Online gaming publication Kotaku have been told that Nintendo’s next home console won’t come equipt with a traditional Hard-Drive but will instead come with 8 gigabytes of on-board flash-based memory.
Whilst this information is strictly a rumour, sources close to Kotaku have stated that Nintendo have chosen to opt for on-board flash memory rather than include an large HDD like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation.
The console, codenamed Project Café, will include 8 gigabytes of on-board flash-based memory, presumably for game storage. That quantity, while nearly 16 times the storage capacity of the Wii, is smaller than the 20GB of room available in the original, optional hard drives offered in 2005 for the Xbox 360. The amount of memory in the new Nintendo console would also be dwarfed by the 250 GB drives offered in current, high-end versions of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
While my sources have not specified how Nintendo plans to allow owners of its console to use the machine’s memory, 8GB would seem to provide ample room for downloadble retro games, a service Nintendo has already supported on the Wii. The increased capacity, compared to the Wii, would also allow games on the new Nintendo platform to be patched and updated, though downloadable expansions, such as 650 MB Call of Duty map packs would quickly stuff the machine. The system will also support saving to SD cards.
By offering 8GB of storage, Nintendo would not be able to offer full-sized new games for download, a practice that has been promoted on the Xbox 360 and, to a lesser extent, the PlayStation 3, in recent years. It would also be unlikely to store downloaded feature films without additional, user-supplied storage.