Wii 2 to have 8GB flash memory, no HDD?
Unconfirmed reports have upcoming HD console sporting proprietary 25GB disc format--but no large-capacity internal hard drive.
Source: Gaming blog Kotaku.
What we heard: Ever since its existence was first rumored back in mid-April, the Wii's successor has been a lightning rod of speculation. Over the span of 11 days, the console was rumored to have a tablet controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen and day-one support from the developers of Grand Theft Auto IV and Donkey Kong Country Returns. The console was also, according to unconfirmed reports, supposed to sport HD graphics and use Blu-ray discs as its format of choice.
Finally, on April 25, Nintendo confirmed that the Wii 2--reportedly named Project Cafe--would ship in 2012 and would also be playable at the upcoming 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo. However, the dearth of information accompanying the announcement has led to a vacuum into which even more rumors have rushed.
Enter the latest scuttlebutt, in which Kotaku reports that the Wii 2 will not have a hard drive. Instead, the console will come with 8GB of flash memory and, like its forebear, the ability to store game data on SD memory cards. The 8GB of flash memory is the equivalent of the hard drive in the original Xbox, which was released in 2001 with both 8GB and 10GB hard drives, depending on the parts manufacturer. It's also less than half of the first Xbox 360 HDD and the lower-end launch PlayStation 3 HDD, both of which were 20GB. (The higher-end launch PS3 had a 60GB HDD.) Current-model PS3 hard drives range from 160GB to 320GB, with the higher-end slimline Xbox 360 sporting a 250GB HDD and the lower-end Xbox 360 slim having 4GB of flash memory and no hard drive.
Kotaku's sources also report that the Wii's follow-up will also have a proprietary format capable of storing up to 25GB per disc, rather than using the Blu-ray format. The high storage capacity will be for the console's graphics, which will reportedly either be 1080p or 1080i. According to various reports, the console will--at the very least--match the 360 and PS3 in power, making porting games over to the console easier than it currently is on the lower-resolution Wii.
The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--Nintendo rep.
Bogus or not bogus?: While the report certainly adds some spice to the rumor stew that continues to simmer, it's not enough to go on definitively. However, such low-capacity storage would severely limit the console's downloadable content capability out of the box and would make future-proofing the console a major concern. That said, with Electronic Entertainment Expo now just over a month away, people shouldn't have to wait long to get firm answers to their questions about the Wii 2.