Wii U Has 2GB Of Main Memory, Discs Are 25GB

By Spencer . September 13, 2012 . 12:04am

imageNintendo President Satoru Iwata gave us an update on Wii U specs. The system has 2GB of memory, 1GB for system memory plus 1GB for games.


Wii U uses its own optical disc format with up to 25GB of data and the system has a 22.5 MB/sec disc read rate.

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  • malek86

    1GB for the system? That’s an awful lot. I wonder if, with time, they can optimize things and give some of the system memory to the games, like what happened with the PS3.

    But only if they are using the same memory. Otherwise, chances are the game memory will be a lot faster.

    • Miiverse will be part of the OS functions and will run all the time, so I can see why they’re dedicating a generous amount of memory to the OS, what with the ambitious plans they have for that.

      The more interesting question now is… what will Miiverse look like on 3DS, and how much of the 3DS’ RAM will it suck up?

      Of course, Miiverse is also supposed to be browser-based, I believe, so perhaps it won’t be as heavy as I’m assuming.

      • malek86

        Chances are Miiverse will not be an integrated program on the 3DS, but will be treated like a game instead. That should take care of the memory issue easily.

        • That’s what I thought, too, but then I figured it would also defeat the purpose of having it there at all. I was hoping for an OS-level overhaul for 3DS using Miiverse. I guess we’ll find out in time. Anyway, off to bed for me. I’ll be up to cover the morning events.

          • daizyujin

            That would have taken a lot of forward thinking on Nintendo’s part.  I am not saying it isn’t possible, but this isn’t Microsoft we are talking about here and my 3DS buckles at times just loading the start screen due to the sheer amount of stuff I have on it.  I can’t imagine that there is enough power and memory to have this always running in the background and Nintendo is absolutely the last company in this business that I would expect to have been forward thinking enough to have planned for this.  It would be completely out of “character”.

    • Marco Tinè

      I don’t think they’re going to split the memory space as Sony did with the PS3… That would be awful.

  • Whoomp

    Unless they plan on allowing external harddrives I guess this means that Nintendo f**ked up on digital distribution once again. Can’t say I’m surprised yet sorely dissapointed.

    • コルセット

      Thats system memory, not hard drive space.  There will be 2 SKUs.  One with 8gb space and a premium version with 32gb space.  Both will support external HDDs.

      • Whoomp

         Thanks for clearing that up. I got confused with the whole “1GB for games”-part.

      • eilegz

         its not that 8gb or 32gb its gonna be enough when other consoles its offering 320gb at the same price….

    • malek86

      This refers to main memory. The storage size will be 8GB or 32GB depending on the model (although admittedly it’s not much either).

    • Steven Boivin

       That’s RAM memory… not storage memory.

      • sunK1D

        Seriously? does it matter? What the F. 32GB is gonna do for you nowadays? Thats 1 full size WiiU game before you’re out of space or maybe a dozen arcade games.
        Here’s hoping that external USB drives are in and unrestricted for games.

        Fun fact, MS and Sony realized how stupid 20GB was over 5 years ago… Nintendo hasn’t even acknowledged the internet exists yet…

        • Herok♞

           MS relalized how stupid 20 GB is over 5 years ago, the newest version of the 360 says otherwise http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-4GB-Console/dp/B003O6JKLC/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1347533174&sr=1-1

          • amagidyne

            It’s still pretty bad. Microsoft not realizing it doesn’t change that. I have single games on my PC that cover half of the largest hard drive. My Steam folder is almost nine times bigger. Hard drive space is cheap now, and most developers know that.

             I guess the question is whether external hard drives will work with the Wii U without being proprietary, tiny and expensive.

          • Herok♞

             I thought it was well known that you can you use any externall memory you want, and I think what Nintendo is counting on is people not buying alot of full sized games.

    • They ARE allowing external hard drives and SD cards as well.

  • 22mb/s read seems good, but I imagine ps3 and 360 go well above that when you install to hdd. If there’s one thing I wish devs would eliminate by now it’s load screens

    • Testsubject909

      Considering how today’s games are. The best you can hope is that games tend to lean more towards constant progressive scan to minimize noticeable load times down to zero.

      • Marco Tinè

        While 22 MB/s sounds nice when it comes to loading data entirely from the disc, the difference from Xbox loading times is far from dramatic. Nintendo should strongly encourage the installation of WiiU games over external drives, because at one point, the developers will want to put that 1 gig of RAM to good use, streaming or loading bigger textures from the disc.

        I’m not saying we already have a bottleneck here, at least not until Xbox 360 and PS3 are still around, but in the future this could gradually become the case, should an external installation option not be available from the get-go. From what I’ve read and heard about the WiiU, looks like Nintendo learned a couple lessons from the competition.

        It would be shocking not to see this one properly addressed.

    • 22 megabytes /s is about as fast as a laptop hard drive.  1x blu-ray is 4.5 MB/s. PS3 uses 9MB/s speed drive.

  • wahyudil

    1 GB is RAM or internal HD?

    • kylehyde

      RAM, it appears that for storage will be 8GB for the basic model and 32 for the premium. However you can expand it with an external hard drive

      • malek86

        Did they actually say during the conference that it’s expandable with an external HDD, or was it from the leaked info? Until proper confirmation, I’d stay cautious.

        • kylehyde

          it was said many time on the past that it was going to support external HDD, also is going to support storage via SD card


          • malek86

            I see, that helps. In that case, I don’t have much reason for going with the premium set, since even with 32GB I would expand the size anyway.

          • keithmaxx

            Except they mentioned a premium-members-only special point system when you buy games. Basically it mentioned that you earn points which you can later on use to buy games and, hopefully, apps.

          • malek86

            @keithmax:disqus  Considering the usual price of Nintendo downloads, I doubt I would buy much from them anyway. But I’ll admit the black one looks sneazy, and the charging dock will probably be better than having an adapter dangling around, especially cause the gamepad will probably require charging after every day of use.

            So who knows, maybe I’d get the Premium set anyway.

  • Why not just use blu ray?  It’s faster.

    • kylehyde

       Because they don’t wan to pay to sony.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Actually, they wouldn’t have to pay a dime to Sony, since Sony is merely a member of the BRA and doesn’t own the format.

        • kylehyde

          I was sleepy so I couldn’t think very clearly in some issues. Still, they are going to avoid to paid to much to someone else.

    • malek86

      Because this way they won’t have to pay a license to the BRA. Notice that, due to this, it probably won’t play BR movies either.

      • Testsubject909

        Nintendo consoles aren’t exactly made to be media centers of sorts, they’re more game centric for better and for worse.

        This time though I hope that they definitely have the 3rd party support. Sure, I haven’t actually owned a Nintendo system since the 64, having skipped over the Gamecube (even though I own a few Gamecube games and Wii games).

        But it doesn’t mean I can’t hope for their future consoles to do well.

        • Wii U Tv is a nice solution for that media.

    • Blu-ray is 4.5 MB per second 1x speed so way slower actually (ps3 uses 9MB/s 2x drive for example.

    • daizyujin

      Oh at a base level it is blu-ray.  They are not conforming to spec and thus not calling it blu-ray so as to avoid paying royalties but the discs will more or less be single layer discs.  The GC and Wii bill themselves as “proprietary discs” but in reality both are just slight tweaks of the DVD format which is why the systems can run pirated games off burned DVDs with simple software solutions installed on the system.  Just look at the storage sizes of the discs, they all match.  GC games are single layer DVD-1 discs like used in old DVD burning camcorders, Wii games are just DVD-5 and in some cases like Smash Bros, DVD-9 discs.  The only system to really build a true new format from scratch for its optical drive was the GD-Rom discs in the Dreamcast.

  • $30632660

    I already got a 500 GB external harddrive waiting for the Wii U.My body been ready.

  • CirnoLakes

    That’s… really quite nice in terms of specs. I’m impressed.

    Along with that I know about the GPU, it should be a pretty capable system.

    Well, aside from software. It’ll be interesting if someone manages to put Linux on it.

  • Testsubject909

    1GB (Well two total, but I meant 1GB for games) huh…

    Ah great, now all I’ve got ringing in my head is all that elitist hardware talk that was going on over at the EVE forums when I decided to take a peek into it.

    Man… They’d look at the 1GB ram and laugh and go on about how if it doesn’t got 8GB it has no chance of blah blah blah PC master race bull…

    • kylehyde

      1 GB dedicated solely to the games is pretty much. Many people expecte 1GB shared between the game and the OS. The current HD consoles only have a total of 512 and is shared between the game and the other services.

  • tubers

    I hope Wii U exclusives would really show some awesome textures :) Now that it has twice the RAM of current gen :P

    I’m pretty much satisfied with the console graphics geometry.. but the textures sometimes are kinda muddy.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Not really bad RAM there and they properly divided them too there one for only gaming while one for the whole O.S. The Wii U looks quite cool there lol.^_^

  • SirRichard

    I remember hearing a story (I think on Eurogamer?) about a dev who spoke highly of the Wii U’s memory because they could just dump their entire E3 demo to it and not need to use the disc at all. I think that says it all, really.

    25GB per disc is very good; it’s great for developers who are beginning to use more space, and avoids the problem the 360 has of needing multiple discs and compression for bigger titles.

  • idofgrahf

    A bit lower than expected, especially given how cheap memory is now days. I would have expected around 4gb memory and maybe a hdd. 1gb ram cost what, 10 bucks if that? 4gb cost maybe 20, probably lower. Given current gen HD consoles are now close to 7 years old, doubling the ram seem rather weak.

  • Spirit Macardi

    I’m personally hoping that the discs will be scratch-resistant like Blu-Ray. That’s the main reason I like my PS3; it’s not for the better graphics, it’s because the discs don’t get wear and tear x3

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