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Nintendo Adds USB External Storage Support For Wii U

By Kevin on Nov 14 2012 09:43 PM
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When it comes to additional storage options for the Wii U, there's a lot that hasn't really been solidified until just recently. Nintendo of America have added new support information for external USB storage for the Wii U.

Below, are a series of questions and answers directly from the official Wii U support section of Nintendo of America. For those who are still trying to decide the best route for external storage, I strongly suggest reading the below information.

General Information
Both the 8 GB Basic Set and 32 GB Deluxe Set Wii U systems have enough memory to store save data for large numbers of games purchased through retail and to support a limited amount of download activity through the Nintendo eShop for Wii U. If you wish to download more content, including full, retail-size software titles, we recommend an external USB storage device with a dedicated power source so that you can expand your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
  • What external USB storage devices can be used with Wii U?
    • To ensure maximum performance between your Wii U and an external storage device, we recommend using a hard-disc drive (HDD) with a dedicated power source (i.e., using an A/C adapter). Due to the wide range of external hard drives, usability and performance will vary.
  • How much memory should I get in an external USB storage device?
    • This will depend on how much you plan to download from the Nintendo eShop and the size of the games downloaded. Games sold in the Nintendo eShop can range from rather small amounts of memory to large titles over 10 GB.
  • Is there a maximum memory capacity for external storage devices used with Wii U?
    • External storage devices used with Wii U should not exceed 2TB.
    • Even if you connect a hard disc of more capacity, it will only recognize 2TB.
  • Can I use a Flash/Thumb drive as an external storage device?
    • Because these devices have a limited number of rewrites and are not suited to long-term storage of important game data, we do not recommend the use of Flash/thumb drives as an external storage device solution. For best results on memory storage, we recommend using a hard drive with its own power supply that connects to the Wii U via the USB port on the console.
    • Commercial Flash memory has a limit on the number of times you can write over it, and we don't recommend long-term storage of important save data.
  • Is the Wii U compatible with Solid State Drives?
    • To ensure maximum performance between your Wii U and an external storage device, we recommend using a hard-disc drive (HDD) with a dedicated power source (i.e., using an A/C adapter).
  • Can bus-powered hard disc drives be used with Wii U?
    • Some bus-powered hard disc drives draw more current than the USB 2.0 specification and might not run stably, so we cannot guarantee that such devices will run properly on the Wii U without the use of a supplemental power cable called a y-cable that draws power from two USB ports. For best results on memory storage, we recommend using a hard drive with its own power supply that connects to the Wii U via the USB port on the console.
  • Can I use an SD Card to use and save game data on the Wii U?
    • For Wii U, SD Cards can be used for saving a picture of your Mii and QR Code patterns for your Mii but not as an external storage device for Wii U software. SD Cards can, however, be used in Wii mode to save data for Wii games. This data is managed through the Data Management feature in Wii mode. SD cards are also used to transfer data from Wii to Wii U.
  • What data can be stored on a USB storage device?
    • Once a USB storage device has been exclusively configured for use with a Wii U console, it can be used to store games, applications, new downloadable content, application updates and save data. Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC etc. unless it is reformatted.
  • Why do I have to format my USB storage device?
    • To optimize performance and ensure a consistent experience, all USB storage devices must be formatted and configured on the Wii U console for exclusive use with the console. Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC, etc., unless it is reformatted.
  • How many USB storage devices can I use with a single Wii U?
    • When downloading software or playing a game saved to an external storage device, you can only use one USB storage device with the Wii U console at a time. Multiple USB storage devices can be used one at a time to store your downloadable Wii U content, but the Wii U needs to be turned off to reconnect a USB storage device. "Hot Swapping" is not supported at this time.
    • In the future, we plan to add a function that will make it possible to connect multiple storage media to move or copy content.
  • Can I use a USB storage device formatted for the Wii U to store any other content?
    • No. External USB storage devices exclusively formatted for the Wii U cannot be used to store any other content.
  • Can a USB storage device formatted for the Wii U be reformatted for any other devices, like a PC?
    • Yes, a USB storage device that has been formatted for Wii U can be reformatted for other devices. Reformatting the device will erase all of its data which cannot be recovered afterwards. For instructions on reformatting your device using a PC or other device, please contact the device manufacturer.
  • Can I use a USB storage device formatted for a Wii U with another person's Wii U?
    • No. External USB storage devices that are exclusively formatted for Wii U can only be used with the one system for which it is formatted. The only way to use your USB storage device on another Wii U is to reformat it.
    • Reformatting the device will erase all of its data and this data cannot be recovered.
  • Can I transfer my saved games from one USB drive to another?
    • This is possible if the game is transferred first from the USB drive to the Wii U itself. Then the game is transferred from the Wii U system to the other USB drive.
    • Also, at the time of the Wii U launch, only one USB storage media can be connected to the Wii U system at a time. However, with a future update, we plan to add a function that will make it possible to connect multiple storage media to move or copy content to from one to another.
  • Why didn't you provide enough memory in the Basic Set to be able to download Nintendo Land?
    • Both the 8 GB Basic and 32 GB Deluxe Wii U systems have enough memory to store save data for a large numbers of games purchased through retail and to support a limited amount of download activity through the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.
    • Nintendo Land cannot be downloaded onto the 8 GB Basic Set system but you can purchase the game at retail and there is room for save data.
    • If you wish to download downloadable content, including full, retail-size software titles, we recommend an external USB hard disc storage device to maximize your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
  • Are there any other games that I can't download with the Basic Set?
    • Some larger downloadable titles may not be able to be downloaded with the Basic Set by itself. Adding a USB storage device solves this issue. You can also purchase the game in disc form at retail-save data requires a smaller amount of memory.
    • If you wish to download additional content from the Nintendo eShop, including full, retail-size software titles, we recommend an external USB storage device to maximize your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
  • If I delete a game to make more room will I be able to download it again if I want to?
    • On the system where you made the initial purchase, you can re-download a deleted game at any time by going to your Profile in the Nintendo eShop Menu and selecting My Downloads.
Source: Wii U - External Storage for the Wii U


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Comments: 4

Up to 2TB eh? Nice.
I have a 500 GB HDD ready. Now I have a reason to use it again.
Well, I am glad they clarified this storage info now instead of after the release. And this is basically what I was expecting. I was hoping we could store eShop purchases on SD card, but its fine. Iintended on storing all my WiiWare and VC games on the SD card, with the HDD used for Wii U downloads. I will keep the internal storage for game save data.

This article does create another question that needs answering. I am assuming the Wii U will have a VC section in the eShop, but is it different than the VC in WiiShop? If it is different, it sounds like I will have VC titles in 2 different places. If this is the case, I'd like a VC channel that reads both locations and shows me just VC games.

I always thought the Wii needed a WiiWare channel and VC channel instead of that little SD Card menu on the main screen. But thats just me.

View PostDinky, on 14 November 2012 - 10:54 PM, said:

This article does create another question that needs answering. I am assuming the Wii U will have a VC section in the eShop, but is it different than the VC in WiiShop?

Indeed it does. :)

I'm working on an article that explains all of that. To answer simply, though, there are two separate "shops" that can be used from the Wii U. More on that soon!
Their reasoning to use HDD with a dedicated power supply make sense to me. They just want to limit the amount of issues that could occur by using other forms of memory. It is for the benefit of Nintendo and the user so I am ok with this. Also a 2TB cap is a really nice amount.