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Wii Entertainment Games

Nintendo's Wii Storage Solution — SD Cards 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the 2gb-ought-to-be-enough-for-anybody dept.
Lucas123 writes "After gamers complained for the better part of a year, Nintendo finally came out with a solution to the Wii's lack of storage capacity — a 2GB SD card from which users can execute games, adding to the console's measly 512MB of onboard storage. The card is expected out in the Spring. With the ability to download, the card should allow users to store up to 60 games." This news came out of the same press conference that announced the Nintendo DSi we discussed earlier today. They made a number of other announcements as well, including Gamecube remakes for the Wii, updated to make use of the Wiimote, Club Nintendo coming to North America this year, and the Wii Speak Channel, an online voice chat utility.
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Nintendo's Wii Storage Solution — SD Cards

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  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:36PM (#25239019) Homepage Journal

    Nintendo finally came out with a solution to the Wii's lack of storage capacity -- a 2GB SD card from which users can execute games

    TFA is a lie. Iwata stated that the solution would be direct download to SD Card + a solution that will allow users to quickly copy from the SD Card to main memory. Early in the morning, the HOPE was that it was a translation issue and Iwata meant the Wii would cache the game in internal memory before running it.

    Unfortunately, Reggie dashed those hopes [wired.com]. He repeated Iwata's solution in plain english. From the Wired article:

    9:21: Instead of dealing with the current hassles of Wii storage, you'll be able to download Wii software from the shopping channel to your SD card, and the process of transferring that software will become "dramatically easier."

    So don't believe everything you read. Half the stuff coming out of these press conferences is pure malarky. (e.g. 2 touch screens? False. 3 Megapixels? Disputed. New Pikmin? False. Street Fighter IV? False. Launch from SD? False.)

    The good news is that the GameCube remakes are going to include Metroid Prime 1 & 2. So if you liked the control scheme in Metroid 3, you'll have a chance to go back and play the previous titles with those controls! (Whoo hoo!)

    • Wow, I honestly thought it had two touch screens... Now I honestly don't see the point of it besides the cameras. Interesting. Especially since Nintendo is considering it a different platform than the DS.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Street Fighter IV? False.

      Some people mistook Capcom vs Tatsunoko for that AFAIK. There really is a new game but it's not SF4 and since the characters it's vs against are licensed to tons of different companies in the US it's unlikely that the game will ever leave Japan.

    • That's good, I really did like the control scheme of Metroid Prime 3, I just didn't like the content as much as the previous two games... the "Expanded universe" characters really seemed cheesy and unnecessary, it took away from the idea that you are a lone explorer on a remote planet where something has gone haywire. Metroid was never really about being a bounty hunter.
    • New Pikmin? False.

      Not according to Kotaku. [kotaku.com]

  • "Proprietary" (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Moryath (553296)

    Because they already soaked a lot of people buying SD cards for the Wii... hands up if when you bought your Wii, there were peripherals in the bundle (extra controller, 1GB SD card, etc) that they were pushing like there was no tomorrow.

    Now Big N wants to soak the user again (at one hell of a markup compared to market price on a normal SD card) and still give them barely enough space, unless they buy more than one.

    Countdown until some morally better people reverse engineer this and offer up a solution to ju

    • Re:"Proprietary" (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:44PM (#25239147) Homepage Journal

      1. I had no trouble getting a Wii without a bundle. Neither did anyone I know. In fact, it seems that those who fell for the bundle deal were in the minority. FINDING a Wii in the first place was the greater challenge.

      2. The article means SD Cards in general. No proprietary card is needed.

      3. The article is wrong anyway. No expansion solution was announced. All that was announced was the ability to download directly to SD Cards + an "easy" way of copying games to main memory. In effect, nothing has changed.

      • by winphreak (915766)

        The only issue for super-storage is the lack of SDHC support. That's hard to fix, since it would (most likely) require a hardware update, but if SD issues remain in the Firmware, then a simple update should be able to support SD cards greater than 2GB.

        (this is slashdot, correct me if I'm wrong :] )

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        1. I had no trouble getting a Wii without a bundle. Neither did anyone I know. In fact, it seems that those who fell for the bundle deal were in the minority. FINDING a Wii in the first place was the greater challenge.

        Yeah, and when I was trying to buy one, the only way to find a Wii was in a bundle. :P

        Fortunately it was a good bundle where the only mandatory add-on was an extra controller and you got to pick which games you wanted, but still.

      • by tixxit (1107127)
        I wish someone had tried to sell me a bundle w/ an extra Wii-mote. It took me 2 months to get a 2nd Wii-mote after I got my Wii!
  • Backup Save Data (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully with this solution, I can now backup my save data. Currently the Wii doesn't allow you to back up saved data from any Nintendo Wifi enabled game. If the internal memory gets corrupted, you lose all your Super Smash Bros. Brawl records.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      I bet it's to prevent stat savescumming but that's REALLY not worth doing. It's understandable for something like PSO where they are worried about item duping (though that still failed due to cheat devices) but when it's just stats that's stupid.

  • blah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:43PM (#25239129)
    They should just support 3rd party high density SD cards.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by YojimboJango (978350)
      I don't know what version of the wii you have, but all my SD cards work. I'm using the one that came with my camera (a 512) in there right now.
      • No SDHC (Score:4, Informative)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @05:13PM (#25239475) Homepage Journal

        I don't know what version of the wii you have, but all my SD cards work.

        None of my SDHC cards work, which I believe was AxemRed's point.

        • by harrkev (623093)

          The article DID mention a 2G SD card. Regular non-SDHC cards generally top out at 2G.

          It this a firmware update that we can use with our existing 2G SD card, or will we need to buy a "special" 2G card? I got a Kingston 150X 2G for under $11. I wanted the fastest card that I could find for my Wii.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Third party 2Gb SD cards work fine already on the Wii. I have a San Disk Extreme II 2Gb card and it works fine - the only cards that don't work are SDHC cards (which Nintendo have never said they would support).

            Regardless of how fast your SD card is the controller in the Wii is painfully slow. Hopefully what Nintendo means by "dramatically easier" copying is some firmware tweaks that improve the transfer rate to something half decent.

      • try sticking a 4 gig sdhc card in there - wont work.

      • by Malevolyn (776946)
        Yes, but GP isn't talking about normal SD cards. The Wii doesn't support SDHD cards.
  • SDHC? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Sketch (111112) <mister DOT sketch AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:44PM (#25239143)

    I think a better solution would be to add SDHC support so we can use cards larger than 2GB.

    • Re:SDHC? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:50PM (#25239217) Homepage Journal

      a better solution would be to add SDHC support

      I don't understand. How is that a "better" solution? A 2GB card already holds nearly 20,000 blocks of memory. To put that into perspective, WiiWare games tend to range between 100-400 blocks. That's where the 60 games figure comes from. That's a lot of space, to be honest.

      The real issue is the fact that you have to rearrange the Wii's memory every time you want to play a game. Think of it like having a PC with a 1.6GB hard drive. You can install a few games at a time, but if you want to play more than 2 or 3, you have to start uninstalling game in order to install others. If you have more than 2 or 3 you want to play at the moment, you will find yourself uninstalling/reinstalling A LOT. That's the situation of Wii owners today.

      • by Malevolyn (776946)
        Don't you mean a 512 meg hard drive? Your example is over 3 times bigger than the Wii's NAND.
        • No, not really. A basic CD-ROM is about 650MB in size. Such CD-ROMs were in use back when hard drives were 1.6GB in size. Figuring that the games from CD-ROMs would be installed to hard disk rather than run from the CD, a user could fill up a 1.6GB hard drive rather quickly.

          Basically, I was attempting to make the example realistic rather than contriving something.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            To be fair, back in those days, the actual files were small; a 'normal' installation of a game from a CD to HD would take up fifty or sixty megabytes. The CD was used for FMV and Redbook audio.

  • While I like my Nintendo Wii, I would HARDLY find this as an acceptable solution. The other systems still have a MUCH LARGER size for storage. On upwards of 80GB. 2GB is not decent enough for this. There needs to be a place to permanently store downloadable content (e.g.: Rock Band DLC songs) and 2GB just isn't enough. External HD via USB maybe? Hardware upgrade?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Captain Spam (66120)

      However, one thing about the other systems is that they're also designed around being a media center (such as they are), waiting to store and play MP3s, movies, etc, etc. The Wii isn't. Without all that, 2GB isn't THAT bad. True, still somewhat small, and the rather slow access time of SD cards is more than a bit painful (or at least the rather slow access time of the Wii's SD card reader), but I consider it a somewhat decent patch solution until, say, they get an external HD option or Wii2 or whatnot.

      Of

    • The other systems still have a MUCH LARGER size for storage.

      The Xbox 360 Arcade only has 256mb of storage. The only systems that currently have 'upwards of 80gb' are the Xbox 360 Elite and recent versions of the Playstation 3. Most console owners will either have an earlier Xbox 360 giving them 20gb or 60gb, or an earlier Playstation 3 with 20gb, 40gb or 60gb.

      That aside I do think that Nintendo has missed an opportunity here. For games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero the absence of dowloadable content is a

      • by donaldm (919619)

        The Xbox 360 Arcade only has 256mb of storage. The only systems that currently have 'upwards of 80gb' are the Xbox 360 Elite and recent versions of the Playstation 3. Most console owners will either have an earlier Xbox 360 giving them 20gb or 60gb, or an earlier Playstation 3 with 20gb, 40gb or 60gb.

        Actually earlier version of the PS3 (US and Japan) had 80GB (the 20GB one was quickly withdrawn) it is only now that this seems to be the standard although you could always install legally and with no loss of warranty any standard 2.5" disk drive internally no mater what type of PS3 you purchased. You can connect any size disk via USB which is great for backup or media storage purposes.

        That aside I do think that Nintendo has missed an opportunity here. For games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero the absence of dowloadable content is a big minus point. If they had allowed usb hard drives to be attached for storage it would solve a lot of problems, providing the transfer speed was good enough.

        You have a good point here although the way Nintendo is rolling in money at the moment I don't think that is a priority for

      • by j0nb0y (107699)

        guitar hero: world tour for wii will have downloadable content.

        • Yes it will but Guitar Hero III (that I bought) didn't, despite them promising it would 'at some point after launch'. So I won't be buying Guitar Hero World Tour, I will be buying Rock Band 2 on the Xbox 360 and enjoying all of the downloadable tracks for Rock Band 2 and the original.

          But of course I will have to buy another guitar, as my wii one obviously won't work with the 360.

      • by ohtani (154270)

        And I don't see how even 20GB isn't "much larger" compared to a max of 2GB. 4GB if you happen to find a compatible non-SDHC card. But still atleast 5-10 more storage.

  • Actually the storage limit isn't 2GB; the issue has to deal with SDHC compatibility. I wrote a little bit about using a 4gb card on GBA Temp; http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=99545 [gbatemp.net] Link to the spreadsheet; http://fathertom.net/wii/4gbsd.xls [fathertom.net]
  • by daveywest (937112) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @05:24PM (#25239597)
    I'd just be happy if I could backup my SSBB save file. That or if they would require the pin number before my 3 year-old gets in and deletes everything he can find.
    • by andy9701 (112808)

      You can back up most save games to an SD card, however there are some games you can't - SSBB and Mario Kart, and probably others too. I have no idea why these saves are "special", but they are. Maybe something to do with unlocking new content or something?

      • by Yosho (135835) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @05:57PM (#25240079) Homepage

        You can back up most save games to an SD card, however there are some games you can't - SSBB and Mario Kart, and probably others too. I have no idea why these saves are "special", but they are. Maybe something to do with unlocking new content or something?

        Nintendo doesn't allow games that have online play to be copied. The official stance is that it's because this would enable cheating; in games that have changing characters or tradeable items and equipment, it could facilitate the duplication of that equipment, but I have no idea how one would go about copying a game to cheat in SSBB's crippled online mode. Nonetheless, that's the official word.

      • They're the Wi-fi multiplayer games. I think Nintendo is trying to protect us from posting data files with our login info in them or something.
    • SSBB's save data includes the friend code and online data, which could potentially cause problems when copied to a different Wii, so copying is disabled for SSBB saves. If you happen to have Twilight Princess, though, there are a number [wiibrew.org] of [wiibrew.org] homebrew [wiibrew.org] solutions [wiibrew.org]. I highly suggest renting TP if you don't have it, if only for the Homebrew Channel.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hitto (913085)

      Homebrew
      HOMEBREW
      HHOOOOOMMEEEEBREEEEEEW!

      Get the savegame extractor!
      Backup your brawl, kart, whatever save. FASTER than in the system menu, IF it allowed you to "save your save".

  • I have all three consoles: 360, PS3 and the Wii and I find the PS3 and the 360 have matured well in the current generation of consoles and the Wii frankly has been found lacking.

    Don't get me wrong - the Wii is an awesome social/party attraction but the lack of space, the hard to remember Wii code to add friends, minimal online aspect and not as many games (PS3 is snickering as I type this) have left me a little disappointed. (Only because it was so bloody freaking hard to get a Wii).

    From the article:

    - Ninte

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Wii is still fun but for serious gaming, PC, PS3 and the 360 trump Wii in more than one ways.

      Gaming - serious business.
      I mean who wants have fun while gaming?

    • by donaldm (919619)
      I have always had Nintendo consoles from the NES right through to the Gamecube. In addition I have the PS1, PS2 and pS3 and if it was not for the fact that my PS3 is backwards compatible with PS2 games I would have given the so-called next gen consoles a miss. It is not that I don't like some of the Wii games it is just that they all appear to be a rehash of previous games with minor cosmetic differences and this I have also found true (IMHO) of the Xbox360 and PS3 games although that is now starting to slo
      • by hkmwbz (531650)

        The HD gaming market is going to be a area that Nintendo will have to address and since the purchase of HDTV's is taking off Nintendo better start thinking about a HD capable Wii

        They are. They said it even before the Wii was launched. Their next console will be HD. By the time it's released, maybe HDTC is widespread enough to actually justify it as well. It isn't today.

  • by glindsey (73730) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @06:01PM (#25240143)

    Has anybody else noticed a ludicrously slow transfer speed when transferring files to and from an SD card? I have a SanDisk 2GB card -- not exactly a no-name brand -- and copying even a small Virtual Console game to the card takes minutes. If a block is roughly equal to 128k (that's an estimate given that a 2GB card holds roughly 20,000 blocks), I calculated the transfer rate to be about twice the speed of a 1.44MB floppy drive. Nearly 100 times slower than the theoretical maximum transfer rate of an SD card.

    Maybe they're trying to keep that retro experience going by giving you mid-1980's transfer speeds too.

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      I have a SanDisk

      Well there's your problem. Overpriced and stupidly slow cards in general. Get a refund. Say it stopped working in your camera.

      • No, that's not his problem. The Wii is that slow with ALL SD Cards. Either Nintendo totally screwed up the I/O (e.g. byte by byte transfers rather than buffered I/O) or they run the encryption engine at times when it's not needed.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          or they run the encryption engine at times when it's not needed.

          We have a winner. If you scan through some of the notes from the reverse engineering of the wii over on wiibrew.org, particularly http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Content.bin_file_structure
          , you'll see that they encrypt even the ICON of hte save files. Not encode, cryographically, RSA256, ENCRYPT the ICON.

          Wii SD security is fail.

      • by glindsey (73730)

        If that's true, why is the official Nintendo SD card for the Wii made by SanDisk?

        And also, who do you recommend? The market has been flooded with so many lousy Chinese knockoffs these days, I have no idea which companies are actually decent.

  • I was so happy when Wii came out, but now all I have is disappointment once again. I will not buy another nintendo console until they give up their irrational fear of the internet. They didnt really think ahead of lets get this box out the door. Fuck them and their shitty online, shit storage, and shovelware games. Is it really too much to ask to be able to backup your savegames from online enabled games? Im done, selling it on Ebay tonight.
    • by walshy007 (906710)

      your forgetting nintendo is primarily a gaming company, do any of the things your complaining about effect your day to day playing of a game, no, then it's a secondary concern for them.

      as for shovelware games, first party has always been where the quality is on nintendo consoles, because the console is so popular it is suffering what the ps2 did, many crap third party developers with a few gems.

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