Nintendo Uses Colored Beads to Explain Wii U Storage

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Nintendo Uses Colored Beads to Explain Wii U Storage

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Gather around, kids, Nintendo has some explaining to do.

Virtual storage, especially on a video game console, isn't a terribly complicated concept, but just in case big numbers like 32 are a bit much for you to handle, Nintendo has created an informative video to aid you in selecting the right storage option for your needs. Using colored beads, clear containers, and a faceless model, the demonstration offers a visual touch while also making it clear that if you were planning on picking up the most basic Wii U package available, you're going to probably want an external storage device. The video is entirely in Japanese, so I'll break it down for you.

The base model of the Wii U comes with just 8GB of Flash memory. The premium edition bumps that number up to a much more respectable 32GB. After formatting each drive, the useable space is cut to 7.2GB and 29GB, respectively.

The first time you boot up the Wii U and create things like your personal account, the setup process eats up a whopping 4.2GB of additional space, leaving owners of the basic model with just 3GB of space for things like games and media. That's... not a lot. In fact, as the green colored beads overflowing onto the table in the video show, you won't even be able to install a rather modest title like Nintendo Land, which takes up 3.2GB on its own.

However, both models of the Wii U allow for external storage via USB, and the console supports up to 2TB, should you decide to grab a full-sized hard drive. The video simplifies this by having the nameless gal pour a ton of colored beads - representing games, account data, and other media - into a large plastic tub. Basically, if you didn't already know that 8GB isn't a lot these days, you have no excuse to plead ignorance now.

Source: YouTube

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I absolutely am 100% for the ability to use external hard drives for my consoles. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Though this does basically tell me that when I get a WiiU I might as well get the elite package anyway just so I don't have to buy a hard drive right away.

"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Okay, the ability to use external media is great, but...why the hell did they even bother shipping a model with *8* Gb of memory? That's embarrassingly low. I wouldn't even buy a flashdrive with less than 32.

shintakie10:
I absolutely am 100% for the ability to use external hard drives for my consoles. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

I can guarantee that people probably have. And they may have been held back by external drives typically being quite slow until fairly recently unless you had a SATA or good firewire connector. I'm a bit surprised actually since the WiiU has USB 2.0 ports which aren't the fastest thing in the universe these days (and never have been really). I guess it depends on how ambitious the digital titles get and how quickly they need to stream data from the drive.

Still though, as much as I'm for allowing external drives to back up or transfer files, a console shouldn't even be released with the bare minimum storage to utilize all of its features. Based on the numbers in the article, they might as well not have an 8GB version at all. This is a pretty big corner to cut if you ask me, and telling customers to buy another device to deal with a problem which will probably be inevitable for anyone buying it, which could easily be solved with a hard drive costing them $50 or less to include, is kind of pathetic.

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Actually it is cheaper for the consumer.

Its not like Nintendo's going to dynamically adjust the price and internal memory of Wii U based on the price of flash memory.

So you have an option of not installing Nintendo's OS? I think not. This might be called false advertising - they're selling a product with specifications that is UNUSABLE. As in, you'll never actually have 8GB of space available if you turn it on to play.

Is this really the first impression you want to leave - we will make everything to save money for us and some numbers that you see are not the ones you're actually getting.

shintakie10:
I absolutely am 100% for the ability to use external hard drives for my consoles. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Though this does basically tell me that when I get a WiiU I might as well get the elite package anyway just so I don't have to buy a hard drive right away.

You have been able to do it on the xbox for a few years now.

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

At least you can use 3rd party externals, which you can get pretty cheaply these days. If you had to buy overpriced hard-drives from Nintendo on the other-hand...

4.2 GIGS FOR PROFILE/SYSTEM DATA?! What the hell?

I can install Operating Systems (with useful programs) that use half as much space. I really hope there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Wow.

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

...as opposed to the Vita strategy of having specific expensive memory cards in addition to its cost? Really?

OT: I myself am happy for this. Good on Nintendo.

Ed130:

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

At least you can use 3rd party externals, which you can get pretty cheaply these days. If you had to buy overpriced hard-drives from Nintendo on the other-hand...

True, but I don't see why they couldn't also include internal memory that even they admit is lackluster. Memory isn't expensive anymore, unless you're talking bleeding-edge tech or solid state.

xaszatm:

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

...as opposed to the Vita strategy of having specific expensive memory cards in addition to its cost? Really?

OT: I myself am happy for this. Good on Nintendo.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, I'm just pointing out that this is a pretty stupid way of marketing this. Most of this current generation of consoles already have external memory options, although I'm not sure about the 360 I'll admit, so I could be wrong there.

Inversely, the Sony handhelds have a long and glorious tradition of bad hardware decisions.

Did they list a price difference between these two? I'm sure the 32 GB wouldn't be 4 times the price of the 8GB

Scrythe:
[quote="Ed130" post="7.393822.15929874"]
I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, I'm just pointing out that this is a pretty stupid way of marketing this. Most of this current generation of consoles already have external memory options, although I'm not sure about the 360 I'll admit, so I could be wrong there.

Inversely, the Sony handhelds have a long and glorious tradition of bad hardware decisions.

The Wii originally didn't, but an update added support to use an SD card which is more than enough for the size of the games you can use there.
The PS3 has no support to run games from external disks. You can change the internal hard drive, but that's something different (nor cheap/simple).

darkszero:

Scrythe:
[quote="Ed130" post="7.393822.15929874"]
I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, I'm just pointing out that this is a pretty stupid way of marketing this. Most of this current generation of consoles already have external memory options, although I'm not sure about the 360 I'll admit, so I could be wrong there.

Inversely, the Sony handhelds have a long and glorious tradition of bad hardware decisions.

The Wii originally didn't, but an update added support to use an SD card which is more than enough for the size of the games you can use there.
The PS3 has no support to run games from external disks. You can change the internal hard drive, but that's something different (nor cheap/simple).

Well if you're talking about running games, then yes you are absolutely correct. Honestly, that would probably be a bad idea on that specific example due to the complexity of the PS3 hardware. Being limited to run everything through the USB 2.0 ports would be absolutely maddening.

If Nintendo can pull this off, more power to them. I haven't looked at the Wii U specs, so I have no idea if this would work.

I recall years ago I tried running an MMORPG through an external drive hooked up through a USB into a computer that would normally run it, but it's hard drive could barely contain more than the operating system (last hard drive crashed, had to use a shitty one I had lying around). Obviously this is a pretty extreme example, but try running a modern-day game through that same setup and you're going to get some of the most disgusting bottlenecking you could experience.

Yikes, man. I had a feeling the tiny disc size of the basic was going to be an issue, but dang. After system setup you only get 3? Wow.

Good thing I went for the deluxe set. Though I imagine I'll be off to bestbuy to pick up some terabyte externals before long.

Remember the days when games just cost a few beads? I find it harder and harder to now...

8gb or 32gb SSDs + whatever other memory you want to buy really isn't that bad.
Besides. If Nintendo had included like 20gb and 100gb HDDs, people would STILL find a reason to complain.

But the ridiculous amount of start up files on display here... that makes me at least a little mad.

Wait, is installing games optional or required? I'd assume optional, but I'd like to be sure. So I can decide if I should rant or not.

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Actually it is cheap for you.

A hard drive will cost you about $50 if you just get a mediocre one, giving you about 500gb of storage. If they made it so you could buy a 32gb model or 64gb model, then you would be paying $100 for about 1/10th of the storage.

A Smooth Criminal:

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Actually it is cheap for you.

A hard drive will cost you about $50 if you just get a mediocre one, giving you about 500gb of storage. If they made it so you could buy a 32gb model or 64gb model, then you would be paying $100 for about 1/10th of the storage.

And all of this would cost me absolutely nothing on the side if it was internal!

Vivi22:

shintakie10:
I absolutely am 100% for the ability to use external hard drives for my consoles. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

I can guarantee that people probably have. And they may have been held back by external drives typically being quite slow until fairly recently unless you had a SATA or good firewire connector. I'm a bit surprised actually since the WiiU has USB 2.0 ports which aren't the fastest thing in the universe these days (and never have been really). I guess it depends on how ambitious the digital titles get and how quickly they need to stream data from the drive.

Who the hell said anything about stream?

Yes, you can use an external Hard Drive for storage, but no-one ever said you could play games off that. Basically, every time you want to play a digital game, you're going to have to uninstall something from the main hard drive, and install a new game on it. Then you can play it - won't that be fun?

Kross:
4.2 GIGS FOR PROFILE/SYSTEM DATA?! What the hell?

I can install Operating Systems (with useful programs) that use half as much space. I really hope there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Wow.

No offense but, but you seem a little anal when it comes to beads. :P
see what I did there?

Scrythe:

A Smooth Criminal:

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Actually it is cheap for you.

A hard drive will cost you about $50 if you just get a mediocre one, giving you about 500gb of storage. If they made it so you could buy a 32gb model or 64gb model, then you would be paying $100 for about 1/10th of the storage.

And all of this would cost me absolutely nothing on the side if it was internal!

Well, no, but it would raise the base price of the system...

I recall years ago I tried running an MMORPG through an external drive hooked up through a USB into a computer that would normally run it, but it's hard drive could barely contain more than the operating system (last hard drive crashed, had to use a shitty one I had lying around). Obviously this is a pretty extreme example, but try running a modern-day game through that same setup and you're going to get some of the most disgusting bottlenecking you could experience.

You know running games off of USB 2.0 is still faster than disc drives and without the wear and tear on the drive.

Who the hell said anything about stream?

Yes, you can use an external Hard Drive for storage, but no-one ever said you could play games off that. Basically, every time you want to play a digital game, you're going to have to uninstall something from the main hard drive, and install a new game on it. Then you can play it - won't that be fun?

I don't recall them ever saying you needed to do what you said it'd do either.
If I recall when Nintendo added the SD Card Menu to the System Menu on the Wii that is indeed how it worked but there is no evidence saying the same will be done with the Wii U.

Towowo:

I recall years ago I tried running an MMORPG through an external drive hooked up through a USB into a computer that would normally run it, but it's hard drive could barely contain more than the operating system (last hard drive crashed, had to use a shitty one I had lying around). Obviously this is a pretty extreme example, but try running a modern-day game through that same setup and you're going to get some of the most disgusting bottlenecking you could experience.

You know running games off of USB 2.0 is still faster than disc drives and without the wear and tear on the drive.

Who the hell said anything about stream?

Yes, you can use an external Hard Drive for storage, but no-one ever said you could play games off that. Basically, every time you want to play a digital game, you're going to have to uninstall something from the main hard drive, and install a new game on it. Then you can play it - won't that be fun?

I don't recall them ever saying you needed to do what you said it'd do either.
If I recall when Nintendo added the SD Card Menu to the System Menu on the Wii that is indeed how it worked but there is no evidence saying the same will be done with the Wii U.

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?p=62330051

32 gigs is really small for these days. I have a 60 gb Xbox and I still have to do a ton of deleting old games and rearranging data to make room.

It'd be more simple to have an option for a terabyte or half terabyte. The cost would be slightly higher, but it's better than having your maximum option barely the size of 3 big games.

and let me guess, you can only use nintendo licensed external hard drives...

did you know back then when console gamers used to tell you that you wouldn't had to fight with a dozen of wires like on a stupid pc to get it running?

and did you know how well it turned out for sega to have different expensive devices you had to connect in order to play "the latest and visually stunning games"?
image
ah, god old times.

i wonder how long it will take pirates to exploit the external hard drive option.

and also wonder how long you will be standing before loading screens since it seems like it uses usb 2.0 instead of thuderbold or usb 3.0.

DVS BSTrD:

Kross:
4.2 GIGS FOR PROFILE/SYSTEM DATA?! What the hell?

I can install Operating Systems (with useful programs) that use half as much space. I really hope there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Wow.

No offense but, but you seem a little anal when it comes to beads. :P
see what I did there?

the pink beads are probably porn data. too much tentacles.

[/quote] http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?p=62330051 [/quote]

Ah okay thanks for clarifying that, but it was indicated it was also a rumor and that the statements were misinterpreted. I don't think Nintendo would be dumb enough to do this.
It'd be completely counter-intuitive.

Towowo:

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?p=62330051

Ah okay thanks for clarifying that, but it was indicated it was also a rumor and that the statements were misinterpreted. I don't think Nintendo would be dumb enough to do this.
It'd be completely counter-intuitive.

It'd also be counter intuitive to try to set the WiiU up as some home media hub, and yet forget to give it the ability to at least play DVD's.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Scrythe:

A Smooth Criminal:

Actually it is cheap for you.

A hard drive will cost you about $50 if you just get a mediocre one, giving you about 500gb of storage. If they made it so you could buy a 32gb model or 64gb model, then you would be paying $100 for about 1/10th of the storage.

And all of this would cost me absolutely nothing on the side if it was internal!

Well, no, but it would raise the base price of the system...

True, but not by much, and I certainly wouldn't have to go out of my way to purchase side equipment just for the ability to do more than look at my shiny new console's menu screen.

rhizhim:
and let me guess, you can only use nintendo licensed external hard drives...

... No, you can use any external hard drive available, as long as it can hook up to the system fine. No Nintendo License required.

rhizhim:
did you know back then when console gamers used to tell you that you wouldn't had to fight with a dozen of wires like on a stupid pc to get it running?

and did you know how well it turned out for sega to have different expensive devices you had to connect in order to play "the latest and visually stunning games"?
image
ah, god old times.

This is completely different. The WiiU is not an expansion for the Wii, it is a new system entirely. External Hard Drives don't require wires to run into the system; they can be simple USBs.

rhizhim:
i wonder how long it will take pirates to exploit the external hard drive option.

As soon as everyone else; about 2 seconds, because you can plug in any external hard drive...

OTL Super excited for the WiiU! I can't wait to get mine for Christmas!

Foolproof:

Towowo:

http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?p=62330051

Ah okay thanks for clarifying that, but it was indicated it was also a rumor and that the statements were misinterpreted. I don't think Nintendo would be dumb enough to do this.
It'd be completely counter-intuitive.

It'd also be counter intuitive to try to set the WiiU up as some home media hub, and yet forget to give it the ability to at least play DVD's.

I can honestly get the gripes about not being able to play DVD's but is that neccasary of a feature? Most people have about a large amount of devices that can already play movies.
In regards to the previous point above, I don't believe that 3.2 GB would ever be enough to do what the Wii did with the SD Card Menu. I don't think for a second that Nintendo would advertise external storage options and having the Wii U not being able to play games from it.

Scrythe:

A Smooth Criminal:

Scrythe:
"You should probably invest in external memory, because we can't be arsed to include it ourselves."

Cheap for them, but not for you!

Actually it is cheap for you.

A hard drive will cost you about $50 if you just get a mediocre one, giving you about 500gb of storage. If they made it so you could buy a 32gb model or 64gb model, then you would be paying $100 for about 1/10th of the storage.

And all of this would cost me absolutely nothing on the side if it was internal!

It would be more expensive hardware costs...

Honestly Nintendo suggesting to people to buy External storage isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing in fact, people just want to complain about it so they have something to complain about.

Towowo:

Foolproof:

Towowo:

Ah okay thanks for clarifying that, but it was indicated it was also a rumor and that the statements were misinterpreted. I don't think Nintendo would be dumb enough to do this.
It'd be completely counter-intuitive.

It'd also be counter intuitive to try to set the WiiU up as some home media hub, and yet forget to give it the ability to at least play DVD's.

I can honestly get the gripes about not being able to play DVD's but is that neccasary of a feature? Most people have about a large amount of devices that can already play movies.

Yeah, and it'd be fine if the WiiU were trying to just be a dedicated games machine - it'd be excusable then. But the WiiU is trying to set itself up as "the only home media device you will need", which means that its inability to play DVD's is inexcusable.

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