The Nintendo Wii doesnít have an internal hard drive and no hard drive peripheral or add-on has been announced or even remotely leaked by the big ďNĒ Ė Why hasnít this happened yet? Well I suppose the only two answers that would ever slip out of Nintendoís water-tight sphincter of a press department would be either that they are still focusing on their supply issues with producing the console itself, or that they believe the paltry 512mb of internal flash memory is sufficient for gamerís needs.
Lets go ahead and tackle the first issue right off the bat. Itís easy to conclude that the ďNĒ is full of shit and the Wii canít POSSIBLY be that hard to produce and they are intentionally holding back their supply to fuel the insatiable demand that gamers and geriatrics have developed for the damn thing. This, however, has one big flaw: the ****ing thing is still the #1 system every single month. So the little white beastís must be on the shelves somewhere because droves of people keep finding a way to get them into their homes and hand Nintendo a nice $250 loan. I say loan because Iíve had my system since a month after launch and I could still throw the damn thing up on eBay and get my $250 dollars back, and probably a little more for my trouble. So the system is selling. To who? Gamers, non-gamers, semi-gamers, ultra-gamers, hardcore-gamers, softcore-gamers, casual-gamers, naked-gamers, clothed-gamers, straight-gamers, gay-gamers, and your Aunt Linda. Where? **** if I know! Since launch Iíve only seen them on store shelves once, and that was at Walmart at 2 oíclock in the morning. Myth Busted.
Now, lets take a look at the number 512. 512 is a power of two. Itís also the number 8 cubed. It also happens to be the number of megabytes the Wii has in terms of flash memory to store game saves, system configurations, and Virtual Console games. 512 is tiny. I mean small. Very small. Miniscule. Itís enough to download a couple of pages of 16 bit games from the VC without deleting anything. Oh, whatís that you say? You want to download several N64 games you never got a chance to play? Well that cuts that storage space down quicker than ABC cancels itís fall line-up. Still think itís not an issue? Let me put it into perspective. Thereís an Ace Of Base CD somewhere in my disc holder (I swear itís not mineÖ) that can hold 750 megabytes of raw data. Thatís right, the original recording of ďI Saw The SignĒ is sitting on a disc that outweighs the entire storage capacity of the Wii by 238 tasty megabytes.
I can hear the Nintendoids screaming at their computers right now: ďYOU FORGOT ABOUT THE SD CARDS!!!Ē.
No, I didnít. Nintendo forgot about the SD cards. Yes, you can store games on them. No, you cannot play games off of them. Itís no more efficient than deleting games from the flash memory and re-downloading them later. Itís a waste of time and an afterthought. Nintendo included the SD card slot for custom music (see: Excite Truck) and not to use as a bin to toss VC games that you canít play anyway.
Donít get me wrong, I love the virtual console. I really do. Iíve downloaded a number of games from it and enjoyed them thoroughly. I donít bitch about the prices, I donít mind paying a premium for high-quality rom images that carry no risk of being laced with pixilated tentacle-porn. But if Iím paying $10 or more for the games, I want to be able to play them when I want and not have to sort through them on a weekly basis and throw out the ones I donít want to play THIS MINUTE just to have enough room to download and play some goddamn Gunstar Heroes.
In conclusion, there is no apparent solution in sight. Reggie Fils-Aime just recently was asked about the Wiiís popularity and responded that they havenít even started releasing new colors of Wii-motes yetÖ Seriously Reggie? How about releasing the console you should have released right off the bat. And while youíre at it, give me some 1st party rechargeable battery packs for christí sake.