Wii U Has No Built-In Storage?

It was rumored that the Wii U would feature 8 GB of internal storage, but Satoru Iwata clarified that Nintendo did not reveal specifics regarding Wii U’s hard drive. Iwata reconfirmed that Wii U users can purchase a hard drive – of their choice – and attach it to the Wii U’s USB port. Although the Wii U may have a small amount of built-in storage, Nintendo may provide an SD card with each console – like they do with the Nintendo 3DS.

“We haven’t said anything about a hard drive that we’ll be including with the system itself. But we have said, through the USB connection, consumers will be able to take advantage of a wide range of the hard drives that are available on the market, and for quite cheap now, to add memory to their system however they like.”

Edit: The Wii U does have built in storage. Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.

160 thoughts on “Wii U Has No Built-In Storage?”

    1. NO NO NO!!!
      I don’t know if you actually read this or your just to brain damaged to realize that this is a BAD THING
      if the WiiU has no internal storage, then it’ll be impossible to download any games without purchasing the necessary add ons
      further more, this just reinforces the fact that nintendo is inferior to such companies as Sony
      if they were smart, they’d release different versions of the console, one with a hard drive, and a cheaper one without
      but of course they’re too stubborn and stupid to realize when everyone else is doing it right and they are not
      I’m not a Nintendo hater, I’m just a pissed off nerd

      1. This actually good, and the consle actually comes with internal storage just not much.
        Adding a Hardrive would only increase price, which can instead be used to get better GPU and CPU.

        Also, External HArdrives are supported.
        I would rather buy a 100$, 1TB hardrive that I can use anywhere, than a 130$ Console-specific 320GB hardrive.

        1. Agreed, I’d rather buy an external harddrive than rely on internal storage.
          And it’s not going to be like the Xbox handles things, where certain features in games can’t be used unless you have a Xbox 360 harddrive, even if you have the required space.

      2. What do you not get about ‘external HDD’ or ‘SD card’? Seriously, why is an internal HDD that important? All that would so is rise the cost of the system significantly. f

        1. It’s not as simple as you are making it out to be, and it is important to have a built-in hard drive. This is because of console gaming’s reputation of being plug-and-play. The average console gamer is not used to, and does not want to buy external devices just to be able to download games.

          PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 owners are now used to the idea of being able to download large expansions as well as full, retail games to their hard drives. On mobile devices, all games are digital downloads. As noted earlier, you can never assume that any significant portion of console customers will buy external devices for use with the console, ergo you lose potential digital download customers by not including a hard drive.

          When planning on what content they will sell digitally for the Wii U, third party publishers will have to weigh the decision in terms of whether or not it makes financial sense to have a digital release for Nintendo’s console. It takes time to port a DLC/Expansion pack, and time is money. An important part of the decision is the amount of potential customers. If only 30-40% of Wii U owners have a hard drive hooked up to their console (statistic is obviously made up, but I can’t see the fraction being much higher than this), then clearly this is a limiting factor in who you can sell your digital content to. This is opposed to the PlayStation 3 where every unit sold within the last couple of years has at least a 160 GB hard drive, and most Xbox 360s now have a large hard drive in them as well.

          I believe Nintendo’s digital store is not going to see a lot of third party support when developers and publishers realize this. Nintendo’s best option is to sell multiple models of the console. If they really want to be appeal to both the core and casual players, this is a good way to show that they mean that. It would be wise to sell one model with a lower price and no hard drive, and another one that has a hard drive but is a bit more expensive. This is what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360, and their digital store is thriving today. By limiting their models to just one, Nintendo is inhibiting the growth of their platform.

          1. Real gamers like me don’t care to much about downloading a bunch of crap… Microsoft made an Xbox slim with internal 4 gb memory which is expandable… Why cant Nintendo do that at a more affordable cost?

            1. hi there yes wii u probbaly cheaper then 4 gb xbox and you get 8 gb flash storage ps3 ultra slime will have 16 gb flash storage hard drives are being replaced with flash storage

      3. This is good news… Those console hard drives like on Xbox cost a lot for little compared to an external hard drive

      4. hi there yes they should offer more options 8 gb flash storage a hybride hdd/ssd combo drive one with a whopping 10,000 rpm veloci-raptor hdd and the high end model with a 15,000 rpm cheeta hdd and microsoft confrims a 10,000 rpm veloci-rapter hard drive for xbox 720 yeah finnaly faster hard drives comming too market

        1. nintendo made 1 mistake, 1!
          instead of making a deluxe with 32gb, they should made it with at least 120gb like the playstation 3.i like all the games, and im paying 350 dollars for 32gb console? im gonna have to save at least 50 bucks more for a 1tb hard drive on ebay…. it’ll be worth it!

  1. I’m pretty sure the Wii U will have some sort of internal storage. After all, the Wii did. Especially if they are embracing digital downloads I think it would be pretty silly not to include at least some level of internal storage

      1. um, aren’t you satisfied thatt his means you can get ANY HARDDRIVE YOU WANT to use instead of just a branded (re: more expensive) first party drive? Or that we’re not being denied from using one at all? these comments are all made by whiny fucking children.

        1. I know right…they like to pay more for less. I bet they have a vita with expensive ass proprietary memory cards.

    1. I agree, I personally don’t mind this for the games, but what about DLC’s and games that I buy from the eshop, do I also have to store them on a external hard drive?

      1. that would be no different then downloading them onto a SD card, i would imagine you do the same as me and store the ones you are playing on the system and the ones you “put on the shelf” on the SD disk. no biggie, glad they are making it cheep, just like when they made it so we didn’t need the “Nintendo” wifi connector to grab the internet anymore, less branded add-ons means more cash in our pockets. :)

  2. Well… that’s not too bad, but I would like to have Internal Storage Hard Drive in the system. Just means I’ll have to spend more money to get a separate hard drive. :c

      1. hi there your right but a hybride ssd/hdd seagates momentux hybride drive 250 320 and 500 gb hdd with 4 gb ssd combi a 320 gb hybride hdd/sdd combo cost $140 and has a 200 mb/s read write speeds faster then curent hdd in curent console or a 250 gb 10,000 rpm veloci-raptor hdd be for $120 has a 300 mb/s read write speeds

    1. At least no hard drive means a lower price tag, and you can use any USB storage device you most likely already own for game saves.

    2. not Too bad? wtf man! internal storage is awful, external is awesome. you can get a 2 tb harddrive for as much if not less than what it cost to get a 250gb one for an xbox. just think of all of the games you can put on an external. it’s awesome too because you can just take that hard drive and just plug it into your friends wiiu and all of your saves and games will be right there. i really don’t see why anybody is complaining about this at all

      1. hi there i am getting a hdd dock that will suport 4 1 terabyte 15,000 rpm cheatas at 2.4 gb/s read write speed thats 2.4 gegabytes per second read write speeds

      2. um..the games won’t work on somebody else’s wiiU. they’re encrypted to work only on the wiiU it was bought on, so less piracy.

    3. yeah external storage getting me 4 1 terabyte 10,000 rpm veloci-raptor hard drives in raid configers soo i am looking forward too my lighting fast 1.6 gb/s read write speeds i will have fastest console on planet earth

  3. The GameCube, PS2, and Xbox 360 all didn’t have built in storage. Honestly, I prefer it that way, its way easier to move stuff around. I’d rather bring my memory source to a friend’s house over my entire system.

    1. I do agree on that to an extent. But memory cards only hold so much. So if your downloading left and right and saving many games, there won’t be much space. Perhaps they should just include a removable hard drives?

      1. I remember before the Wii was released that they were talking about the controllers having built-in memory (which they do, but only for a small number of Miis). I was hoping that they would use this space to hold game saves, so you could bring your controller with all your saves with you. Oh well, I think that this actually isn’t a huge issue if USB hard drives are an option from day 1.

      2. hi there your wrong you can now buy 64 gb 128 gb 256 gb sdxc cards for very littel money a 128 gegabyte sdxc card at best buy is $99.99

  4. The more I read posts/statements like this…the more I think Nintendo is after the money. And correct me if I’m wrong but the gamepad is also said to be sold separately, right? Little to no hard drive and no gamepad really doesn’t make me happy. These are two things that are needed for the system and Nintendo wants them bought separately…no thanks

        1. Its included lol nintendo themselves said they mite not sell gamepad seperateley.that means it deff. Coming. With system

    1. The gamepad will be sold separately and with the System itself so don’t be worrying.

      You can buy an extra Gamepad separately whilst having the one that you got with the Wii U system

      1. so on. once you have decided on a path, it is time to cretae that great content.how to make moneyin order to make money with your blog, you need to have people visiting it. that is where marketing comes in. to draw traffic you have to get the

    2. Its only a secondary gamepad you will have to buy separately. You kinda need a gamepad to use the U so of course its included

    3. I’m fairly certain (can’t remember where I read it) that the GamePad is included. Also, how are they after the money? Nintendo in no way gains money from consumers opting to get an external harddrive. That money will solely go to the manufacturer of said hard drive (i.e. SanDisk).

      Additionally, they give you a 2 gig SD card with the system and that should be more than enough to hold you over until more game come out. Even then, 8 gig thumb sticks are dirt cheap (especially around Thanksgiving when the WiiU is speculated to drop. Black Friday sales for the win!). You’ll never need to worry about running out of space again for Nintendo games typically don’t pick up that much space anyway. Alas, this has yet to be seen.

      Lastly, you don’t HAVE to go out and by more memory. Its an option. If you want to solely download full games then of course it is recommended that you attain an external hard drive. Otherwise you can (and will have too if you want games lol) just go to your nearest video game seller and purchase it from them. The memory the SD card will be more than sufficient to contain all of your saves and a certain amount of eShop titles.

      1. exactly!!!! 8gb usb thumb stick only costs $5. some people need to go get a job. everyone whining… because it supports usb and sd cards. A Class 10 – 32gb sd card is only 20$ and even a usb 3.0 hard drive with 1tb is $50.

        All I see when people post on this is….. XBOX/PS3 Fanboys whining about not having job to pay for next ps4 or xbox 720

    4. I’m not sure exactly where I read it, I think it was maybe an older article here or IGN or somewhere but If I’m not mistaken it was in an interview with someone at nintendo that it was confirmed that a Wii U gamepad does indeed come bundled with the console

    5. The gamepad being sold separately would make no sense. The game they’re trying to push, Nintendo Land, makes full use of it so having people buy it after they have console seems to be completely nonsensical.

    1. Well Nintendo was never very clear on what memory storage would involve. So yeah, this seems to indicate that flash memory is not it.

      1. No, they’ve always said it’s Flash Memory, even on e3.nintendo.com.

        The person who wrote the article can’t seem to tell the difference.

    2. yes 8 gb flash is better then 8 gb hard drive fast read write speeds i want a 15,000 rpm cheeta hard drive in next gen game console

    1. hi there soo what 1 teeabyte hard drive too slow and tok small buying a 2 terabyte sdxc card or buy a 3.2 terabyte ssd from best buy $16,500 with 2.75 gb/s read write speeds

  5. Yeah, this is the one thing that worries me about the Wii U, especially with (all?) titles being available as digital downloads… I suppose with USB hard drives it won’t be a problem, but I’d much rather have the option of buying an upgraded internal hard drive similar to the PS3, even if it didn’t ship with one inside and just had a place for it.

  6. 1TB of storage here I come… XD

    Honestly, it could actually be a pretty shrewd move here. People won’t be confined to the memory restrains of the system for downloading eShop games. It’s so annoying only having 40GB of space on my PS3 (which I bought about three weeks before the 80GB one came out -_- )

    1. I got a 180GB version and the space was drained within 10 days. Yeah, with external hard drives you don’t really need to take apart your console and pull out the old HDD and replace with a new one, then you have to screw everything back together.. Yeah I can see why Nintendo is wanting people to use an external hdd

  7. Hm, well if it keeps costs of the Wii U Hardware down, then I don’t care. Besides, one will probably be able to buy an HDD for a cheaper price than what Nintendo will possibly offer for one internally. I have one 500GB External HDD and one 128GB External SSD, so I have no problem. People should be happy to not be forced to take an internal harddrive from Nintendo which will likely be a lot more expensive and of worser quality than those offered in the market.

    1. Yeah, and if the pricing is correct then the system must be a powerful beast. But yeah it’s pretty much Nintendo cost cutting

    2. hi there your looky you have a external 128 gb ssd thats 136 gb flash storage thats the rout i am taking all flash storage no hard drives

  8. “to ADD memory to their system however they like.”
    I’m sorry if I sound stupid saying this (which I probably do), but doesn’t the word “add” kind of imply there is some sort of internal storage. But honestly, it’s fine if it means I have to buy some sort of hard drive. It just means more memory :)

    1. Nope you’re right, all he said was that a Hard Drive wasn’t included in the system, Flash Memory is what the Wii U will be using and that is in no way a Hard Drive.

  9. It’d have to have /some/ memory onboard, likely via an SD, for game saves if nothing else.

    I don’t like the notion of it having little to none though. Considering Nintendo are making all games available as digital downloads as a feature, it irks me to no end that they’re effectively turning around and saying “to access all the features, you have to pay more”.

    1. Then they’d have to raise costs to provide an internal hard drive. Essentially, it gives people more options (they can choose how to store) while letting us decide how much we want to pay.

      1. yeah dont mind hard drives as long it is eather a 10,000 rpm or 15,000 rpm hard drive like veloci-raptors or cheeta hard drives

  10. Some of you don’t seem to get the part with, put in whatever the fuck USB HDD you want, aka you don’t need to buy a overpriced 1st party HDD.

  11. This is actually really great! The console will be a lower price, and unlike PS360, ANY commercial USB hard drive can be used with the Wii U, which means that extra storage will cost less as well. In addition, that SD card included will be helpful, especially for possibly playing your downloaded games on other people’s consoles (as suggested by an earlier article.)

  12. That’s how I’m using my Wii at the moment, with an external HDD for my games.

    I give it 2-3 weeks before the U gets hacked.

    1. i dont think so. the security on the wii u is much higher than the security on the wii, which was a problem. i’ll give it a few monts b4 the wii u is hacked

    2. hi there my wii will never be hacked becuase i will be useing 6 15,000 rpm cheeta hard drives thats 90,000 rpm gaming thats 3.6 gb/s read write speed is way too fast too be hacked

  13. If they started adding Gamecube games as part of the Virtual Console service, I could finally put my 500GB hard drive to good use.


  15. I’m alright with this, that way I can purchase any external drive I wish. Still, SOME internal storage would be nice for save files and such.

  16. That thing better come with one. If sold separate, they will face the same problem the Vita did, and with that lackluster E3 and the casual confusion of Wii U being a simple Wii peripheral, Nintendo could be in some hot water.

    1. U R GAY! :)

      Vita isn’t selling because… it costs as much as the ps3??? why pay 60$ for the special mico sd card that only has 8 gigs. You can’t even download 2 full games to that. You can’t even put a protective case on the dumb thing. 3g version costs more than the wifi version….. yet you have to pay for a subscription fee. lol. u r da gayest!!!

  17. Another reason why I love Nintendo. Why would i pay and insane price for a HD or SD card. Instead i can just use what i have or buy something with more space for less. Look a the price comparison

    xbox 360 320 HD – $129.99 at best buy
    seagate free agent 1TB- USB2 $89.99 at best buy

  18. The Wii-U will probably come with either an 8GB or 16GB SDHC card bundled in. That’s around the same amount of storage or more than what the basic X360 currently offers. It’s cheap to upgrade that card as well to 32GB-64GB ($22-$50) if one wants to increase capacity. I currently have an 8GB for my 3DS and have barely touch 1/4 of it despite downloading a few titles and demos. Unless one is intent on having their library filled with only downloadable titles 16GB SD or upgraded to 32-64GB should be enough for most Nintendo gamers. Besides one can always buy a separate hard drive if 64GB is not enough.

    1. hi there your right 64 gb sdxc card cost $50 and 128 gb sdxc cards cost $100 128 gb sd cards work 3ds 964,000 free blocks

  19. Well, at least we won’t have to go through the same company for an overpriced memory storage device. Cough, cough, Vita.

    1. hi the highest gb in a sd card is curently at 128 gb we dont need or want hard drives sd cards are up too hard drive capacity

  20. thats cool with me because xbox storage cost 130 dollars for a 250 g one while i can purchase a xternal drive with 250 gigs on ebay or amazon for 30 bucks …..beside i have a 250 gig xbox and i have not use all the space all i need is 100 gigs so i just buy for 15 dollars in ebay

  21. Thats alot of fans on that console…maybe its more powerful than i thought, overheat is a common problem with high spec pc’s

  22. <y problem is not so much DLC and downloadable games….but….Game Data….Alot of games need updates and partial HDD space to perform…. WIll the Wii U be able to access that information through the Extrenal HDD for games to work properly… o.O Same goes for DLC… Does that mean if the External HDD or USB cable malfunctions..my game won't work properly? o.O

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