Nintendo is really, really not a fan of this whole “downloading modern games” thing. Which is reasonable, to a degree, they’re worried about piracy.
That said, it tells you just how unenthusiastic they are about it that the Wii U basic system, with 8GB of memory, which is already pathetic, actually has a functional memory of 3GB.
That was not a typo. Better hit Best Buy and buy a few hard drives!
Essentially, the problem is that the system software is almost as bulky as Windows 8. Between formatting the drive and the stuff that need to be on there because Nintendo thinks you care about having your Mii run around in WaraWara Plaza, 5GB of space is spoken for before you download a game.
To give you an idea of how insane this is, Wii U games will be up to 32GB of data. The Basic edition will literally not be able to store Nintendo Land in its internal memory. Bafflingly, Nintendo has promised that almost every game that hits the Wii U in stores will also be available to download. Does Western Digital own Nintendo secretly or something?
Of course, Nintendo has pretty much already addressed this by making the Wii U compatible with any hard drive that can take a USB cord, and USB hard drives are relatively cheap. But even so, it’s a little shocking it has that little storage.