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Nintendo: Only "geeks and otaku" need more Wii storage

Wed 11 Jun 2008 11:20pm GMT / 7:20pm EDT / 4:20pm PDT
Publishing

NOE marketing director dismissive of memory limitation issue at recent WiiWare event

Addressing the issue of the limited 512MB flash memory of the Wii, Nintendo of Europe's managing director of marketing Laurent Fischer suggested that it would only be an issue for "geeks and otaku."

The remarks, reported by Edge, came during a recent European WiiWare event.

The magazine chided Fischer for his remarks, saying that he was "oversimplifying something that will only become increasingly important as Wii developers explore the console's online service."

Indeed, the manager's remarks stand in stark contrast to the almost apologetic comments of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who recognised that a small number of people consider the Wii's flash memory to be too small.

"However, because this small number of people are none other than the most avid players, we know we have to review the best possible solution to eliminate their inconvenience," Iwata said during a Q&A session following Nintendo's financial results briefing at the end of April.

No particular hardware or software solution has yet been announced.

When contacted on the issue, a Nintendo of America customer service representative told GamesIndustry.biz: "At this time, we haven't heard of any plans to offer a way to expand the memory capabilities of the system.

"If we announce plans in the future for an external storage device - such as a USB drive or an external hard drive - or a way to save to, or transfer data from, an SD Card, we'll be sure to post this information to our website."

The representative suggested deleting Virtual Console channels - which can later be re-downloaded at no cost - and saving Virtual Console games on an SD Memory Card.

However, neither WiiWare nor Virtual Console games can be booted from the SD card, but must first be moved back into the flash memory - a cumbersome and somewhat lengthy process requiring consumers to delete and copy games and save files.

In addition, numerous Wii disc titles create save files that cannot be copied or transfered out of the flash memory.

Update: Laurent Fischer has since issued an apology:

"I have huge respect for those who, like me, share a common passion for Nintendo and I want to make it clear that I would never use and I didn't use this terminology in such a context or way to cause offense," he said.

"I regret that this misunderstanding has created such offense and disappointment within the community."

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