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

By Jamie Pert - Aug 26, 2011

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.

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!

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