The biggest Nintendo Wii U downfall – no local install for games

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If you own an Xbox 360 or PS3 you will be aware of how much time can be shaved off a loading screens if you install a game locally, recently we saw the Xbox 360 version of Deus Ex Human Revolution load much faster when it was installed to the console’s hard drive, which reminded us of a concern which one of our readers raised when the Nintendo Wii U was first revealed.

Let’s start by saying that on average loading times on Deus Ex Human Revolution (Xbox 360) take 10 seconds less when running the game from the HDD, not only this but it results in lower noise from your console as the optical drive does not need to spin – the benefits are so great it really has got us wondering why Nintendo has told us that the Nintendo Wii U will feature no local drive, instead it will use flash storage – that’s not cool and here is why.

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We are led to beleive that in terms of internal storage the Wii U will feature a maximum of 16GB of flash storage, this will apparently be expandable via USB hard disk drives and SD memory cards, but in terms of internal storage 16GB is your limit. Lately we have seen many games such as RAGE, L.A. Noire and Deus Ex Human Revolution either demand that you install them locally or tell you that for best performance you should install this to your local drive – 16GB of storage will not be enough. Now if you thought that a USB 3.0 hard disk could be the answer think again, apparently the Wii U will feature 4 x USB 2.0 ports – this means that it will not boast the fast data transfer rate of USB 3.0, you could add a 32GB SDHC but this is another expense and won’t go far once you start downloading additional content.

Nintendo has stated that the Wii U will feature a slot-loading optical disc drive which will use propriety high-density discs with up to 25GB of capacity, this means that you will not be able to fit a game’s worth of data on the console’s internal storage – surely this needs to be addressed!? If Nintendo keep the Wii U this way it means that game load times will be limited by the optical drive’s read speed, this is more than noticeable when compared to a standard hard disk drive, but imagine how much better things would be if the Wii U featured a local SSD.

The fact of the matter is that the Nintendo Wii U is meant to be next-gen and we are sure that consumers see this as a major limitation, perhaps Nintendo is still considering its options, all we know is that when it comes to the next PlayStation and Xbox most of our readers want at least 500GB of storage (see here) – so we are sure that people want a similar storage capacity from the next-gen Wii.

Does this matter concern you or are load times from a disc unimportant? We promote your feedback!

  • Alexaudeh

    i dont really mind

    • Hamilio

      Yo they said external HDDs are compaitable with d console so this whole thing bout local installs is a waste.

      • http://www.facebook.com/simon.rowley Simon Rowley

        external HDDs cost extra money, if this was a Playstation or an XBOX then people would be going mad about having to get an external storage device to store things why should it be any different for nintendo?

        • Anonymous

          “Going mad”? Well, it might be an inconvenience, but mostly for downloads, than anything else. Even so, many third party devs seem quite happy with whatever Nintendo’s plans are regarding this, not one has mentioned the lack of a harddrive, so maybe it would be better to wait and see, before we get upset about imaginary problems?

        • Waller

          You know, Xbox Hard drives cost money, too. In fact, they are way more expensive that external hard drives for what they offer.
          Xbox arcade had no hard drive.

        • http://internationalobjects.com Franny Zupancic

          U+HDD = money
          U = money
          HDD=money
          It’ll make for a cheaper system at first if they leave it out. and if people want it, they can go buy a HDD and stop b!tching, because they saved money by the system being cheaper in the first place.

          People whine about he dumbest things. If you’re impatient and your game HAS to load faster, then pony up and buy a HDD. You don’t buy a ford cavalier and expect it to do 180 MPH. If you need to go faster, expect to pay more.

          Nintendo’s had a track record of releasing affordable, reliable, bare-bone ‘cars.’ The 360 and PS3 may have all the bells and whistles, but they cost more, and rightfully so. However, you don’t always get what you pay for.I forget where i was going with that. *Shrug*

  • http://www.facebook.com/spaz372 Travis Thompson

    Most likely the people that buy the Wii U will be former Nintendo customers. They don’t expect these sort of features from it. The loading times are not that bad and certainly don’t frustrate me in anyway. I use my Wii constantly and have never heard any noise from the optical drive and also have never used an SD card over 4GB. The storage on these is for my downloaded games and game save data.

  • Anonymous

    This is definitely a bad idea, or, at least a bad idea from the consumer side.  No local install, as you said, will increase the usage of the optical drive.  Optical drives wear out over time, and need replacing.  This could end up costing consumers money, and given high-capacity drives require more speed for read access, that could be a huge concern.

    However, if Nintendo adds more RAM to their system than the current crop of consoles, this could be somewhat alleviated, by allowing more of the game to be cached at any given time.  Still, no local install could pose significant performance problems, as we’ve already seen the PS3/360 struggle in some cases due to their RAM deficiencies.

    It’s also quite disturbing that they’re not employing USB 3.0 ports, and requiring the end-user to purchase additional hardware (external HDD’s, for example), only adds to the overall price of the item.  Not a very smart move imo.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are exaggerating the wait and noise factors. As an owner of all three machines, I don’t get frustrated waiting for Wii loads. Sure it is noticeable, but hardly a deal-breaker. As for the noise, can’t say it  is something that has attracted my attention. Beside this, we still have very few details of the Wii U, so as is so often the case with complaints about this new console, your fears are based largely on assumptions.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are exaggerating the wait and noise factors. As an owner of all three machines, I don’t get frustrated waiting for Wii loads. Sure it is noticeable, but hardly a deal-breaker. As for the noise, can’t say it  is something that has attracted my attention. Beside this, we still have very few details of the Wii U, so as is so often the case with complaints about this new console, your fears are based largely on assumptions.

  • Andre Andrade

    No HD is less cost to manufature!

    This is the nintendo Wii strategy!
    And probably will work!

  • http://twitter.com/Techreviewer73 Amin Khajehnassiri

    Again this is a premature article. The Wii and GameCube has about 24 MB of ram for preloading sections of games which reduces the need to use the optical disk drive. You should also note that local install on the 360 (at least in my case) only uses about 1 GB. The Wii U flash based solution will be better in that it will be faster then a hard drive (despite giving less storage space). However, I do agree that an SSD will be a better option.

    Also, people talking about the external hard drive problem. I was able to get a slim USB 2.0 500 GB running 7200 RPM hard drive for about $50.00 which is very cheap, and a 1 TB HD just cost $80.00. The prices for HDs are becoming much lower, and I think like Nintendo did with the 3DS they might give people external storage with the bundle. Most HDs on the market right now are USB 2.0, but the Wii U should be future proofed in that Nintendo should consider using USB 3.0.

    Now please remember that Nintendo did not finalize the hardware, and Iwata (Nintendo’s president) has already stated that the Wii U has been going through constant changes since the prototype reveal at E3 (which was rushed and far from complete). They also said that the close to final specs will be revealed at the early part of 2012 (along with the price, the bundle, and launch games) 

  • Kevin S

    it’s funny how nintendo keeps on f*cking up no matter what they do :P

  • Keaton

    Nintendo have always had the fastest load times and always will. Stop worrying and don’t write another article about it.

    • http://internationalobjects.com Franny Zupancic

      At the expense of under-performing games on inferior hardware, yes.

      • Imaduddin Siddiqui

        Only this gen. Every other gen, they had superior hardware and some really amazing games.

  • Keaton

    Nintendo have always had the fastest load times and always will. Stop worrying and don’t write another article about it.

  • James2t3

    The reason those consoles need intalls is because the disk drive speeds ate so slow. PS3 uses a 1x bluray drive, drives are much faster and cheaper now and nintendos disk fprmate will most likly be based on bluray.

  • Nintendoro

    agree. No idea why Ninty cant add HDD to maschine. It doest cost much these days and if they are awere of price, they can always make two models – Core and Pro. One with internal storage for casual gamers, other with HDD for Hardcore bad boys

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698016236 Kevin Douglas Femmel

    Consumers won’t see this as a limitation because most consumers have no idea what you’re talking about. The 4GB 360′s sell very well, and nearly 80 million people bought the Wii with 512MB, and 80 million more people chose the DS over the PSP and its ability to download demo’s.

    Infact, wouldn’t running everything off flash storage make everything in the OS run much faster than if it ran off a HDD? Nintendo doesn’t really want us being exploited with first day DLC, retailer exclusive downloads, and this should make gamers happy. If they limit the memory, it will likely discourage devs from putting games on the system that have DLC that could’ve made it into the game but they intentionally with held to sell.

    I mean, if anybody could be more successful than Activision at selling DLC it would Nintendo with Pokemon, Smash Bros, Mario Kart expansions. But thankfully they give away all their content free. And it will stay that way. The lack of a HDD in the Wii U will not be a big deal for most people.

  • Cd5696

    What would be even better is an e-sata port.