According to the latest Nintendo Direct, the storage space on the Wii U isn’t all we might have hoped it would be. The Basic (white) Wii U has 7.2GB of flash memory, the Premium (black) Wii U has 29GB listed. But it’s not quite as simple as that.
This most recent Nintendo Direct video, translated by the folks at Kotaku, points out an issue with the internal storage. The Nintendo Network ID and account data takes up 4.2GB of space. That leaves just 3GB on the Basic model, which isn’t going to last long if you plan on downloading any games now that Nintendo is allowing full game downloads. In fact, New Super Mario Bros U will squeeze on there – it’s around 2GB in size. Nintendo Land is 3.2GB though, so it won’t fit on a Basic Wii U at all.
Wii U discs hold 25GB of data so when developers start filling those, you’re going to be pressed for space with just one title downloaded to the Premium consoles, too.
Happily, Nintendo has always been quite up-front about the value of external storage to its new machine. They will allow you to plug USB hard disk drives, up to 2TB, into their new console and you can use that to store any downloads. However, there’s a catch here too. If your USB hdd is powered by the mains, it should be fine but if it’s a portable style drive that pulls its power from the USB port, you’re going to need a Y-splitter cable to get enough juice into it. You can also use USB flash drives but those might be a little less reliable.