they are never used as media centres"
And at a price higher than PS3/360 (most likely), they WON'T be expecting to do more than the Wii??

SephireX3795d ago

I've a 640gb hd in my PS3 and a 3tb one in my pc. Hdds are important and I think Nintendo is making a mistake here. It seems like they are still concentrating on the casual gamer and drawing them in with low price.

Reibooi3795d ago

If this is true they are shooting themselves in the foot. How many devs have said they can't do certain things on the 360 because they can't be sure everyone will have a HDD? Tons.

That in addition to the line that implies they are matching the PS3 and Xbox 360 but not trying to surpass them is also a giant WTF. Why would anyone buy a new console this late into the generation if said console is equal to what there already is? On top of that devs would again pass it up because they would be able to do the same games on the more established consoles.

Now granted this is all hear say until Nintendo officially unveils the thing at E3 but I really hope they are not this stupid.

jetlian3795d ago

means devs cant be lazy. Before xbox hdd weren't an issue ow everybody complains

darthv723795d ago

Nintendo isnt sony or MS so the path they choose is of their own accord. Passing judgement on the storage option is pointless if we dont know what the intentions of the machine are.

If it is strictly for gaming then perhaps that is where the sweet spot is for nintendo. If it is for media streaming then we know that a hdd is not always required but it certainly helps. They could still have the option of external storage by way of those small hdd enclosures that you can put your own drive into.

Why not just wait and see?

BattleAxe3795d ago

Its official, Wii2 = Fail. How can you make a console in this age and not have a hard drive. Nintendo is going to be the next Sega. I'll expect to be playing Mario Bros. Greatest Hits on my PS3 3 or 4 years from now. The game Cube was a failure, and the only reason the Wii caught on so quick was because of Motion Controls, well guess what, everyone has that now.

N4g_null3795d ago

SD terabyte chips are faster and cheaper and they don't break. Plus it will have USB 3.0 I believe and a sdhx card slot.

The flash is much cooler since it is faster way faster so trick like mega texture will work even better. I told you they where going to do this years ago.

2t SD cards are coming and they are pretty nice. They are also silent and you don't have any addition issues from spinning parts.

There is more but I'm sure some one else will leak it.


Yeah, it'll have USB ports so you can connect a external HDD but I hardly believe you'll save DLC and DD'ed full games on a external HDD, piracy is a concern.

The problem with Ninty not offering HDD isn't comparable to PC using HDD in anyway, not just that it's a console not a PC, but also cause you use that space for much else than games... The main concern here is gaming.

In this generation, the option to buy smaller and even full games digitally, as well as the option to buy extra content to some games, had became a standard (which can be argued to if being a good or bad thing, but like it or not, DLC and Arcade/PSN games are what people expect).

No HDD means Ninty isn't focus on offering much online (unless they present another solution).

sikbeta3794d ago


I have five HDDs in my damned PC, that makes me more cooler than you? :P

320GB in my Slim running smoothly, I have like 70GB left so no problems and about Nintendo not putting a damned HDD in their next console, I can't believe it, they can't be serious...

fear883794d ago

I am going out on a limb with this comment but I think that they can do without the HDD. Now before people start flaming me let me clarify why.

PS3 NEEDS a hdd because of the slower read speeds of the blu-ray drive and lack of available ram(ie: that isn't being used by the XMB)so it needs to install data to the HDD from the Blu-ray to not only help the load speeds of the game but function as a sort of cache.

Xbox 360 makes the HDD optional and only very few games require an install because the OS footprint is very minimal thus allowing more available ram and the DVD drive itself has a faster read speed.

Project Cafe can easily overcome the HDD just by having more ram, a very small OS, and a fast optical disk drive.

Of course there would be no room for DLC but I actually like that because DLC is nothing more than a developers way of saying that the $60 was not enough for the content and that they want more.

It puts a sort of pressure on the developers to press the game with ALL content. And even if there is DLC they will not easily get away with it because everyone would know its already on the disc.

Faster read speed and more ram will easily overcome that limitation because Nintendo does not market an all in one device like a PC, 360, or PS3. They market it as a game device and nothing more.

They are going to be fine.

smoothdude3794d ago

Maybe they will announce the implementation of cloud storage.

ComboBreaker3794d ago (Edited 3794d ago )

Wii gamers don't want more. They want less. Less buttons. Less resolution. Less storage.

Wii is proof of it. Wii does not even have anything like Xbox Live, and it's owning the 360, easily.

Why do you think Microsoft decided to go that route too? Less reliablity. Less money in your wallet because you have to pay to play online. Less games in your house because the 360 kept scratching your DVDs. Less Triple A titles from Microsoft because Microsoft spent all its money marketing.

I, on the other hand, am one of the few minority (we call ourselves PS3 gamers) that want more, for less or free. More features (like optional 3D) for free. More storage for free (free as in exclusive Blu-Ray games cost the same as 360 DVD game, so we're essentially getting extra contents for free). More reliability. More games (tons of exclusive). And soon, more security, for free (Microsoft would have hike the price of Xbox Live and force people to pay for more security).

stragomccloud3794d ago

Why did people disagree with what I said?
It wasn't an opinion. It was a fact. I recently put a new HDD in my PS3. How is it that people can disagree with that?

Anyway, I don't need a lot of space on my PS3. I have 2 TB of storage and an SSD running my PC. Do you like playing the one up game? Grow up!

jeseth3794d ago

This would be a huge mistake. Maybe they plan on using cloud storage?

3794d ago
Honky Kong3794d ago

I added a 1TB USB HDD to my Wii... works great!

Blaine3794d ago (Edited 3794d ago )

Maybe they'll go cloud?

Maybe not right away, but once they realize the demand for DD is increasing. A Cloud would be a good solution then--would require no add-on hardware, and they could even charge a fee for the service--it'd be a win/win for Nintendo.

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 3794d ago
kyl2773795d ago

People will be fine with that flash memory, Nintendo consoles never need to install games and they are never used as media centres.

Scyrus3795d ago


nintendo consoles arent next gen noob lol no crap they dont need hard drives the games arent HD.

then again it would be sad if the next nintendo console didnt have a hard drive, that wud be some Sloooooow loading

kyl2773795d ago Show
Ocelot5253795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )


but the install size will have to be VERY small with only 8 Gig available. It probably won't even be used for installs, but for updates and DLC.

and for god's sake stop calling everyone who gives criticism on nintendo a troll.

Agent-863795d ago

@kyl277, you were the one stating that "Nintendo consoles never need to install games", so the games will be loading off the disk which is much, much slower than either HDD or flash memory.

GiggMan3795d ago

Kyl277, I think that the console could benefit from a hard drive if nothing else but for demo's. By this being a new console, I'm assuming that the content will be a little scarce in the beginning and people on the fence about buying a game can at least try them out.

You can't do that (for long at least) with just flash memory.

Scyrus3795d ago Show
flyingmunky3795d ago

The 'hard-core' 3rd party titles that Nintendo is hoping to attract to its console might balk at the thought of having to optimize enough to avoid an install. Especially early on when the install base is small and that version of the game is already out on ps360.

After all I know of several games that run anywhere from 2-5gbs. That would eat up 8 gb in only a few games.

sikbeta3794d ago


Not only demos, with a hard drive they can allow installs and make games loading faster, plus you can fill the HDD with whatever you want...


IF they don't put an HDD in their new console and still using the wii optical format, DVD9 or whatever, it's going to be rough for them...

AWBrawler3794d ago

Nintendo really are living up to their title as gaming gods, because they sure work in mysterious ways. lol

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Dsnyder3795d ago

This console will be a failure.

Agent-863795d ago

I'm starting to believe the stories saying that the Wii 2 is the next Dreamcast.

Ocelot5253795d ago

nevertheless the nintendo fanbase will still buy it

Fez3795d ago

Failure in what way? Sales or your personal opinion? If the latter, seems like you've already made up your mind.

If you mean sales, if the media tells people to buy it, don't expect it to fail. Plus it's Nintendo, that is a much stronger name than Sony or Microsoft in terms of casual household gaming (where the money is)...


flyingmunky3795d ago

I agree so far. However we have yet to see E3, so I remain optimistic.

I think its going to come down to the price and features on the hardware. It would really behoove Nintendo to make their console future proof, because if they don't then MS and Sony are going to steamroll them when they release their own consoles in a few years. You can bet Sony's next console will be a big step up in the technology department and probably MS as well.

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ProjectVulcan3795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )

It suggests Nintendo still would have no intention to have their machine as a multi function, media centred device. Microsoft and Sony are pushing their boxes heavily as living room, everyday entertainment devices, whereas by lacking a hard drive it would mean Nintendo are still not really interested in that.

Maybe its not a bad thing assuming that the focus is still entirely on gaming, however these days most people expect their shiny new piece of electronics to be all singing all dancing.

I think the dangers of not having enough storage suggest lack of ambition in the downloadable games market and online services again. Nintendo need to vastly improve their online service.

cochise3133795d ago

yeah, nintendo really needs to restructure their online if they want hardcore gamers. Online is essential this gen and will play a more heavy emphasis next gen.

kneon3795d ago

Creating an online service comparable to Live and PSN will take many years, so maybe they just don't expect there to be much to download. And before they get close to a decent online service we'll be on to the PS4 and

infamousinfolite3795d ago

Nintendo to not have HDD hmm is it possible that Nintendo can get into a fully featured online cloud storage and online you can manipulate your game saves and demos

nickjkl3795d ago

me thinks infamous didnt read the article

sikbeta3794d ago

I didn't think about that vulcan but you're right, with no HDD it's going to be difficult to implement what PSN/Store and XBL/Marketplace do really well for DLC, Indy games, demos and more...

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fr0sty3795d ago

I'd imagine it supports external storage. Hard drives are expensive to manufacture, and not having one allows ninty more room for more powerful hardware. you always can toss in a SD card or external USB hard drive and have the same functionality.

stevenhiggster3795d ago

HDD's cost peanuts nowadays. You can go to on Amazon or any other store these days and get a 1tb HDD for less than the price of one console game!

fr0sty3795d ago

$30-40 for one part in a console that contains many, many parts isn't cheap. you have to look at the big picture. They want to keep costs low so it'll appeal to a wider audience. They're better off letting the end user choose their own storage medium and size as an add on than spending that much on putting a hard drive in the console.

Also, HDD size isn't a metric to use when it comes to cost, as a 20GB drive will cost you a lot more these days to buy than a 250GB drive. Reason being, those 20GB's are in lower demand, so there are less of them being made therefore the cost is higher (cost drops with volume).

stevenhiggster3795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )

Thing is though, an hdd costs £30-50 at retail. If Ninty were going to put them in every console, let's say at very least 5million units first year, then they would be able to get them at a real nice deal. You're talking maybe £10 cost to them at most. I'm pretty sure most users would rather pay an extra £10 for their console with a 1tb hdd in it, than pay £10 less for the console, and then pay an extra £30-50 for an hdd.

fr0sty3795d ago

it isn't just cost, but durability. hdd's output a good bit of heat, and they're large so they increase the size needed for the console itself. sd cards are solid state, no moving parts to wear out, and you can throw them down a flight of stairs while they're running and nothing will happen. i don't mind moving away from the hdd, so long as they offer up a suitable alternative. Especially if they allow the use of an external usb hard drive, which will enable us to use our existing drives with the new console.

badz1493795d ago

And you think flash memory is cheap? There is no way an 8GB flash is cheaper than 20GB HDD.

jetlian3795d ago

8gb usb only 10-15 bucks and no one makes 20gb hdd anymore meaning your gonna pay more than 40 for the cheapest of drives

if all its for is game saves its enough. and they could make the system usb capable

fr0sty3795d ago

in addition, that extra heat generated means an even more powerful cooling system must be used, which increases cost even more. And if having built in flash memory is cheaper than a 20gb hdd, why did MS take that route with the arcade 360 slim? a little flash memory is cheap, and putting a sd card slot and a usb port on the console so you can insert your own storage solution is also cheaper. it makes a cheaper, more durable, and cooler running system. it only makes sense to move away from hard drives these days, especially if you're not trying to go for an all in one media server, and only want to make a good games console with maybe a few media features on the side.

AWBrawler3794d ago

let us look back at the 3DS. It is going to offer Netflix, Demos, game downloads, videos and what not, and it has no Hard Drive, but it comes with a 2Gig SD card inside it.

Nintendo is known to work around storage space, and make more out of less. (Just look at how awesome some of the top notch wii games like Mario Galaxy and Last Story look)and they specialize in handhelds, so it's only natural that they specialize in minimizing Hardware and still yeilding good results.

Let's be honest here for a second. If Nintendo release a system with say 500 gigs or a TB, or even 250 Gig, it would be a beast and everyone else would seem like they were lazy with their big HDDs

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TBM3795d ago

I guess I can wait to pick up the system probably a year after its initial release.

4Sh0w3795d ago

when are you guys going to learn to stop underestimating nintendo, if they are going HD with a small flash drive then they have already plans for a storage solution in mind, perhaps a cloud account for all users who sign up, who knows? but you can bet ninty will have something to grab the masses attention like they did with the wii2 HD= success.

soundslike3795d ago

No, see, the controllers are actually external hard drives in themselves.

frostypants3795d ago

Way to go Nintendo! Your plan to make a stunningly fast dash back into 3rd place is all coming together!

eagle213795d ago (Edited 3795d ago )

Nintendo back in 2008 has been exploring holographic data tech. Not that it will change the trolls of n4g's minds anyway since they are so pissed about psn they troll nintendo articles all But this maybe the direction they are taking.

"Patent reveals Nintendo's exploration of holographic data tech"


The idiots agreeing with Dsnyder should be ashamed of their blind minds. How come every console released these days gets a "Dreamcast" label until it shuts haters up. Fu$$ the darn dreamcast. That POS is dead...excuse my language.

AWBrawler3794d ago

Don't you dare mock the Dreamcast! The Dream was a better console than a lot of the ones that followed it.

Rageanitus3795d ago

say that to the early xbox supporters.

kramun3795d ago

It's all rumours. I'll wait until I hear it from Nintendo, until then it's just gossip and rumours.

Hisiru3795d ago

It's just a rumour guys. o_o'

3795d ago
madcowz643795d ago

Get with it Nintendo, even though it'll be HD its obvious the next-gen Playstation and Xbox will be graphically superior.

50Terabytespersec3794d ago

It will sell! Fanboys and old Nintendo anti- Sony nerds will buy it so will parents who think it will shut up their kids and baby sit them and make them forget about girls..
Sad fact is this system will continue to slow the growth of gaming as did the Wii, IDK about you but if Nintendo had bowed out and stayed out of the gaming arena the PS3 and 360 would have better penetration and better games and more revenue to invest on their next..
Thank you nintendo for marketing and brainwashing low end idiots into believe HD is not the future and low def is !!
Now no HD???
go to hell Nintendo!!!
go make a handheld leave HD next gen to the big boys ..
Solid State or bust!!!

DeadlyFire3794d ago

8 GB Flash memory if true the user will never touch it. If so optional Flash plug-ins are likely to be supported. Say DLC for example. Store it on a flash drive put it aside and store another on another flash drive. Nice concept. Its the only sensible thing to do with this 8 GB if users can get to it and its all we are getting without a HDD.

25 GB Disc format I am interested in hearing about. Nintendo typically has their own modified format. Its possible that they have settled with upgrading to Blu-Ray?

As for the graphics it doesn't matter which format is chosen for it. It can easily support 1080i or 1080p just fine with its rumored specs.

ChrisW3794d ago

I going to assume that they aren't going to use Blu-Ray because of it's read speed. Especially since they're going to limit their HDD so much. If their disc technology is able to get comparable read speeds to DVD, they should be safe.

Speaking of their HDD, hopefully they'll make it upgradeable.

DeadlyFire3794d ago (Edited 3794d ago )

What are you talking about? They have Blu-Ray read speeds up to 10x-12x or greater now. That is superior to a 16x DVD drive's speed by far. I don't know all the technical details, but I know for certain its potential at this speed is much greater than DVD's.

2x doesn't do half bad compared to X360's 12x drive either. No real problems with load times. Games with concerns on this issue have the HDD to fall back on with the PS3. Likely this problem is gone with potential 6x-8x-10x-12x Blu-Ray disc speeds out there or a HDD would exist in this console. Apparently Nintendo doesn't care about DLC, but maybe. Never know. These all are just rumors.

I hope so.

matey3794d ago

Depends what there strategy is i mean Project Cafe is said to have 2gig RAM 4 times the 360/8 times ps3 oh and flash memory is very good much faster than HDD and also benefits Internet browsing 8gig of flash is 2/4 times the 360 and 25gig on a single layer disc is more than twice the 360.
Then u have the revamped R700 GPU which eclipses the ps3 and runs between 750mhz/900mhz plus with support 4 Shader Model 4.1 this is better than 4.0 and eclipses the 3.0 version the ps3/360 use so id say with all that u r joking if u think it wont support 1080p it will have to with that power and as 4 HDD if the console has streaming tech it might be more like Onlive where u stream it from a super computer if so and i heard Iwata saying they might use Onlive/Otoy as a service if thats the case u can expect huge games to download much bigger than ps3/360 have with HDD.

amilio3794d ago

As Nintendo says Don't believe everything u hear online. These sources are getting sad. all i'm hearing these rumors are from reliable sources. sigh E3 is the day. That we will know everything.

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52pickup3795d ago

If 8GB is the only SKU Nintendo is offering and there is no separate HDD available like the 360 then this tells me there won't be much in the way of online stuff like DLC,Movies,Music etc,also no optional HDD installs,otherwise they would need much more space to store it. 8GB will be used up pretty quickly in today's digital era of games consoles what with game updates/patches,game saves etc.

matey3794d ago

Nintendo will do a Otoy/Onlive service u watch and thats better than 2gig games on a HDD the games on these services can be huge try 8/16 gig with CGI graphics.

Shok3795d ago

No freakin way. SURELY Nintendo has learned it's lesson about having small storage. You can but a terabyte HDD for $40 today.

Shok3795d ago

But I guess there's an upside about this. This means we wont have to pay for over-priced storage out the box. In other words, they'd be keeping the price of the system down. Then we could just buy HC SD cards.

upturned23795d ago

How dare you change your mind? lol I'd really rather have an HDD. Videos and music should be able to be added to the console. It's 2011. Enough with Nintendo knowing only how to do "simple" concepts. IE wii