Future Wii U Owners Should Think About Getting an External Hard Drive

With news that Wii U deluxe editions are selling out rapidly you might be tempted to just say, “forget it,” and buy the basic edition. But before you do, you may want to consider one more thing: internal storage.

One of the main differences between the basic and deluxe editions is the internal storage: basic has 8 GB and deluxe has 32 GB. I’m sure most people can agree that, for a video game console, 8 GB is a bit scant – but wait, it gets worse. According to a Nintendo Direct video (which decided to use beads and glass containers to explain how storage works), once you’re done setting up the console and your user account, etc., you’ll be left with only 3 GB of internal memory for the basic model and 25 GB for the deluxe.

To put it into perspective, New Super Mario Bros. U (at just 2GB) would fit on the basic model, but Nintendo Land wouldn’t, since it requires 3.2 GB. This seems odd to me considering that Nintendo Land is a pack-in game for the deluxe package. Furthermore, most Wii U game discs will have 25 GB of storage to them; so if a digital download of a game requires the same amount of space, you won’t have room for any other games or even DLC on the deluxe version.

Now, don’t get too worried, Nintendo is allowing USB and external drives to be hooked up to the Wii U. But before you plan on just getting the basic model and storing everything on a flash drive or something like that, there are a few more things you need to know. Plug-in hard drives will work just fine, but if the device needs to be powered by the Wii U console you will need a Y-cable to use it. Furthermore, USB Flash Memory drives are discouraged by Nintendo as their cycling capacity could impair gameplay.

At the end of the day, if you’re planning on downloading a lot of content to your Wii U you should definitely plan on getting a plug-in external hard drive; regardless of which Wii U you purchase.