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Reggie Loves Digital Consumers

By Kevin on Sep 13 2012 03:59 PM
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During the North American Wii U Preview that was covered yesterday, there were details about the Wii U that weren't disclosed. While the basic model offers 8GB of digital storage and the premium model four times greater than that with a solid 32GB of storage space, will that be enough for the hardcore gamer? Even more importantly, will that suffice for your long-term relationship with the Wii U? Well, regardless of which model you purchase, there's all-around good news for consumers.

During a post-press question and answer period with investors, Reggie solidified what most of us had already envisioned. When it comes to additional storage space for the Wii U, he says:

"You can plug in a full-on three terabyte hard drive (USB) if you want. I'll love you as a digital consumer. The reason we did it that way is that the cost of that type of storage memory is plummeting. What we didn't want to do is tie a profit model to something that's gonna rapidly decline over time. We'll let the consumer buy as much as they want, as cheaply as they want."

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Comments: 4

This actually makes sense. I am glad that he explained their reasoning for the low amount of pre-installed storage.
I have good and bad feelings about this. The good, I can buy as much storage as I want and won't be limited to what the console has built in. This is also something that I can do with the Xbox too even if I already have 250GB, I can still add an external drive and use that in addition to the one that is built-in. This at a cost of only $250.00 (new) w/o an extra HDD.

The bad, I have to spend X number of extra dollars on top of the $300 (basic model) I'm spending already. 8 or 32GB is not enough when you account for gamer profiles, apps, save data, dlc and dl'd games. You would be surprised at how fast that space gets eaten up, believe me I know. Our first Xbox was 20GB and we thought that would be enough, boy were we ever wrong. That space was gone after about 3 months and we aren't what you would consider serious gamers. Most of the space was used by all the Apps we have installed. If you will be using the WiiU for videos and TV in conjunction with downloading games you will definitely NEED an external HDD with LOTS of space. You can expect to add an additional $40.00 or more to the price of the WiiU depending on the amount of GB on the drive and the formatting options available for it.

I am still not sold on it yet. The gamepad is cool, but it's not grabbing me as I thought that it would. I'm still teetering on the fence and need to know more information before I can commit to it and buy it. Maybe once it comes out and I can get a hands on demo, I might change my mind.
I do think that this system, much like the Wii, is something you must experience hands on to really appreciate. I do however think that needing so much memory out of the gate is unrealistic for the normal consumer. I mean with the price point of $300.00 or $350.00 and maybe an additional $60.00 for a game, how much money is one going to sink into a mass amount of digital content to use up the 32GB? The basic 8GB I can fully understand but 32GB? I just do not see that being a huge issue in the first several months of owning this system. Also if you have a PS3 or XBOX 360 there is a slight chance you have a large external HDD already.

I only say this from my experience with PS3. I now have a digital library of 60+ titles but that took 5 years! Oh well. I will give them props for not using proprietary memory.
There is only one massive drawback to having such small system memory. The size of full featured retail games on the eShop. Since the Wii U utilises custom 25 GB discs, games will fill the hard drive almost instantly for the digital purists; it's just a matter of how long after release the third party toss up a digital copy. The Wii had the same problem shortly after launch, especially with only around 500 MB of flash memory. SD Card support helped, but you still would've been forced to switch cards around fairly often if you bought a lot of Shop Channel stuff.

I do agree that most people won't fill up the console memory within the first week or so, given the overall price of console+game(s), but the choice to let thir customers decide how much space they ultimately want on their Wii U, whether it be anywhere from 320 GB to a ridiculously massive 2 terabytes (or even more) is a very smart decision on Nintendo's part. Sony and Microsoft wouldn't be wrong in taking the same route when and if their next consoles come around.

...though which games exactly will fill up a whole 25-ish GB disc is another question. Maybe not for a while, I really can't see New Super Mario Bros. U being that big. One of the other exclusives, maybe, but I kinda doubt it this early xD