Will Nintendo finally announce a HDD at this years E3?

For two years now, loyal Nintendo fans have been begging and pleading their beloved company for a hard drive and while their has been many rumors and a great deal of speculation we are still stuck here without one. Some gamers may disagree, but the mass majority of hardcore gamers all shout, “we need a hard drive!”

With game saves, virtual console, and now Wii-Ware, the 512mb of internal flash memory that Nintendo has provided us is quickly filling up. While we struggle with these problems, Nintendo repeatedly denies the fact that the Wii needs a hard drive. Here’s a quote from the NOA PR manager, Eric Walter.
“The way we look at it is, we don’t really want people storing every single game they buy on their drive…”

I really have no idea what that’s suppose to mean but it sure isn’t good. Hopefully what he is really saying is, “I’m making up something so that we can introduce the HDD at this years E3.”

While there have been awful comments by official Nintendo spokesman like the one above, there also have been pretty good ones to. A while back, Reggie Fils-Aime said that there is definitely a market out there that would like a HDD and it’s something that we always look into.
Also, here is a recent quote from Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, addressing the Wii memory shortage problem.
Statistically speaking, it is true that there are a small number of customers who feel that the flash memory is too small, while many others find that they have plenty of memory. However, because this small number of people are none other than the most avid players, we know we have to review the best possible solution to eliminate their inconvenience.”

Comments like these are very good, Nintendo is telling us that they know about the problem and they are doing what they can to fix it Maybe they’re brainstorming whether SD cards would work better or an HDD? But if using a SD card is the route that Nintendo takes then I think it is taking a step backwards. Both the 360 and PS3 uses HDD’s and they are very convenient. SD cards are basically the same thing as using a memory card. Although there are more possibilities when using a SD card over a memory card, they both have the sam annoyings setbacks. Thanks to their much smaller capacity, you’ll constantly be swapping SD cards while a much larger HDD would do the job all by itsef.

So basically, a hard drive would be the best and most convenient solution. It would even make Nintendo more money because everybody is buying other companies SD cards and not Nintendo’s because theirs is overpriced. It has been a while since the Wii has launched, and with all the speculation, rumors, and official comments, it looks like this years E3 could be the best time for Nintendo to announce a HDD. Nintendo has been talking about all of its issues for a while, they’ve said there going to look into but so far we’ve got nothing. Like voice chat for example, Reggie said that he, “would not be surprised if voice chat somehow made its way onto the Wii.” But still we see no Voice Chat.

Two things could happen at this years E3. One, Nintendo could totally ignore all of its problems, announce a few software titles, talk about how good the Wii is selling and their press conference would suck. On the other hand, they could announce a HDD, voice chat, show how they are going to improve the online interface, and announce some amazing software titles and they would have the best press conference out of the three big companies.

Nintendo has definitely pushed our patience to the limit and now I think they will finally address the issues. They will announce a HDD at this years E3 and if not they will address the memory problem with some sort of solution. I think they will also bring announce a Voice Chat feature, and make a few improvments to the online interface. If Nintendo does this right, this could be their big year at E3.

However, it looks like were just going to have to wait until July 15. My Wii News is gonna give you some E3 coverage so stay tuned. Leave a comment below saying what you think Nintendo will announce at E3 or take it to the forums; and keep checking back to My Wii News for more Wii and E3 info!

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  • By LC, May 19, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

    I’m wondering if they couldn’t program a firmware update to support sdhc up to 16GB? I’m not so sure I like the idea of an external hdd add on, especially if its a $200 upgrade like with the microsoft hdd upgrade. This is an issue that seriously needs to be addressed either way, the ability to store saves/games and access/play from either sd cards or an external hard drive is absolutely necessary. I am interested in the vc and the 512MB simply isn’t enough and re-downloading or swapping to sd cards is something I am not willing to put up with. If Nintendo address and make available a more intelligent solution, it would go far in leveraging me to purchase a wii.

  • By Lukatoll, May 20, 2008 @ 5:02 am

    I’m not sure if they could make a firmware for that, but I believe they could… Can anyone confirm this?

    But yea, Microsofts HDD is WAY over priced. I think the 20 gig HDD is 100 dollars when it should be around 50-60 max. Hopefully, Nintendo isn’t too greedy and they don’t make it overpriced.

  • By LC, May 20, 2008 @ 7:44 am

    I tried googling it… lol

    without doing detailed research a few things I read seem to lean towards it being possible, I saw claims that some devices can be upgraded like older video cameras with sd card slots to support the sdhc format.

    far as i can tell there the same form factor with different internal architectures and possibly different file structure i guess.

    but what got me thinking on the idea in the first place is the comments about keeping it simple for the consumer, the wii already supports sd and you can’t be more simple then a required firmware update when connected to the internet.

    firmware update keeps it simple and I imagine it would pare well with update to allow the wii to access the sd slots for game save storage and playback.

  • By Lukatoll, May 20, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

    if it is possible, that would also be a smart thing for nintendo to do.
    and if you could get a big enough card, you won’t have to keep taking it out and switching cards.

    That would be just as good as having an internal HDD. You can’t see it but it does just as much as a Hard Drive.

    that would be awesome!

  • By Andrew Canali, June 17, 2008 @ 1:32 am

    who the hell cares if they let a gamer us sdhc cards? if the interface and the depth to which you can utilize said card is to remain the same, it’s absolutely a waste of time.

    if nintendo either smartened up and released a virtual console channel that is what the title would leave one to think it was; a virtual console where one could a) stream NES and smaller-sized games from the internet or b) play all downloaded wiiware and VC games right off of an SD card.

    ideally, it’d be nice to see a sleek hd - possibly an oddly-shaped one that could replace the very hollow stand that the wii currently ships with. one 4 gig - 8 gig would be more than enough (i think).

    but honestly, i’m going to be really pissed if they keep dragging their heels on this. i have probably spent $200 on virtual console and wiiware games alone. and now between things like the wii fit and mario kart channels (albeit both mostly useless, but i refuse not to keep them); i’m basically limited to storing 1 page of wii-specific bells and whistles. and a 2nd page with full-fledged games.

    pretty sad, all things considered. i’ve bought between 40 and 50 games from VC (i admit to a good dozen being a result of poor judgement) - but i deserve the right in the ending part of this decade to have them all at my disposal. no matter how craptacular they may appear!


    Toronto, Ontario

  • By barters81, June 23, 2008 @ 11:47 pm

    Does nobody out there see potential in using the Wii as a media centre? recent progress in “opening” the wii up are showing that indeed the little white box can be used for playing avi files and like off of a hard drive. But this feature should be standard. To me, an 8gb or 16gb HDD is useless, Nintendo should eiter go all the way and support video playback from the hard disk or nothing.

    Oh, and I’ve explored the wonderful world of Wii = media centre due to my brother not having a PS3 as I do to utilize a large externl hard drive for media storage. These days, that feature is one of the main reasons I use my PS3 as most of my gaming comes from the Wii.

  • By LC, September 17, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

    @Andrew Canali

    I’d think you would care,especially considering how much you claim you have spent on the vc.

    Also if you read clearly I also addressed the need to update the user interface and functionality.

    The reason I suggested sdhc is because I do not think sd capacity (maxed at 4 gigs) is enough when you consider the size of n64, VC,wiiware, gadgets and saves.

    sdhc capacity begins at 4 gigs and has a max of 32 gigs. sd will not address storage concerns. nintendo has said they will not release an external hard drive. The wii already has sd card slots built in, the logical and most reasonable conclusion is a firmware update to allow sdhc and improve the functionality of memory card support.

  • By Andrew Canali, September 19, 2008 @ 5:05 am

    @ LC

    Again, I’d not be object to SDHC - but from a technical perspective, the Wii cannot support it. The architecture of SDHC is quite different than standard SD. Google it.

  • By LC, October 2, 2008 @ 2:21 am

    Actually I think your wrong. Other older devices that launched with only SD support have been upgraded with firmware updates to support sdhc.

    SD and SDHC both have the same physical shape and form factor, so long as a device supports sd it has the physical hardware necessary to read sdhc and simply requires a firmware update as man devices have proven.

    You can google that as well.

    Also nintendo just announced they will releasing a firmware update for the wii allowing software to be downloaded directly to and accessed from sd cards.

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