This is so sad. Gaming blog Kotaku has it on good authority that Nintendo's next console, the Wii HD (tentative name) will not include a sizable hard drive in the same line as Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles. If true, games on demand will be out of the question on the Wii HD.
Kotaku reports that instead of building each console with a cheap hard drive with tons of gigabytes of storage (the PS3 and Xbox 360 top out at 250GB for stock units), the Wii HD will have a 8GB of NAND flash memory, an upgrade from the Wii's even more puny 512MB of internal NAND flash storage. Eight gigs might seem good enough to hold plenty of Virtual Console games, but in an era of downloading full-sized games directly from services such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam, 8GB is an absolutely paltry amount of storage.
The Wii HD will reportedly also have an SD card slot for expandable storage. Anybody want to fork $400 or $700 for a 64GB or 128GB SDXC Class 10 card? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Furthermore, Kotaku says its sources confirm that the console will likely output at 1080p resolution and will be using high capacity discs that could possibly store up to 25GB of data.
At the very least, it'll be interesting to find out if Kotaku's report is accurate or not come next month at E3. In a recent chat with investors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted that the Wii fell behind in terms of creating a compelling and robust online gaming experience. Without adequate storage, how will Nintendo's next online strategy play out?