Rumor: Project Cafe Has Only 8 GB of Internal Storage, Discs are 25 GBPosted 2:27 pm on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 by Ryan Southard
For as long as I can remember, Nintendo has always done things to prevent their systems and games from being pirated. For the Nintendo 64, they opted to use expensive cartridges rather than CDs, the Gamecube used proprietary mini-cds, and the Wii…well, the Wii was pirated a lot. People were able to attach hard drives to their Wiis to play a full catalog of games. Players who did pirate the Wii were unable to play games online, though if you know the Wii, that wasn’t much of an issue in the first place.
Kotaku has reported today that according to their sources, Nintendo plans to use 8 gigabytes of on-board flash-based memory instead of a hard drive. Now, taking a look at the installed memory of my Playstation 3 games, they go from almost nothing to around four and a half gigabytes. By using a smaller flash-based memory, Nintendo seem to be trying to circumvent the use of a hard drive, but the Wii didn’t have a hard drive either, yet users were able to attach one via the USB port. It could be that Nintendo will make it harder to use devices via the USB (maybe they’ll be on the controllers?), or that there won’t even be USB ports (which might prevent the use of keyboards). If they somehow don’t even try to prevent users from connecting a hard drive to the USB though, it would be such a waste to not simply put a hard drive in Project Cafe, as they come in quite handy when downloading things.
Remember playing Super Meat Boy on Wii? No? That’s because it was canceled for Wii. Nintendo placed a limit of 50 MB on Team Meat while their game on Steam takes up around 264 MB. By the time Team Meat had taken things out for the Wii version (audio etc.) and did compression, they were not happy with the quality and decided not to put it out on Wii. Just as another example, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light requires around 2.4 GB of storage, which would be a little over 1/4 the total memory on Nintendo’s supposed 8 GB. In addition to downloadable games, what will they do about game add-ons? What will happen when presumably Nintendo gets a multi-platform game like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there’s new DLC out, but it’s too big to fit on your tiny 8 GB of storage? If they plan on releasing everything via discs and retail outlets, it will be more costly for everyone involved, and some things might not even be released on their system.
Nintendo is also supposedly planning on using 25 GB discs to store their retail games on. 25 GB discs do sort of confirm that the new Nintendo console will at least be similar in power to PS3 and Xbox 360. However (and here comes that controversy again), how much more powerful will it be? If the system comes out in 2012, as it is planned, it will presumably get more third-party support via multi-platform games. However, what will happen when Microsoft and Sony come out with new systems? Will they be so advanced that developers would be forced to choose between developing solely for Project Cafe, or developing a game for PC, Xbox 720, and Playstation 4? It gives me the impression that Project Cafe will do fine for the first couple years, but may live out the rest of its life like the Wii – lacking good third-party support.
While these two bits of information about the internal storage and disc space are from Kotaku’s sources, and they may be correct, there is a chance that Nintendo could make some last-minute changes before their announcement at E3.
Ryan Southard is a video game enthusiast, dissecting games down to their tiniest details. Whether it’s new or it’s old, as long as it’s awesome, he’ll play it. Follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Southard