The next Nintendo console may not have the advantage of significant internal storage.
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles are currently sold with a 250GB internal hard drive, an amount of storage space fully capable of handling most users' needs when it comes to installing game data, downloading demos, watching movies, etc. The Wii features just 512MB of internal flash memory, which at one point caused issues with gamers that downloaded too many Virtual Console games or other content, until Nintendo added a feature that made it easier to save games to external SD cards. According to unconfirmed information, Nintendo may once again be going with the same method for its next console.
Kotaku reports that sources "familiar" with the machine unofficially dubbed either Project Cafe or Nintendo Feel say that it includes 8GB of internal flash memory as its storage solution. While this is much larger than what's included in the Wii, it's still a small amount of storage space when compared to current competitors.
If the report is true, it's surprising considering how previous rumors have pointed to the idea that Project Cafe is being set up as Nintendo's move into the current, or next, generation. The lack of a hard drive in exchange for 8GB of internal memory isn't that big of a deal, but it points to a probable inability for Project Cafe to allow for large game installs to reduce loading times, or even for it to be able to download certain DLC map packs and other similar content. If Nintendo wants Project Cafe to satisfy both the Super Mario Bros. and Call of Duty audiences, a hard drive certainly seems like a requirement. Perhaps this isn't what Nintendo is going for.
Again, this is unconfirmed information, so take it as you will. If Project Cafe features the ability to read high-capacity SD cards (or another memory card format) like the Wii, users can simply purchase more storage at their own whim instead of having potentially excessive hard drive space forced upon them. However, the lack of a hard drive reduces the abilities of a console these days, so if this report is the whole story when it comes to Project Cafe storage, it's a little confusing.